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Arrests for Low-Level Crimes Climb Under NYC Mayor Eric Adams

Some criminal justice reform advocates worry that the emphasis on “quality of life” enforcement will lead to a new era of mass incarceration.

New York Mayor Eric Adams, center, speaks beside Keechant Sewell, police commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), right, during a news conference in New York, US, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. 

New York Mayor Eric Adams, center, speaks beside Keechant Sewell, police commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), right, during a news conference in New York, US, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. 

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Misdemeanor arrests in New York City jumped 25% in the first six months of Mayor Eric Adams’s administration — the first increase in nearly a decade — offering an early glimpse into the impact of the mayor’s focus on so-called quality of life crimes.

But it’s not clear what effect the arrests have had on safety in the city and some advocates worry that the disproportionate number of people of color included in those arrests will result in a further destabilization of already fragile lives and lead to a new era of mass incarceration.