Baltimore will no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, low-level crimes

Baltimore will no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, low-level crimes
Marilyn Mosby (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – Marilyn Mosby still hearing their ‘calls for no justice, no peace.’]

A year ago, as the coronavirus began to spread across Maryland, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby stopped prosecuting drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic violations and other low-level offenses, a move aimed at curbing Covid-19’s spread behind bars.

That shift — repeated by prosecutors in many other cities — didn’t just reduce jail populations. In Baltimore, nearly all categories of crime have since declined, confirming to Mosby what she and criminal justice experts have argued for years: Crackdowns on quality-of-life crimes are not necessary for stopping more serious crime.

On Friday, Mosby announced that she was making her pandemic experiment permanent, saying Baltimore — for decades notorious for runaway violence and rough policing — had become a case study in criminal justice reform.

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In the 12 months since she ordered scaled-back enforcement, violent crime is down 20 percent and property crime has declined 36 percent, she said.

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