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Day Custody Program: First Year Report

NCJ Number
Freda F. Solomon, Ph.D.
Date Published
January 2008
72 pages
This study examined the first year's performance of New York City's Day Custody Program (DCP), which is an alternative sentencing option for selected misdemeanor cases disposed at arraignment by the downtown Manhattan Criminal Court.
The study found that just over 80 percent of defendants in the 548 first-year cases sentenced to DCP completed the program requirements. Among the 103 cases in which defendants failed to satisfactorily complete the program sentence, just over 90 percent had been returned to court for re-sentencing as of June 12, 2007, the study cutoff date. Overall, 59.4 percent of all DCP defendants had a new prosecuted arrest within 5 months of their compliance date. The re-arrest rate was 54.2 percent among program-eligible defendants and 71.1 percent among DCP defendants. Because there was no available data from cases and defendants with characteristics matching those who received a DCP sentence, it was not possible to determine an expected re-arrest rate absent any program intervention. The re-arrest rate within 5 months was 56.2 percent among successful program completers and 68.1 percent for program clients in "spotlight"-targeted cases (cases targeted as high priority). Among defendants who did not successfully complete the program, 73.5 percent had a prosecuted re-arrest within 5 months of the program failure. The average time to a first new prosecuted arrest was longer for successful program completers (54.79 days, with a median of 43.5 days). DCP-sentenced groups were too dissimilar to draw any inferences about the extent to which differences in their re-arrest rates may have been related to the DCP program. The program consists of an accountability component comparable to community service, a needs assessment, and early intervention programs. Discharge planning includes referrals to community-based programs. Unlike a traditional jail sentence, defendants are released at the end of each program day. Extensive tables