Manhattan DA announces order to not incarcerate people for some felonies

Local News

Alvin Bragg, a former top deputy to New York’s attorney general, stands with his wife, Jamila Bragg, at an election night gathering as he speaks to supporters in New York, late Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK — New Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg made sweeping changes to his department Monday, announcing new policies and principles in a “Day One” memo.

One policy outlined crimes that the DA’s office would “not seek a carceral sentence” for cases other than homicides and other serious felonies. Serious felonies like domestic violence, some sex crimes, public corruption, and major economic crimes would still have jail-time as a possible sentence.

According to the memo, exceptions could be made “only in extraordinary circumstances based on a holistic analysis of the facts.”

“ADAs shall also consider the impacts of incarceration on public safety, the impacts of incarceration on
communities, the financial cost of incarceration, the racially disparate use of incarceration, and the barriers to housing, employment and education created as a consequence on a period of incarceration,” the memo read.

Bragg also announced his decision not to prosecute certain crimes — including marijuana misdemeanors, fare evasion, resisting arrest and prostitution — unless they are a part of a larger complaint including at least one felony count.

Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo called the plan “pro-crime.”

“[The plan] will result in … more crime and increased shootings,” he said in a statement.

The union leader said the policies called for by Bragg make it “impossible to prosecute crimes” in the city.

“In Bragg’s Manhattan, you can resist arrest, deal drugs, obstruct arrests and even carry a gun and get away with it,” DiGiacomo said.

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