Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. is the 37th District Attorney elected in Manhattan. A son of Harlem who has served as both a state and federal prosecutor, Alvin has spent more than two decades fighting to make our communities safer and our criminal justice system fairer. He is the first Black Manhattan DA in the history of the office.
Alvin restructured the Manhattan DA’s Office to focus more resources on prosecuting serious violent crimes, meeting the needs of survivors, reducing recidivism by addressing the underlying causes of criminal behavior, protecting everyday New Yorkers from abuses by the powerful, and correcting past injustices by vacating wrongful convictions. Alvin also directly oversees a unit to root out police misconduct.
Under his leadership so far, the office has increased gun prosecutions, focused on gun traffickers and ghost gun manufacturers, and charged and secured convictions for numerous armed robberies, shootings, and homicides. At the same time, the office invested in community-based gun violence prevention programs and services to address the trauma suffered by victims and witnesses to gun violence.
Alvin created a new Special Victims Division, which includes the Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, Human Trafficking, Child Abuse, and Elder Abuse Units. The Division is staffed with specially trained prosecutors, investigators, analysts, and social workers who are dedicated to handling these extremely sensitive cases in a trauma informed and survivor centered manner.
In line with his deep commitment to centering the well-being of survivors, Alvin has elevated the work of the Witness Aid Services Unit by giving the office’s counselors and social workers additional resources to meet a wide range of needs for survivors, witnesses, and victims’ family members.
Alvin also expanded the Hate Crimes Unit with additional prosecutors, investigators, analysts, victim services staff and community partnership coordinators. The Unit is taking on a record number of complex cases and conducting intensive outreach to build community trust and encourage reporting of hate crimes.
Recognizing that criminal behavior is often driven by underlying needs that will not be met exclusively by incarceration, Alvin created the Pathways to Public Safety Division. Pathways ADAs screen and assess every case as early as possible for potential diversion into evidence-based programming, including mental health and substance use treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, education, and job training, with the goal of reducing recidivism and making Manhattan safer. Each case is assessed individually. If diversion is appropriate, services are individually tailored to address the person’s needs and safely reintegrate them into the community.
As a long-time white-collar prosecutor, Alvin believes in holding powerful people accountable for harming everyday New Yorkers. He secured a 6-count indictment against Stephen K. Bannon and WeBuildTheWall, Inc., a Florida-based not-for-profit corporation, on charges including money laundering, conspiracy, and scheme to defraud in connection with a year-long fundraising scheme that netted more than $15 million from thousands of donors across the country based on false promises. He also secured the conviction of Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg on 15 felony counts in connection with a long-running tax evasion scheme. He launched a dedicated Housing and Tenant Protection Unit to investigate and prosecute landlords and developers who engage in systemic fraud and tenant harassment. And he is committed to prosecute employers who steal wages and endanger workers.
Alvin also believes that police and prosecutors must be held to the highest standards in order to strengthen community trust in our justice system. He created a revamped Post-Conviction Justice Unit to reinvestigate closed cases where there are credible claims of innocence or unjust conviction. He also created a stand-alone Police Accountability Unit to investigate, and if warranted, prosecute officers who engage in criminal conduct in their policing capacity. Both units are insulated from the rest of the office and report directly to the DA.
Prior to his election as DA, Alvin served as an Assistant Attorney General at the New York State Attorney General’s Office and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In these roles, Alvin handled a wide array of criminal cases, including armed robbery, assault, gun possession, witness tampering, narcotics and gun trafficking, wage and hour violations, public corruption, money laundering, and antitrust violations.
He ended his service in the State AG’s Office as the Chief Deputy Attorney General, overseeing more than 1,500 people, a budget of $225 million, and the office’s criminal and civil investigations and litigation, including health care fraud, public corruption, narcotics trafficking, wage-and-hour investigations, tenant harassment, and securities fraud. Alvin also directly oversaw the Attorney General’s litigation against the Trump Foundation and served as the first Chief of a special unit that investigated deaths caused by police conduct.
After his government service and before being sworn in as District Attorney, Alvin was a Visiting Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Racial Justice Project at New York Law School. In that role, he represented Eric Garner’s mother and sister in a lawsuit against the City of New York seeking details concerning Mr. Garner’s death.
Alvin earned his A.B. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, clerked for Hon. Robert P. Patterson, Jr. in the Southern District of New York. Alvin is a former member of the Board of Directors of the New York Urban League and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and a Sunday School teacher at his church.