The training that could reform the Special Victims Division

The NYPD says that their unit that investigates sex crimes is the best in the country. But victims of sexual assault and advocates say that while the police detectives have definitely improved in recent years – how they talk to survivors still has a long way to go. Both sides agree training is the answer, but as Stevie Hertz found, the question has become – how much?

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De Blasio Plans to Equip NYPD With Body Camers This Year

Mayor De Blasio recently announced he’s speeding up a plan to equip the NYPD with body cameras. A couple thousand are already in use, but he wants all patrol officers to wear cameras by the end of this year – that’s one year earlier than planned. The $20 million program was ordered by a federal judge in 2013, after finding that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics were targeting minorities. But advocates are asking whether moving the plan faster going to help. Juliette Jabkhiro has the story.

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For Minor Offenses, New Yorkers Go to Church to See a Judge


The NYPD can issue you a ticket for a lot of minor violations—like littering and letting your dog off its leash. The ticket includes a “summons to court” – no big deal if you go and pay the fine—but if you don’t, there’s a warrant out for your arrest. Sarah Gibson brings us to an annual event called “Begin Again”, where the Brooklyn District Attorney is helping New Yorkers resolve these warrants.

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NYC Businesses Not Complying with Fair Chance Act

A law passed last fall means businesses in New York City aren’t allowed to ask people whether they have been convicted of a crime when they apply for a job. It’s meant to give those with a criminal record a fairer chance of finding employment. But six months after the law went into effect, Oliver Arnoldi finds many businesses are not complying.

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Protest Group Demands Closing Rikers Island


The debate over Rikers Island has escalated in the past two weeks. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito [vee-va-REE-toe] has called for the gradual closure of the city jail on the East River, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has backed her. Mayor Bill De Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton have dismissed the idea. But amid the political fights, Oliver Arnoldi finds an emerging group who are leading the conversation from the ground.

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Furniture Business Hopes to Prepare Former Prisoner for High-Skill Jobs


Nearly seven-hundred-thousand inmates are released from U.S. prisons and jails each year, but over half of them will be back behind bars within 12 months. One reason why is the difficulty of finding and keeping a job. Refoundry, a furniture company in Brooklyn, helps former inmates do just that. But its model is an unusual one — and it’s growing to six cities across the country this year.

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Transformative Justice Helps Women Move Out of Criminal Justice System

An art exhibition was held last week in the District Courthouse in Brooklyn. But it wasn’t your regular exhibition. The artists were young women accused of assault. By attending an 8-week transformative justice program, they were able to avoid a court process and a possible conviction. Laura Gamba reports.
An art exhibition was held last week in the District Courthouse in Brooklyn. But it wasn’t your regular exhibition. The artists were young women accused of assault. By attending an 8-week transformative justice program, they were able to avoid a court process and a possible conviction.

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