by Luke Gentile, Social Media Producer | January 04, 2022 03:18 PM
The new district attorney of Manhattan is under fire for ordering prosecutors to stop pursuing prison time for a significant number of criminal cases.
Alvin Bragg’s office will “not seek a carceral sentence” except in cases of homicide, domestic violence felonies, corruption, and some sex crimes, according to a Monday memo Bragg sent to staff.
“This rule may be excepted only in extraordinary circumstances based on a holistic analysis of the facts, criminal history, victim’s input (particularly in cases of violence or trauma), and any other information available,” the memo read.
The “impacts of incarceration” must be considered by prosecutors, Bragg, a Democrat, instructed.
These effects include barriers to employment and housing, cost and race disparities, and an impact on public safety, he said.
“Data, and my personal experiences, show that reserving incarceration for matters involving significant harm will make us safer,” according to the memo.
When assistant district attorneys do seek prison sentences, they may only request a determinate sentence up to 20 years, the memo noted.
This would make it so that these sentences cannot be reviewed or altered by parole boards, according to a report.
“The Office shall not seek a sentence of life without parole,” the memo read.
Bragg, 48, took office on Jan. 1 and had previously made clear his intention to lower the number of individuals incarcerated before their trials.
“Particularly given the ongoing crisis at Rikers, we must reserve pretrial detention for very serious cases,” he said.