BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Local prosecutors say a pandemic-driven policy change is linked to a drop in Baltimore City crime.
Now, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby says her office will no longer prosecute low-level drug and sex crimes.READ MORE: 4-Week-Old Husky Puppies In Critical Condition After They Were Rescued In Baltimore
“Our default position of locking up individuals for these low-level offenses, which should be a behavioral health issue, has nothing to do with public safety and we are no longer doing that in the City of Baltimore,” Mosby said.
A Johns Hopkins study done in the last year shows a decrease in crime following these new practices. There has been an 80%t drop in drug arrests.
“Overall incarceration population in Baltimore City is down 20%,” Mosby said. “There has been a 39% reduction in people entering the criminal justice system compared to this time last year.”
On Wednesday, Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison weighed in on the issue.READ MORE: 2 Charged In Shooting Of 26-Year-Old Woman In Windsor Mill
The commissioner made it very clear: if you deal drugs, you will pay the price.
“The department is aggressively going after traffickers and distributors of illegal drugs,” Harrison said. “And we make those arrests, and those arrests are being prosecuted.”
Harrison says the department is focused on getting drugs off the street and locking up dealers and kingpins.
He says officers have been instructed to help addicts and those who are homeless get help so they don’t end up in jail.MORE NEWS: LIST: Bills Passed By Maryland General Assembly This Session
Some of the other crimes not being prosecuted include minor traffic offenses, prostitution and trespassing.