Lots of people in New York City 'jump' the turnstile, meaning they are able to climb over it or duck under it and get into the system for free.
Many of these people are arrested by the police and they get criminal records. These criminal records hurt these folks when they look for jobs.
So some folks are arguing that turnstile jumping should be 'decriminalized' - it will no longer be a criminal offense. A person will just receive a fine (a person will have to pay some money to the city) and this will not go on a person's record.
The price of the fare to get into the New York City subway system is $2.75. So that's almost $6 for a round trip ride in New York City. There are a lot of poor people for whom $6 is a lot of money. I have never jumped a turnstile, but there were times when I was a bit poor or running short of money and I realized that $6 was a lot of money for me at that time.
So I tend to think that New York should decriminalize this behavior. Too many lives are being hurt over this situation and the fares are, honestly, too high and the service is too poor. The MTA - New York's transportation system - is a badly mismanaged system. The service should be better and the fares should be lower. When poor people have to jump turnstiles, the city and state are not helping poor people to improve their lives.
Here is an article about this situation:
Vocabulary from this article:
a mayor - the person who leads a city; the person in charge of a city
fare evasion - not paying one's fare (money) to get into the subway
to lack funds - to be without money
legislation - a law or laws
to be arrested - this is when the police take you into custody; you are processed by the police and have to go to a court room for a trial
to take a stance on an issue - to take a position on an issue, to argue for or against some issue
a civil rights activist - someone who works to make sure that people have all the rights that are supposed to be guaranteed to them by the government
a stance - an attitude, a position, a belief
fare beaters - people who don't pay their fares
NYPD - New York police department
the jurisdiction - the power
to issue a summons - this means that instead of the police arresting someone they give the person a ticket and the person has to appear for a hearing in a non-criminal court
to implement something - to do something, to bring something about
prosecuting people - arresting people and forcing them to go to court
to deter other crimes - to try to scare people from committing other crimes; if someone breaks a little law and you arrest him, it will deter (scare) other people from committing that same crime. 'Broken windows' refers to a university study which showed that if a parked car has a broken window which is not immediately fixed, criminals will break into the car and steal as much as they can (because they feel nobody really cares about the car). Basically the argument is that the police should arrest people for small crimes and this shows all criminals, small and large, that the city will not tolerate any type of crime. This will, according to the theory, reduce crime. Here's a video on the 'broken windows' policy: