The Root: NYC Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan Unveils Criminal Justice Plan

New York City mayoral candidate Shaun Donovan is calling for police officers to be removed from public schools, Rikers Island to be closed by the end of 2027, plans to track interactions between police and civilians among other mandates detailed in his 14-page criminal justice platform provided exclusively to The Root.

Using the often-used language of “reimagine” and “reinvest,” Donovan is calling for New York City to rethink how the New York Police Department is deployed in neighborhoods, creating separate mental health units that people can call instead of police and reducing dependency on arrests. The packed mayoral race is one of the most contested in recent memory with more than three dozen candidates vying for votes in a city looking for a leader to help them ride out the economic pains of the pandemic.

Additionally, Donovan’s plan calls for investing $500 million annually in community-focused public safety and racial justice initiatives by the end of his second year, primarily by redirecting funds from law enforcement and corrections. By the end of his first term, he says he would dedicate up to $3 billion or 20 percent of the city’s public safety budget for these efforts, direct them toward neighborhoods with the greatest needs and seek community input.

One of the most noteworthy items in Donovan’s plan is to take cops out of schools, “starting with School Resource Officers (SROs), following the example of cities like Minneapolis, Oakland, Denver and Portland,” the plan reads. That money would be reinvested in what the plan calls Positivity, Prevention, and Relationship Response Coordinators who are trained in child development and de-escalation.

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