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Reversing the effects of mass incarcerations is an urgent moral, civil rights, and human rights issue.   

Throughout his career, Alvin has worked to address the effects of mass incarceration.  For example, he led the Attorney General’s review of stop-and-frisk practices, which showed that only .1% of stops resulted in a conviction for a gun offense.  He also led the Attorney General’s work to address the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline, investigating two school districts and requiring them to stop overly punitive and discriminatory, disciplinary practices and adopt restorative justice principles. 

As District Attorney, he will make incarceration the last resort and will work to reverse the effects of mass incarceration by: 

  • Making it the default to decline to prosecute low-level crimes for which there is no or little public safety benefit.  Dismissing such cases prior to arraignment or, where appropriate, diverting such cases and treating them as a civil matter for which community service, restitution, or community-based, no-cost programming is satisfactory. (e.g., trespassing, larceny under $250, minor driving offenses, disorderly conduct, fare evasion, drug possession, prostitution, and suspension of driver’s licenses due to nonpayment of fines and fees). 

  • Prioritizing treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders and harm-reduction strategies, such as providing access to naloxone and other life-saving interventions.

  • Abiding by the spirit and the letter of the new bail reform law.

  • Charging crimes that fit the facts and not bringing charges for the purpose of plea bargaining. 

  • Requiring that the low end of the sentencing range be the default, with supervisory approval required for any other sentence.

  • Not revoking probation or parole for technical violations or requiring community supervision where it is not needed.

  • Advocating for not imposing fines and fees that are far too often a part of the criminal justice system

  • Having restorative justice specialists work alongside prosecutors to resolve conflicts, hold accountable those who commit an offense, empower those harmed by the offense, and address the root problems of crime and conflict.

  • Changing human resources performance measures to ensure that Assistant District Attorneys are evaluated and promoted based on a wide array of factors, including community involvement and compliance with policies to reverse the effects of mass incarceration.

  • Creating a community advisory board and regularly seeking community input on the types of offenses that the community wants to be prioritized. 

  • Publishing charging, conviction, and sentencing data, along with racial and other demographic data, that will help the community provide meaningful input. 

  • Creating a conviction review unit, and an advisory board of lawyers outside of the office, that will conduct thorough re-investigations, publish annual reports about its work, and identify new policies based on “lessons learned” from its re-investigations.

  • Advocating to redirect the government funding freed up by prosecuting fewer cases to invest in schools, health care, and other social services, which will reduce crime.