By Alexander Ramirez
BALTIMORE, MD – In response to the COVID-19 outbreak that also persists at this time, the town of Baltimore has since carried out new insurance policies in response to the wants and risks that the pandemic has launched into the jail system.
State’s Lawyer Marilyn Mosby has been in a position to affirm the success of those now one 12 months outdated insurance policies, together with lowering arrests with out an impact on the crime charge. The insurance policies additionally handle the systemic inequity of mass incarceration, she claims.
“In the present day, America’s battle on drug customers is over within the metropolis of Baltimore. We go away behind the period of tough-on-crime prosecution and nil tolerance policing and not default to the established order to criminalize largely folks of coloration for dependancy. We are going to develop sustainable options and permit our public well being companions to do their half to handle psychological well being and substance use dysfunction,” Mosby mentioned.
These insurance policies have been created in collaboration with the Mayor’s Workplace on Neighborhood Security and Engagement and companions from Baltimore Disaster Response Inc., John Hopkins College, the Nationwide Affiliation for the Development of Coloured Individuals, and different stakeholders.
Public well being consultants have been additionally consulted when it got here to stopping the prosecution of drug possession, tried distribution of medication, paraphernalia possession, prostitution, trespassing, minor visitors offenses, open containers, rogue and vagabond, and urinating or defecating in public.
Statistics embody 1,423 pending circumstances have been dismissed, 1,415 warrants have been quashed, and a couple of,000 folks have been launched early due to govt orders by Gov. Hogan. Of the practically 1,500 people with quashed warrants, solely 5 have been arrested for another crime in the course of the eight months following the coverage change.
Due to these insurance policies, the incarcerated inhabitants in Baltimore Metropolis is down 18 p.c, there was a 39 p.c lower in folks getting into the legal justice system, violent crime is down by 20 p.c since final March, and property crime is down 36 p.c since final March.
Apart from pursuing these offenses that solely breed distrust of the legal system, the State Lawyer’s Workplace has concluded that pursuing these offenses is counterproductive given the restricted sources out there.
“Clearly prosecuting low-level offenses with no public security worth is counterproductive to the restricted regulation enforcement sources we’ve got. When the courts open subsequent month, I would like my prosecutors working with the police and centered on violent offenses, like armed theft, carjacking circumstances and drug distribution organizations which can be the underbelly of the violence in Baltimore, not utilizing precious jury trial time on people who endure from dependancy,” mentioned Mosby.
Apart from making these insurance policies everlasting, the SAO has additionally begun to collaborate with the Baltimore Disaster Response Inc. to not solely scale back contact with regulation enforcement on the subject of these offenses, but in addition to supply options to arrest within the type of providers in areas like psychological well being, housing, and substance abuse.
“The idea is to supply a behavioral well being somewhat than a legal simply response. We now have recognized for a while that this may be an efficient strategy to handle the underlying causes of this conduct. Therapy works,” mentioned Govt Director of BCRI, Edgar Ok. Wiggins.
Alexander Ramirez is a third-year Political Science main on the College of California, Davis. He hopes to hone his writing expertise in preparation for the inevitable time of commencement.
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