Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice



First Advisor or Mentor

Jon M. Shane

Second Reader

Peter Moskos


Using the NYPD Complaint Data, this study compares the frequency of nine quality of life (QOL) misdemeanor complaints (n = 196,577) in New York City (NYC) before (n = 108,382) and after the 2019 NYS Bail Reform Act (n = 88,195), which eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanor crimes. The results show an overall decrease (18.6%) in nine QOL misdemeanor complaints in NYC after bail reform with a large effect (d = 1.317). The main limitation of this study is that it did not control for the impact of COVID-19 in 2020 on the criminal justice system’s shifting priorities. Another limitation is that it did not control for NYC residents spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Future research should examine repeat offenders who are released before trial and the nexus between misdemeanors and violent crime.



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