De Blasio seeking to 'triple' number of teens released from jail: report

De Blasio seeking to 'triple' number of teens released from jail: report
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New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYPD creates special unit for far-right and neo-Nazi threats Mayor accuses de Blasio of dumping New York's homeless in Newark Conservatives must absolutely talk politics at the Thanksgiving table MORE (D) will reportedly expand the number of teens eligible for release from jail without bail in the city, according to a memo sent to top city judges this month.

The New York Post reported Tuesday that de Blasio plans to implement a policy that would expand the city's Youth Engagement Track to defendants between ages 16 and 19. It is set to take effect Saturday.

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The expanded policy will allow teens suspected of offenses including first- and second-degree armed robbery, assault and burglary to qualify for the program, according to the Post.

A spokeswoman for the mayor's office told the Post that the policy expansion would roughly triple the number of teens who could qualify for release without bail ahead of their court dates.

“Based on 2017 bail numbers for the affected ages and charges, these changes should more than triple the number of defendants eligible for the Youth Engagement Track,” Miriam Popper, executive director of diversion initiatives for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, told the Post.

Defendants will also no longer need to prove "community ties" before qualifying for supervised released, she told the newspaper.

“Even in the fraction of cases where ties cannot ever be verified, judges are encouraged to allow SRP participation to continue as ‘presumptive’ and to impose sanctions only if the defendant did not appear in court or for other good causes,” Popper said.

The mayor's office did not immediately return a request for further comment on the program from The Hill.

The announcement comes just weeks after de Blasio announced his campaign for the presidency, joining a crowded field of more than 20 Democrats vying for the party's 2020 nomination.

He has previously denounced other Democrats, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers MORE, for what he has called major mistakes in the legislation that led to the expansion of mass incarceration in the U.S.

“That crime bill was one of the foundations of mass incarceration and a very painful era in our nation’s history,” he said during a CNN interview over the weekend. “[Biden] and anyone else has to be accountable for every vote they take and what’s on their record. And I think that was a huge mistake.”