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De Blasio: Clearing court backlog will shrink NYC jail census

April 14, 2015 Associated Press
Bill de Blasio. AP Photo/Richard Drew

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says fixing bureaucratic backlogs in the courts will reduce the number of people locked up in the troubled Rikers Island jail complex.

City officials announced Tuesday that pre-trial inmates with cases pending more than a year will have a court date scheduled in the next 45 days.

The Rikers inmate population has shrunk by half in the past 20 years to about 10,000. But a few hundred inmates spent more than 270 days waiting for trial there last year.

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De Blasio says special teams will use technology to target such cases.

The backlog reduction plan and proposed changes to the criminal summons system for low-level offenses are among reforms designed to make the system fairer and more transparent.


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