The United States has problems with its criminal justice system -- particularly when it comes to disadvantages faced by the poor once they're charged with a crime. The inability to make bail or afford private attorneys has created two classes of prisoners: The "haves" and the "have-nots."
That's not how our nation's criminal justice system is supposed to work. The problems have contributed to the rising prison population and the growing distrust of police officers among the general public.
Well, some prosecutors have grown weary of waiting for elected officials to address the issue. They're taking things into their own hands and using the power of their offices to change the system from the inside.
Not everybody is happy about it. The prosecutors are taking steps like:
- Advocating bail reform, including the end of cash bail in most cases
- Increasing the use of diversion programs over jail for addicts who need treatment -- not prison
- Sharply curbing the enforcement of some drug-related crimes (like minor charges for possession of marijuana)
- Attempting to hold the police accountable for abuses of power -- instead of looking the other way whenever it benefits them in a case
These "social justice reformers" (which was intended to be slur from Attorney General William Barr when he was speaking to a police group) are accused of undercutting the police and endangering the public by being too soft on crime.
Even if they aren't making advocates of harsh criminal sentencing and some police groups happy with their progressive policies, these types of prosecutors may be necessary if the criminal justice system is going to find a balance and the mass incarceration of poor people on low-level offenses is going to end.
If you've been charged with a crime, take the right first steps to secure your freedom and future. Get in touch with an experienced defense attorney promptly.