Advocating for a better criminal justice system

The Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, chaired by former Chief Judge of the State of New York Jonathan Lippman, is an independent body of more than two dozen experts, policymakers, and advocates from a variety of backgrounds, including law enforcement, academia, the judiciary, advocacy groups, business, and those who have spent time behind bars.

In April 2017, the Commission issued A More Just New York City, a groundbreaking evidence-based set of recommendations for improving New York City’s criminal justice system, including closing the dysfunctional jail complex on Rikers Island, significantly reducing the number of people in jail, and shifting to a modern system of smaller facilities located near the borough criminal courts. 

Today, the Commission continues to advocate for a better criminal justice system and to provide policymakers with the tools and roadmaps to implement its recommendations.



Latest Report

Progress Report and Legislative Agenda

“A year and a half after Mayor de Blasio announced the City would close the Rikers jails, the goal is increasingly within reach. Now is the time to press forward with urgency.” Read More

Latest Op-Ed

We Must Seize Today’s Path to Actually Closing Rikers; It May Not Be Here Tomorrow, by NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Hon. Jonathan Lippman

“…to paraphrase John F. Kennedy, we are not doing this because it is easy; we are doing it because it is hard—and absolutely necessary for a justice system that is worthy of our city. ” Read More

Follow us on Twitter:


Incarceration must not only be used sparingly, but also humanely, with a focus on preparing people to re-enter society.

Hon. Jonathan Lippman