The Post reports that the series of bills was finalized this week, cutting down maximum jail time for certain "broken windows" crimes—public urination, littering, and spitting—from 10 days to one. Public intoxication would also net a one-day maximum, down from five.
A number of city code violations, like violating park rules, will be reduced to civil offenses, netting high fines instead of jail time, and the hope is that even the crimes that carry jail time will be prosecuted as civil offenses instead of criminal ones. "Where appropriate, the civil option is probably going to be the go-to option," an NYPD spokesman said in January, when the bills were first introduced. "But you have to have the criminal option available."
Earlier proposals to decriminalize low-level offenses like public urination and turnstile jumping, championed by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, were met with criticism, but Mark-Viverito says the important thing is to ultimately cut down on the disproportionate arrests of black and Hispanic New Yorkers.
The NYPD told the Post in statement that it would consider "conditions under which certain low-level offenses may be subject to the option of having a civil summons."