Mayors’ summit seeks solutions for ‘outdated’ criminal justice system in New York

New York City has formed task forces aimed at unlocking bottlenecks in the criminal justice system and bringing the “outdated” network into the 21st century, Mayor Eric Adams said Sunday after a meeting. a two-day summit on crime.

The three working groups will address: the discovery or sharing of facts and documents before a criminal trial, mental health and “urgent action” points.

Adams said he wanted to create a central system where defendants, their attorneys and judges could easily access evidence that local prosecutors intend to use in trials.

“There is no reason [why] we do not use a centralized portal to share this information, and we will be looking at existing technology that allows us to review the amount of information and evidence that defense attorneys and prosecutors have to review, and judges have to look,” Adams said.

He added: “We’ve found real commonalities on this antiquated infrastructure, and we’re going to focus on them.”

The mayor also said there was no reason prosecutors and defense attorneys, and others, should wait “hours” just to get a “30-second” appearance before a judge.

The mayor held a briefing with reporters after the conclusion of the weekend summit, which was attended by people working in the criminal justice system, including police officers, prosecutors, judges and lawyers from the defense.

Mayor’s Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire said the city is exploring ways to serve new defendants with mental illness by possibly placing a mobile service or ‘care van’ outside courthouses to provide services. mental health and related services.

The city is also exploring technology to help streamline the sharing of findings or information and documents that prosecutors are required by law to turn over to defendants and their attorneys before trials, said Frank Carone, chief of staff of the mayor.

Currently, Carone said, district attorneys in each of the city’s five boroughs have their own system for safeguarding and storing information submitted by police and others in criminal cases. He said these systems are not easily accessible to defendants, their lawyers and judges.

“We are looking at ways to use technology to create a unified system, where it could be easily accessible to all parties involved, including judges as well,” Carone said.