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May 26, 2021

AG Garland announces new(?) federal effort to reduce violent crime

This new press release and this new detailed guidance from the Deputy AG sets forth the particulars of "a new Department of Justice effort to help protect our communities from the recent increase in major violent crimes."  I am not really sure there is actually much that is really new here, but the focus and framing (and future follow up) is interesting to see coming from our new Attorney General as the US continues to experience an uptick in homicides and gun assaults.  Here is part of the press release:

The strategy announced today is three-pronged. First, it establishes a set of four fundamental principles to be applied Department-wide to guide violent crime reduction:

  1. Build trust and earn legitimacy. Meaningful law enforcement engagement with, and accountability to, the community are essential underpinnings of any effective strategy to address violent crime, as well as important ends in themselves. Accordingly, building trust and earning legitimacy within our communities is the foundation on which the strategy is built. 
  2. Invest in prevention and intervention programs. Violent crime is not a problem that can be solved by law enforcement alone. Accordingly, the Department must invest in community-based violence prevention and intervention programs that work to keep violence from happening before it occurs.
  3. Target enforcement efforts and priorities. The Department is most effective when it focuses its limited enforcement resources on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the most significant drivers of gun violence and other violent crime.
  4. Measure results. Because the fundamental goal of this work is to reduce the level of violence in our communities, not to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions as if they were ends in themselves—we must measure the results of our efforts on these grounds.

I did not see anything in these materials concerning sentencing policies or practices, though all federal prosecutorial priorities and plans necessarily ripple into sentencing advocacy and outcomes in some way. 

May 26, 2021 at 08:59 PM | Permalink


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