In 2018, New York City had the lowest incarceration rate of any large city in the country. Despite the city’s success in reducing the overall jail population, certain fundamental inequalities persisted in the jail.
People of color were overrepresented in the jail. Black and Latinx people made up a little more than half of the city’s population yet comprised nearly 90% of the local jail population from 2013 – 2018.
While the number of people in custody with behavioral health needs was falling, it was falling more slowly compared to the overall number of people in custody. In 2018, 43 percent of individuals in New York City jails had behavioral health disorders.