Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does DART measure recidivism?

A: DART calculates three specific one-year re-arrest rates:

  • Any new criminal arrest.
  • Any new felony arrest.
  • Any new violent felony arrest.

Q: Who can use DART?

A: DART is open to the public, and will be particularly useful to:

  • Policy makers
  • Criminal justice professionals
  • Social service program operators
  • Researchers
  • Journalists
  • Students

Q: How many defendants are included in the DART data file?

A: In 2009, there were 233,821 individuals charged with crimes in New York City. In the year following those arrests, 78,042 of these were re-arrested for a crime — 33.4% of all defendants.

Q: Where did the data file come from?

A: DART is based on a data file compiled by New York City's Criminal Justice Agency, the City's pre-trial services provider. The data file tracks recidivism for New York City defendants who are over 16 years old. It does not include re-arrests that take place outside of New York City or re-arrests for violations or infractions.

Q: Why does DART look at defendants who were arrested in 2009?

A: DART measures recidivism by tracking new arrests within twelve months of a person's first arrest of the year. This common measure of recidivism typically requires gathering more than two years of data. DART will add 2010 data by the end of December 2013.

Q: Does the re-arrest rate calculation take into account the time a defendant is incarcerated?

A: No. Although sophisticated studies of recidivism often create one-year re-arrest rates that exclude incarceration time, DART looks at the entire year after the first arrest. Only a small percent of defendants in the DART file faced lengthy incarceration for their first 2009 arrest. Most (76%) were neither detained nor incarcerated and were free to be re-arrested at least once. Of those who were incarcerated in New York City, 80% were free within sixty days.

Q: Is criminal history available for every defendant?

A: No. Criminal history information is not available for defendants with Desk Appearance Tickets and for a small group of defendants (2%) who were arraigned before being interviewed by CJA.

Q: How does a user select a group for analysis?

A: Users can analyze groups of defendants by choosing specific characteristics about defendants and their cases, including:

  • Age at arrest?
  • Gender?
  • Prior criminal convictions at arrest?
  • Open cases at arrest? (if no prior convictions)?
  • Recommended for release at arraignment?
  • Top arrest charge?
  • Charge severity?
  • Charge type?
  • Borough of arrest?
  • Desk appearance ticket?
  • Release outcome at arraignment?
  • Disposition of case?
  • Sentence imposed?

Q: Are any groups too small for DART to calculate re-arrest rates?

A: Yes. If the group selected by the user for analysis falls below 250 individuals, DART will not calculate re-arrest rates and the user will be prompted to select another group.