Since February 2018, Court Watch NYC has been building the power of everyday New Yorkers to demand transparency and accountability from the criminal legal system – and its most powerful actor, the prosecutor – all with the goal to end mass incarcerations.
By watching court proceedings in Manhattan and Brooklyn, 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 New York City.
In the last year, the Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorney offices (along with the NYPD) announced shifts in their policies for marijuana prosecutions and arrests. To hold them accountable, trained Court Watchers spent 423 hours in Brooklyn and Manhattan arraignments to record their observations on how drug cases were being handled in the courts. Read the zine to find out what they discovered.