New York City

NYC Council speaker calls for criminal justice reform

February 11, 2015 By Jonathan Lemire Associated Press
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Photo courtesy Vincent Gentile's office
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New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is using her first State of the City address to call for criminal justice reform.

Mark-Viverito, a Democrat, asks that more summonses and desk appearance tickets be issued instead of locking offenders in jail.

She said that in particular too many young black and Latino men are sent to Rikers Island for minor offenses.

Mark-Viverito asked that the New York Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio support her effort.

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She repeated her call to hire 1,000 more officers — a plan de Blasio has yet to embrace.

She also called for increased city funding for the Human Rights Commission and for New Yorkers who can’t afford legal representation.

Mark-Viverito delivered the speech Wednesday afternoon in an East Harlem housing project.

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