Prison cell (145130)

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced Wednesday that $17.8 million is being used to supervise 3,000 eligible defendants safely in the community instead of detaining them in jail while they await trial.

Titled “supervised release,” the initiative will permit judges to release defendants to a supervisory program that allows defendants to remain at home with their families and continue working while waiting for trial. This initiative expands judges’ options beyond setting bail—which could lead to unnecessary detention if an individual is unable to pay—or releasing a defendant to the community without a system in place to ensure the defendant returns to court without reoffending.

To implement this initiative, the de Blasio administration released a request for proposals seeking bids from nonprofit organizations to administer supervised release in every borough.

The model expands upon the successful pilot programs that have been operating in Queens since 2009 and Manhattan since 2013. In the Queens program, operated by the Criminal Justice Agency, 87 percent of clients successfully returned to court and completed the requirements of participating in supervised release.