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Primer on Stop, Question & Frisk Policing Practices in NYC Released by John Jay College

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 -- John Jay College of Criminal Justice today released “Stop, Question & Frisk Policing Practices in New York City: A Primer” authored by its Center on Race, Crime and Justice. The Primer was made available on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at the New York City Bar Association in connection with its forum “The New York Police Department's Stop and Frisk Policies: Are they Effective? Fair? Appropriate?” 

According to Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College, “For several years, there has been a lively debate in New York City on the efficacy of the stop, question and frisk policies of the New York City Police Department with strong claims on both sides of the debate….This issue is of paramount importance. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are being stopped by the police each year with the overwhelming majority not charged with criminal activity. Meanwhile, the number of people stopped is going up each year.” 

Dr. Delores Jones-Brown, lead author of the primer and Director of the Center on Race Crime and Justice, said, “It is our hope that this Primer will shed light on the dimensions of the practice itself and will contribute to the public’s understanding of this controversial police practice.”

The purpose of the 28-page primer is to present available data on stop, question and frisk practices in New York City – the trends, the geographic concentrations of this form of police activity, the reasons for the stops, the results of the stops, and the racial breakdown of the New Yorkers who have been stopped. The report shows that over a seven-year period, the annual number of stops documented by police officers in New York has more than tripled from 160,851 in 2003 to 575,996 in 2009. (Data sources: 2003-2007, NYPD website; 2008 & 2009 CCR).

The Center on Race, Crime and Justice is a multifaceted and multidisciplinary entity for exploring critical issues at the intersection of race / ethnicity, crime and justice. Through a visiting scholars program, community partnerships and collaborative efforts within the College and across City University, the Center sponsors activities and conducts funded research aimed at addressing the complex questions that plague our understanding of crime and justice in a diverse society. The Center’s primary mission is to engage in activities that promote equity in justice.

The publication of the Primer was made possible through funding from the Open Society Institute and Atlantic Philanthropies. The Center for Constitutional Rights provided some of the data and analysis included in the publication. The primer is available online at www.jjay.cuny.edu/primer.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu.