ABOUT COURT WATCH NYC
Court Watch NYC is a collaborative project with VOCAL-NY, the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and 5 Boro Defenders. As the eyes and ears of accountability in New York City courtrooms, we collect real-time data of what is actually happening in courtrooms and capture the narratives not reflected in official accounts.
Both Manhattan DA Cy Vance and Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez were elected this year on seemingly progressive platforms, specifically around bail, immigration, and declining to prosecute broken windows offenses. Cy Vance and Eric Gonzalez have committed to no longer requesting that bail be set in most misdemeanor and violation cases. Eric Gonzalez also announced a plan to “prevent collateral consequences of conviction by being aware of immigration status of defendants”, particularly for misdemeanor and low-level offenses. Cy Vance started an initiative aimed at ending the criminal prosecution of “low-level, non-violent offenses”, like turnstile jumping, or theft of services. Both prosecutors have committed to taking steps to reduce the pretrial population at Rikers and have committed to ensuring a “more fair” and “more equitable” criminal legal system.
We voted for our District Attorneys, they promised reform, and now we are building a community-driven movement to hold them accountable.
Court Watch NYC builds the power of everyday New Yorkers to demand transparency and accountability from the criminal legal system and an end to mass incarceration. By watching court proceedings, reporting what we see, and organizing around the systemic injustices that we witness, we aim to shift courtroom policies, practices, and culture towards a more equitable NYC.
- To collect and publish data about prosecutor behavior and compare (in real time) what’s happening in the courtroom with publicly announced DA policies.
- To foster a culture of accountability & transparency by bringing hundreds of New Yorkers into the courtroom to observe the behavior of public officials in court.
- To raise awareness about the role of District Attorneys in the justice system through accountability actions and public education events.
- To inspire a base of volunteers to stay active and get involved in broader criminal justice reform efforts in New York City & State.
For other inquiries, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!