For Immediate Release
October 18, 2017
APA President David LaBahn Joins National Law Enforcement Partners for National Law Enforcement Summit on Crime
Washington, DC- Today, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) joined police chiefs, sheriffs, attorneys general, and fellow prosecutors from across the country for the National Law Enforcement Summit on Crime. This unique summit marks the first time that the national law enforcement community has come together to discuss a coordinated response to recent crime trends.
During the summit, APA President and CEO David LaBahn participated in a panel discussion on prosecuting crimes without increasing incarceration. The panel was moderated by Mark Holden, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Koch Industries, and included New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman, and President of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys Hal Hardin.
Here are Mr. LaBahn’ s full remarks:
Being on this panel with DA Vance and County Attorney Freeman allows me to address more of the 30,000 foot view of policies, while they run incredible offices and have the local perspectives. APA’s mission is to support and enhance the effectiveness of prosecutors in their efforts to create safer communities, ensure justice and uphold public safety. APA
policies demonstrating support for evidence-based sentencing and prosecutorial practices that prevent crime, ensure equal justice, and ultimately make communities safer.
I want to briefly highlight our key principles:
First, Criminal sentences should be proportionate to the seriousness of the crime committed and incarceration should be limited to cases where its use improves public safety.
Second, Diversion programs are only sustainable if community resources exist to treat, rehabilitate and address the needs of individuals who commit offenses.
Third, there must be optimal selection of individuals into diversion programs requires leveraging a data-driven scientific approach to ensure maximum reductions in the rate of recidivism.
And finally, Regardless of whether an individual is ultimately incarcerated or diverted, the top priority of sentencing should be rehabilitation and re-integration, and individuals should face minimum collateral consequences upon re-entering society.
By utilizing a community-based problem-solving frame-work, key partners can work collaboratively in creating and implementing strategies for safer communities.
While on this topic, APA was pleased to be a part of putting together the Law Enforcement Leader’s policy for the new administration. In combining our efforts with those of other Law Enforcement Leaders, we prioritized 5 policies that the Administration should support in
advancing community safety and I believe these continue to be relevant past the first 100 days.
First, it is necessary to prioritize resources to combat violent crime. In an over-burdened system, low-level offenses must be diverted away from the criminal justice system so that resources can be concentrated on violent criminals. By focusing our priorities and resources on the most dangerous threats to our communities will make our nation safer
Second, we support reducing unnecessary incarceration. As prosecutors, we recognize the importance of treatment, alternative programs, and seek to reduce recidivism by safely diverting individuals from arrest and jail booking into community-based programs.
Alternatives should be available for anyone who does not pose a public safety threat.
This is especially true for those who suffer from substance abuse, mental health issues, or a dual diagnosis, who often become entangled in the criminal justice system. Community-based treatment programs and other supports are the most appropriate method for addressing
their needs, while community supervision also may be necessary in certain circumstances. Preferably, justice, health, and community resources should be allocated to intensive and comprehensive services that demonstrate the greatest capacity to reduce recidivism, protect
public order and safety, and promote public health, while also mitigating the need for costly justice supervision.
To ensure success, prosecutors’ offices should operate collaboratively with all other criminal justice and community partners. Through joining forces with other community agencies, there can be better integration of services, as well resources. Consequently, all members of the
community will have a greater stake in the outcome, and will be able to provide a meaningful contribution to the overall goal of improved community safety.
Finally, investments in reentry are critical to preserve and expand recidivism reduction. The reentry process should begin at intake, and services should be frontloaded upon release. Expanding reentry services will help decrease the overall rate of recidivism. In turn, this
will reduce crime while decreasing the number of incarcerated individuals while reducing the number of crime victims and saving taxpayer dollars.
In closing, thank you for involving the prosecutorial profession in your
efforts to both reduce incarceration as well as provide for safer communities. We stand with you and look forward to continued collaboration to make our nation safer.
Tasha Jamerson / Director of Media and External Relations / Office: 202-861-2485/Cell: 202-807-9562