The city of Baltimore is making a significant change in how it handles crime, potentially making the area even more dangerous than it already can be. Over the weekend, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said that the “war on drug users” is over and that her office is not going to prosecute crimes that she deems to be low-level, including drug possession and prostitution.
Extension of Temporary Policy
The absence of prosecution for these crimes has been in effect over the last year in an effort to reduce prison numbers in the Baltimore jails during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, Mosby’s recent declaration made this policy a permanent change for how the city deals with this type of crime.
Details of Policy Change
In her statement, Mosby said that the city was going to “leave behind” this policy of zero-tolerance policing. Mosby’s office will abandon its policy to prosecute for drug possession, trespassing, prostitution, open container violations, urinating and defecating in public areas, and various minor traffic offenses. It will no longer be the default choice to criminalize these violations.
Sign of Things to Come?
Is Baltimore’s decision a sign of things to come for other major cities in the US? As more local governments look to defund police forces, it will only make sense that the arm of the law will not reach as far.
Baltimore is following the lead of cities such as San Francisco when it comes to stopping the prosecution of people for public urination. That did not end well for San Francisco, and it is likely to have the same effect in Baltimore.