Baltimore will no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing, and other low-level crimes, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.
The decision to stop prosecuting certain crimes last year was implemented to keep people out of jail during the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a decrease in arrests and crimes—so the city decided to make the decision permanent.
“Today, America’s war on drug users is over in the city of Baltimore,” Mosby said in a statement. “We leave behind the era of tough-on-crime prosecution and zero-tolerance policing and no longer default to the status quo to criminalize mostly people of color for addiction.”
“Clearly prosecuting low-level offenses with no public safety value is counterproductive to the limited law enforcement resources we have,” Mosby added.
Mosby’s Office said it had dismissed 1,423 cases in the last year, bringing crime down by 20% from March 13, 2020, to March 13, 2021, and property crime down to 36% over that same period.
The incarcerated population in the city went down by 18% during the pandemic—and there has been a 39% decrease in people entering the criminal justice system compared to the same time last year.