This will get dangerous.
Appearing at the National Action Network Rally in New York on Saturday, Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney, revealed his plans to decrease incarceration by reducing prison sentences and arresting fewer offenders.
In his speech, Bragg, who appeared alongside Reverend Al Sharpton, stated that the District Attorney’s office had created a plan to “marry fairness and safety” and was now carrying out these promises. He added that although there was a civil right “to walk safely to our corner store,” it should be based on fairness rather than incarceration.
Lower incarceration and shorter prison sentences are critical features of the new District Attorney’s political campaign.
Claiming that his position had been misunderstood, Bragg thanked Reverend Sharpton for inviting him to speak at the National Action Network Rally, adding that the city needed “investment in our neighborhoods” and needed to address “significant safety concerns.”
However, the new District Attorney has made his position clear, in the same vein as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, Bragg has announced he won’t be seeking jail time for certain offenses.
In his first week in office, a memo from Bragg noted that “diversion and alternatives to incarceration” were necessary, pointing to intervention programs rather than jail for certain criminals.
Despite these initiatives, Bragg recognized that violent crime in the city was rapidly increasing, highlighting gun crime, domestic violence, and sexual assault before saying that the city needed “a change to address that.”
He continued, saying that part of the solution would be to invest in communities and “partner with traditional public safety methods” before adding that “racial disparity” is rife in the system and that poverty was being criminalized.
Because of this, he expressed confusion at the resistance, saying it was “common sense” that his plans would make communities safer. Then, to give credence to his experience with crime, Bragg revealed that he had been threatened with a gun and had to walk through a “crime scene with 20 shell casing on the ground” accompanied by his two children.
Murders and crimes that involve someone’s death are exempt from Bragg’s ideas. However, armed robbery has been reduced to a misdemeanor. Resisting arrest, sex work, trespassing, and subway and bus fare-dodging would largely not be prosecuted, whereas charges related to robbery and drug dealing would also be reduced.
The most shocking announcement Bragg made in the Sunday speech is vowing to limit sentences to 20 years, which would include murder convictions.