Measures to decrease crime in an essential transit system like the New York City subway are important and will help the city as it continues to recover from COVID-19. However, the focus should be on detailed examination of data and the range of solutions available. The reflexive urge to hire more police often does not guarantee crime reduction and reinforces the overly punitive orientation of the national criminal justice system.

Packed away haphazardly under the J/M/Z in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn sits a small alleyway — locally referred to as “Punk Alley.” In it resides a used book store, a used record shop, a cassette-based experimental noise record label and, of course, KPISS: the resident pirate radio station.