Over the unprecedented past year, New York City and our nation have experienced immense suffering and trauma due to a series of crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism in our society, and an alarming rise in gun violence in our metropolitan cities. These crises have brought into sharp relief our society’s inequalities, particularly in our justice system, and the role we, as prosecutors, must play to bring about much-needed change.
Test Every Kit: Results from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Grant Program
The jurisdictions funded under the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Grant Program have seen tremendous results. Over the duration of the program, 32 jurisdictions across 20 states sent over 55,000 backlogged kits for testing.
In 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office joined with the Governor’s Office to expand college in prison programming across the State using asset forfeiture dollars, and subsequently launched a five-year College in Prison Reentry Initiative, providing $7.3 million for post-secondary education in DOCCS facilities and a blueprint for a cohesive statewide college in prison strategy. Funding from my office will end in July of 2022 and my office does not have the resources to provide an extension.
Effective February 1, 2018, our office no longer prosecutes the overwhelming majority of subway theft of services cases. The office released statistics pertaining to the first 18 months of the policy.
Effective August 1, 2018 our office no longer prosecutes most marijuana smoking and low-level marijuana possession. The office released statistics pertaining to the first year of the policy.
A grand jury empaneled by D.A. Vance recommended extensive legislative and policy fixes to address the epidemic of vehicular violence that has killed 28 of our Manhattan neighbors year-to-date, and injured thousands more. The report led the D.A.’s Office to craft the Vehicular Violence Accountability Act.