Baltimore Decides to Quit Prosecuting Victimless Crimes

Baltimore Will Stop Prosecuting Low-Level Offenses Such As Drug Possession, Prostitution

ByAshe Schow•Mar 27, 2021•FacebookTwitterMail

Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announces that criminal charges will be filed against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray on May 1, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Baltimore will no longer prosecute low-level crimes such as drug possession, prostitution, or minor traffic violations following an experimental year of refusing to prosecute such crimes in order to keep COVID-19 from spreading among the prison population.

NBC News reported that the city stopped prosecuting low-level offenses when the coronavirus began to spread in an effort to reduce jail populations and keep the virus from spreading inside prisons. The move was copied by prosecutors in other cities as well, though Baltimore appears to be the only city that implemented this policy and saw crime rates drop.Candace Owens

“In Baltimore, nearly all categories of crime have since declined, confirming to [State’s Attorney Marilyn] 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.”

Mosby announced on Friday that she would be making permanent the decision to stop prosecuting low-level crimes, arguing that Baltimore had shown a potential path for criminal justice reform.

At her press conference, Mosby said that in the past 12 months, since police stopped prosecuting low-level offenses, violent crime dropped by 20% and property crime declined 36%. The homicide rate remained steady, though there were slightly fewer in 2020. Mosby also said researchers at Johns Hopkins University also found reductions in police calls regarding drugs and prostitution.

You may also like...