(CNN) — Baltimore Metropolis State’s Lawyer Marilyn Mosby says the town will not prosecute for prostitution, drug possession and different low-level offenses.
Mosby made the announcement on Friday following her workplace’s one-year experiment in not prosecuting minor offenses to lower the unfold of Covid-19 behind bars.
“Right now, America’s struggle on drug customers is over within the metropolis of Baltimore. We depart behind the period of tough-on-crime prosecution and 0 tolerance policing and not default to the established order to criminalize principally individuals of coloration for habit, stated Mosby in an official press release.
The experiment, often called The Covid Felony Justice Insurance policies, is an strategy to crime developed with public well being authorities. As a substitute of prosecuting individuals arrested for minor crimes like prostitution and public urination, this system handled these crimes as public well being points and work with neighborhood companions to assist discover options.
This system has led to decreases within the general incarcerated Baltimore inhabitants by 18%, whereas violent and property crimes are down 20% and 36% respectively, in keeping with the press launch.
Mosby stated her workplace will not prosecute the next offenses: drug and drug paraphernalia possession, prostitution, trespassing, minor visitors offense, open container violations, and urinating and defecating in public.
“When the courts open subsequent month, I would like my prosecutors working with the police and targeted on violent offenses, like armed theft, carjacking circumstances and drug distribution organizations which might be the underbelly of the violence in Baltimore, not utilizing precious jury trial time on people who undergo from habit,” Mosby stated.
Her resolution was supported by Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore Metropolis Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. However Republican state Sen. Robert Cassilly instructed CNN affiliate WBFF that whereas he helps prosecutorial judgment, Mosby’s resolution is nearer to creating the regulation relatively than implementing it.
“Prosecutors take an oath to uphold the structure within the state of Maryland and the structure says the overall meeting units the coverage, not the prosecutors,” Cassilly instructed the station. “I respect the entire prosecutorial discretion. That is not prosecutorial discretion, that is an train in legislating. That is what the legislature is meant to do.”
Mosby stated the state’s lawyer’s workplace can be working with the Baltimore Police Division and Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. (BCRI), a disaster heart coping with psychological well being and substance abuse concern, to supply providers as an alternative of arresting people committing these lesser offenses.
“Quite than arrest and prosecution, BCRI will join people with providers in areas similar to psychological well being, housing, and substance use,” in keeping with the press launch.
Mosby’s workplace, together with Baltimore police and BCRI, will work to help intercourse staff by partnering with native organizations like SPARC, a middle for girls in southwest Baltimore, Baltimore Safe Haven and the Baltimore branch of the Sex Workers Outreach Project.