*Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby has announced that her office will no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing, and other low-level offenses.
The decision comes after the success of policies implemented last year to slow the spread of COVID in jails and prisons, per Equal Justice Initiative.
Here’s more from NBC News:
In the 12 months since she ordered scaled-back enforcement, violent crime is down 20 percent and property crime has declined 36 percent, she said. Homicides inched down, though Baltimore still has one of the highest homicide rates among cities nationwide. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found sharp reductions in calls to police complaining about drugs and prostitution, she said.
Per eji.com, “The number of people incarcerated in Baltimore City declined 18% during the same period, and 39% fewer people entered the criminal justice system compared to this time last year as prosecutors dismissed 1,423 pending cases and quashed 1,415 warrants for low-level offenses,” the outlet writes.
“America’s War on Drug Users is Over in the City of Baltimore.” https://t.co/wFO50fDuCw
— Marilyn J. Mosby (@MarilynMosbyEsq) March 26, 2021
Mosby said in an interview that data shows “there’s no public safety value in prosecuting these low-level offenses.”
“Today, America’s war on drug users is over in the city of Baltimore,” Mosby said in a statement. “We leave behind the era of tough-on-crime prosecution and zero tolerance policing and no longer default to the status quo to criminalize mostly people of color for addiction.”
The State’s Attorney’s office now aims to reduce contact with law enforcement for low-level offenses.
“It’s time to reimagine policing in this country. It hasn’t worked,” Mosby said. As a prosecutor, “our mission is justice over convictions. You have to understand the importance of rectifying the wrongs of the past.”
At a press conference on Friday, Mosby said “Our understanding is that the police are going to follow what they’ve been doing for the past year, which is not arresting people based on the offenses I mentioned.”