Statement by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., on City Council Speaker’s 2017 State of the City Address

February 16, 2017

“Outstanding warrants for years-old, low-level violations drive law enforcement and communities apart. New Yorkers with outstanding summons warrants face unnecessary employment and immigration consequences, and live in fear of arrest following any police encounter, which means they cannot collaborate with the NYPD and District Attorneys to keep our communities safe. 

“I commend the Speaker for her commitment to reduce incarceration and collateral consequences for New Yorkers who commit low-level violations and infractions. With today’s announcement, she has carried over the finish line what my Office proposed in 2014, when Manhattan prosecutors sat down with our partners in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, New York State Office of Court Administration, and NYPD to float the idea of dismissing open summons warrants older than ten years. We are here today thanks to the Speaker’s dedication to seeing this through.

“Coupled with our Manhattan Summons Initiative – under which my Office no longer prosecutes most violations and infractions, resulting in an approximately 80 percent reduction in low-level arrests in Manhattan, with no decrease in public safety – we are proving that New York can safely reduce crime and incarceration at the same time.”