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PRIORITIES

100 DAYS POLICY

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100 Days Policy

Upon my election, I will institute a 100-day pause in the prosecutions of new misdemeanor charges – unless they are serious threats to public safety or time-sensitive – while I review the office’s policies related to misdemeanors to determine how we can implement and improve diversion programs that connect individuals with the help they need. This approach will keep our community safer.

This pause will not affect public safety.

  • My office will continue to file charges and prosecute serious, violent or time-sensitive crimes – for example, domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as other crimes that pose a clear threat to public safety or the safety of the victim.

  • This pause will not affect whether or not the crimes that take place during this period are prosecuted after the 100 days is up.

    • ​The statute of limitations for filing charges for misdemeanors is at a minimum a year, and often longer. After 100 days, my office can still file charges for any misdemeanor that took place if we choose to.

    • I am not granting anyone a free pass. I am a firm believer in the importance of accountability.  

 

The purpose of implementing a 100 day pause is to thoroughly review and assess the office’s current policies, as anyone taking over an office as complex as the City Attorney’s office should do.

  • I want to analyze the office’s prosecutorial policies, as well as its existing diversion programs, to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t based on data and facts. 

  • Then, I can make a decision – guided by the data and input from community and legal leaders – about whether there are charges that my office will decline to prosecute going forward, or not.

Importantly, this 100 day period will allow me to convene a group of stakeholders – including the police, deputy city attorneys, public defenders and victims advocates – so that we can work together to craft my office’s policies. I will give everyone a voice in the process.

Read more about prosecutorial discretion and my policy in this LA Times editorial.

 

Additional 100 Day Policy Information 

The City Attorney only has jurisdiction over misdemeanors. The City Attorney does not prosecute felonies. While there are misdemeanors that involve violence, the majority of misdemeanor charges filed by the City Attorney are nonviolent.

Moreover, most individuals charged with misdemeanors in the City of Los Angeles are released on their own recognizance.

  • Common misdemeanor charges include: open container, public intoxication, illegal possession of a shopping cart, driving with a suspended license, loitering, disorderly conduct, being present in a park after hours, street vending without a license and minor in possession

 

I will continue to file charges for violent crimes during the first 100 days. But it’s important for the public to understand that violent misdemeanors are the exception, not the rule.

Now, this does not mean that all misdemeanors are minor crimes – nor that they are victimless crimes.

  • There are misdemeanors that involve violence. And “minor” crimes, such as petty theft, have an impact on victims, small business owners and others.

  • Domestic violence of any kind has a serious impact and unless there are extenuating circumstances, my office will prosecute domestic battery and related misdemeanors during the 100 day review period.

I understand and empathize with victims of both violent and nonviolent crimes. And I’m not advocating for letting those who break the law off the hook. I believe that we’re responsible for our actions and that there should be consequences for actions that harm others.

  • But I believe that the consequences should be commensurate with the offense. Once you have a criminal conviction on your record – even if it’s just for a nonviolent misdemeanor – it’s more difficult to find a job, get housing and access other benefits. If I’m elected, I will reorient the office to prioritize diversion over prosecution.

  • Should a person spend time in jail for a misdemeanor shoplifting charge? I don’t think so. That’s not because I think shoplifting is acceptable behavior or that there shouldn’t be consequences. But I do think that the better course of action – for the victim and the offender – is for the offender to be directed into a diversion program on the condition that they repay the victim.

I believe that the goal should be rehabilitation and reform – not punishment for its own sake. I want to live in a Los Angeles where there is both less crime and less people in prison. One of the central reasons I support reforming our criminal justice system is because it makes our communities safer. I firmly believe that it’s possible to make our system fairer and reduce crime at the same time. We don’t have to choose.