Topics Criminal Justice
Stay Focused
Sign up for our free newsletter, and we'll make sure you never miss a beat.
A sign outside of Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
Trans Man Forced to Undergo Prison Genital Exams Wins $275,000 Settlement

He hopes the settlement will lead to reforms in New York prisons, where three-quarters of trans people say corrections officers have inappropriately touched or sexually assaulted them.

Chris Gelardi   ·   June 17, 2024
NYCLU Sues to Overturn Landmark Sex Offender Law

Advocates charge that New York’s restrictions for sex offense registrants are “vague, expansive, and unnecessary.” On Tuesday, they filed a federal lawsuit to strike them down.

Chris Gelardi and Sam Mellins   ·   May 28, 2024
Three men in suits, including former acting prison commissioner Anthony Annucci and acting prison commissioner Daniel Martuscello III, stand at a memorial ceremony in Albany.
Hochul Quietly Nominates a Permanent Prison Chief

The Senate will consider Daniel Martuscello III’s bid to run New York’s prison and parole agency. His supporters point to his decades of experience. His opponents say that’s the problem.

Chris Gelardi   ·   May 22, 2024
Joe Biden talking with reporters in 1994
After Weinstein Decision, Democrats Push Sexual Assault Measure Biden and Schumer Once Fought

After New York’s top court overturned Harvey Weinstein’s conviction, state lawmakers want to let prosecutors bring evidence from past uncharged sexual assaults.

Julia Rock   ·   May 18, 2024
DCPI chief Tarik Sheppard displays a bike lock retrieved from Columbia University on MSNBC's Morning Joe on May 1, 2024.
Meet the Cops Running the NYPD’s 86-Member Public Relations Team

The police department’s PR team has more than doubled in size in the past two years. Some of its recent hires have histories of dishonesty and misconduct.

Chris Gelardi   ·   May 14, 2024
Fordham University Foreshadows a Campus Culture of Growing Repression

The small Catholic university banned Students for Justice in Palestine in 2016. Amid protests and crackdowns, the move has become increasingly popular.

Sophie Hurwitz   ·   May 9, 2024
hands holding yellow camera in a plastic trash bag, press badge visible
NYPD Tackled and Arrested Journalists Covering Latest Encampment Sweep

The journalists said the arrests interfered with their ability to document the police raid at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Meghnad Bose and Uzma Afreen   ·   May 8, 2024
NYPD officers in front of the City College gates. Protesters drop a Palestinian flag behind them.
On the Ground at the NYPD Raid on the City College Gaza Solidarity Encampment

New York Focus was on the scene as cops shoved, kettled, and chased students at City College, the second campus where the NYPD razed a Gaza solidarity encampment Tuesday.

Chris Gelardi   ·   May 2, 2024
Student protesters gather at Columbia's Hamilton Hall or "Hind's Hall," renamed after Hind Rajab, a six-year-old Palestinian girl who was shot to death with paramedics on an IDF-supplied emergency route. On the right, they hang a banner that says "HIND'S HALL." Protesters sit up high on a facade.
The NYPD Descent on Columbia, Told by Student Journalists

The mayor and the police blamed “outside agitators” for campus protests. Student journalists reported what they saw.

Uzma Afreen, Angelica Ang, Fahima Degia, Mukta Joshi, Arshi Qureshi, Indy Scholtens and Sammy Sussman   ·   May 2, 2024
New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks in front of a blue and yellow banner that reads  District Attorneys Association of the State of New York.
Three-Year-Old Commission Hochul Tapped for Rochester DA Traffic Stop Has Never Taken a Case

After DA Sandra Doorley berated a police officer, Hochul referred her to a commission that is yet to become active — and lacks the authority to issue discipline.

Chris Gelardi   ·   April 30, 2024
The outline of New York state, inside a badge, with a cracked effect on top and a blue and red gradient background.
Behind the Badge: In New York City Homeless Shelters, the Same ‘Peace Officers’ Abuse Residents

Previously unreleased disciplinary files expose officers who beat, slap, and pepper spray the residents they’re supposed to protect. Most are back at work within a month.

Sammy Sussman, Annika Grosser and Sanjana Bhambhani   ·   April 15, 2024
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrats of New York, smile in front of american flags
As State Police Expand Surveillance, Privacy Advocates Turn to US Congress

Local regulations haven’t kept up with the rollout of new surveillance tech. Some reformers see Washington as their best hope.

Chris Gelardi   ·   April 2, 2024
In These State Prisons, Addiction Treatment Is Out of Reach

Stark disparities in access to life-saving medication for opioid addiction persist between facilities — and racial groups.

Spencer Norris   ·   March 22, 2024
New York City Police Department members stand in a line wearing NYPD baseball caps.
New Bill Would Stop Cops From Citing Debunked ‘Excited Delirium’ Syndrome

Referencing a New York Focus story, Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas introduced legislation to prevent public agencies from naming the medically discredited condition in their reports.

Chris Gelardi   ·   March 19, 2024
A magnifying glass reveals a jail cell otherwise obscured by static.
Be a Jail Watchdog

New York Focus has published thousands of pages of county jail oversight records. Browse them in our database.

Chris Gelardi and Eliza Fawcett   ·   February 23, 2024
Governor Kathy Hochul, wearing a red turtleneck and blazer, sits at a table with other officials.
Hochul’s Plan to Close Prisons Faces a Fight

New York’s incarcerated population has been declining for decades. Why is it so hard for prison closures to keep pace?

Eliza Fawcett   ·   February 20, 2024
A group of people before the judges of the Court of Appeals
It’s Hard to Get a Criminal Case Heard in New York’s Top Court. The New Chief Judge May Change That.

Some Court of Appeals judges are far more likely to grant requests to hear appeals than others, a New York Focus analysis found.

Sam Mellins   ·   January 25, 2024
A collage of book covers, including Richard Wright's Native Son
What You Can’t Read Behind Bars in New York

As book banning sparks outrage in schools and libraries, the censorship of classics like Native Son persists in New York prisons.

Rebecca McCray   ·   January 24, 2024
Governor Kathy Hochul stands with a hand on her hip next to a New York state trooper on a cloudy day.
Kathy Hochul’s Copy-and-Paste Crime-Fighting Formula

This year, the governor’s budget contains an agenda to combat retail theft. It looks a lot like last year’s plan to curb gun violence.

Chris Gelardi   ·   January 16, 2024
Here’s Every Bill That Kathy Hochul Vetoed in 2023

One hundred and fifteen laws that almost were.

New York Focus   ·   January 3, 2024
1 2 3 4 5