Data, everybody! It can set you free! It can empower! It can also confirm systemic issues you already knew to be true, and be depressing as hell. Today's news falls mostly into the latter category. Using city data, Gothamist created a map of which New York neighborhoods produce the most arrests—as in, residents who end up in prison, not necessarily arrests taking place in a given neighborhood—and the results are, unfortunately, pretty concentrated.
The news isn't all bad—since 2007, 109,491 New Yorkers spent a night or more in jail, a number that's since dropped down to 80,738. Still, certain neighborhoods are represented in the prison system in a wildly disproportionate fashion, a problem well worth considering. In spite of its public urination problem, Williamsburg was not one of them.
Last year, residents from Brownsville zip codes 11212 and 11207 were the most likely of any to land in the prison system, with 3,800. The neighborhood also routinely earns the dubious superlative of "highest murder rate" in the city, and earlier this fall was the recipient of a $600,000 grant from the Brooklyn D.A.'s office for the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project Initiative.
If you leave the 11207 zip code it shares with Brownsville out of the tally, East New York was significantly farther behind, with a total of 1,668 residents arrested. For perspective, Park Slope had 178.
This one's a little more arguable, since Bed-Stuy technically encompasses zip codes that could be included for bordering neighborhoods like Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, and Bushwick. That said, if we include the full range, things are pretty stark: 3,479 people who call Bed-Stuy home spent time in the New York prison system last year. Not that this is affecting the area's quietly booming real estate market much. But then, does anything?
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.