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NYC paid McKinsey millions to stem jail violence

In April 2017, partners from McKinsey Company sent a confidential final report to the New York City corrections commissioner. They had spent almost three years leading an unusual project for a white shoe corporate consulting firm like McKinsey: Attempting to stem the tide of inmate brawls, gang slashings and assaults by guards that threatened to overwhelm the jail complex on Rikers Island.

The report recounted that McKinsey had tested its new anti violence strategy in what the firm called housing units at Rikers. The Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags results were striking. Jail aaa replica designer handbags officials and McKinsey consultants had jointly rigged the Restart program in its earliest phase to all but guarantee there would be few violent episodes, according to documents and interviews. They stacked the units with inmates they believed to be compliant and unlikely to get into fights or to attack staff.

Publicly, McKinsey and top corrections officials touted the drop in violence in these units Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags as an early sign of their project success without disclosing that they had tilted the scale in favor of that result. After McKinsey handed off the inmate selection process, about a year into the firm work at Rikers, jail officials continued to manipulate the population of the Restart units to keep their violence numbers low.

In October of this year, the New York City Council voted to approve Mayor Bill de Blasio proposal to close Rikers. The vote occurred during the same month that a federal monitor, appointed by a court to oversee reform at Rikers, revealed that violence by jail guards there continues to worsen. A ProPublica investigation, based on interviews with 36 people, half of whom worked directly on the project, as well as more than 10,000 pages of project documents, internal emails and other records, reveals that problems dogged the project at every stage.

Among the issues that plagued the project: McKinsey, which had never before advised a jail or prison system, made data errors that further undercut the results it reported from Restart units. The firm also persuaded the Department of Correction to spend millions on the sorts of advanced data analytics favored by McKinsey corporate clients. The department never ended up using many of the those data products, some of which simply did not work very well.

What happened at Rikers is a cautionary tale of a public sector consulting boom that has emerged over the past decade. In recent years, government agencies across the United States have entrusted management consultants with more and more facets of public administration, from designing school systems to shaping Medicaid policy. Public sector consulting in North America is a more than $9 billion industry, with an average yearly growth rate of about half a billion dollars, according to ALM Intelligence, which monitors the consulting business. Restart program had a significantly positive impact in the housing areas of the jails in which the program Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags was piloted, he said. units experienced substantial reductions in violence as measured against comparably classified inmate populations. He added that morale among corrections staff assigned to the Restart units improved.

The spokesman denied that McKinsey consultants were involved in or aware of efforts to skew or reduce the reported levels of violence in the Restarts. He added, stand behind our team professionalism and integrity, and the results of their work. A spokeswoman there, Avery Cohen replica louis vuitton handbags , maintained that the decision to hire McKinsey was sound and denied that city officials were involved in manipulating Restart units. sought the help of an outside firm for a singular purpose: to reduce the level of violence against staff and replica louis vuitton bags inmates and improve the safety of our overall facilities, Cohen wrote in a replica louis vuitton handbags statement. stand by the reduced rates of violence we saw in our Restart Units. the gaming of the Restart units was confirmed by Joseph Ponte , who was the corrections commissioner from 2014 to 2017 and trumpeted the Restart results in public hearings. In a deposition last year, Ponte was asked whether he had been told that the teams running the Restart units cherry picking docile inmates to ensure that rates of violence would fall.

did that, so that wasn news, Ponte testified. was well aware of how we were selecting inmates in the Restarts very carefully. It was a new process for us, and we wanted it to be successful. In just two years, the most serious inmate violence and use of force by guards had both jumped more than 50%. The United States attorney office in Manhattan began threatening to take legal action to force reforms.

De Blasio, then just a few months into his first term as mayor, faced a groundswell of outrage. His top deputy, Anthony Shorris, and other aides decided to hire a consulting firm. They solicited proposals from firms Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags on a pre approved list from the previous administration. Hiring McKinsey also offered political cover, those sources said, and the imprimatur of having a respected firm tackle the problem.

McKinsey was selected because of its reputation for with complex organizations and its history of working with New York City government, according to Shorris, who left the de fake designer bags Blasio administration in late 2017. McKinsey, for example, had previously prepared a report on 9/11 emergency preparedness and, during the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had consulted for the New York Police Department on a reorganization and modernization.

The mayor office denied that McKinsey was hired partly to provide political or legal cover, as did Shorris, who is now a senior adviser to McKinsey and teaches at Princeton University.

Early on, the consultants took steps to avoid transparency. At McKinsey behest, a few top 1:1 replica handbags consultants and corrections officials communicated using Wickr, an encrypted messaging app that automatically deletes messages within hours or days. Ponte and his chief of staff, Jeff Thamkittikasem, downloaded Wickr, a spokeswoman for the mayor said, but neither could recall using fake louis bag it any significant way. That shielded portions of McKinsey work from government oversight bodies and public records requests. seems like there an intentional act to evade that system of accountability, said Douglas Cox, an expert on public records law at the City University of New York School of Law. (A spokesman for McKinsey did not dispute that Wickr was used, adding, policies require colleagues to adhere to all relevant laws and regulations. work began in September 2014 with a $1.8 million contract and an ambitious mission: to determine the causes of violence at Rikers and propose solutions.

Almost immediately, signs emerged that McKinsey corporate orientation made for an awkward fit. When the consultants pitched Ponte on a proprietary workplace survey, they spotlighted how it helped lift output at a strip mine. increased by 50%, McKinsey pitch deck crowed. in annual run rate savings. they formulated a reform plan, the consultants did not solicit the views of inmates, clinic staff or others with direct insights into drivers of violence. The firm initiatives included facilitating the expanded use of Tasers, shotguns and K9 patrol dogs ( dogs, in the words of one McKinsey presentation) at Rikers, a stance that seemed at odds with de Blasio claims of wanting to foster a more humane jail system. A McKinsey spokesman said these tactics were intended for use only in extreme situations and were designed to minimize injury while protecting inmate and staff safety.

At a 2015 meeting, a group of McKinsey consultants grew heated reviewing video of a jailhouse assault. There was talk of wanting to beat inmates to get the situation under control, according to a former McKinsey consultant with direct knowledge of the meeting.

Finally, Anish Melwani, a senior McKinsey partner, grew exasperated by the tough guy posturing. you gone native, high quality replica handbags china the former consultant recalls him saying. think you been spending too much time with the correctional officers. A McKinsey spokesman said its team had no recollection of such a conversation. Melwani cheap louis vuitton bags from china , who has since become CEO of luxury retailer LVMH Mo Hennessy Louis Vuitton North American operations, said he did not recall the specific meeting or comment but footage of incidents was a routine part of the work while I was involved, so such a meeting would not have been unique.

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