An initiative by the Manhattan's District Attorney's Office, in partnership with the Mayor's Office and the NYPD is attempting to cut down on arrests for low level misdemeanors. DNA Info reports that the DA's office is trying to decriminalize jumping the subway and possession of "small amounts" of certain drugs.
The reason for this move is an attempt to reduce the number of arrests made for hopping the turnstiles and to lower populations in city jails. Mayor Bill De Blasio announced in March that he would close Rikers Island, and the decriminalization of low level misdemeanors seems to be one of the preliminary steps in that process.
The process to decriminalize jumping the turnstiles won't begin until September and will still be penalized with a desk ticket or civil summons and $100 fine. Prosecutors will decline to prosecute the charge if the defendant in the case agrees to another form of counseling, according to the DNA Info report.