Creating an Arrest Alert System: WHAT IS AN ARREST ALERT?

Prosecutors have long recognized that a relatively small number of individuals are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. However, given the volume of arrests in New York City, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (the Manhattan D.A.’s Office) found it hard to track these high-priority offenders. They sometimes slipped through the cracks, and Assistant District Attorneys ended up making prosecutorial decisions on limited information—usually the arrest charges and the individual’s documented criminal history. The Manhattan D.A.’s Office addressed the problem by developing an arrest alert system, a tool to track priority cases, including those involving the relatively few individuals driving most of the county’s crime.

This fact sheet is the first of five about creating an arrest alert system. “What is an Arrest Alert?” explains the benefits of an arrest alert system and how it works.