By Mary Gordon & Eric Rodriguez
LOS ANGELES, CA – Executive Director of Fair and Justice Prosecution Miriam Krinsky this week issued a statement in response to the FBI’s “Crime in the United States” annual report of 2020, noting it is important “to work together and embrace and learn from evidence-based strategies that promote public safety” to continue to decrease crime rates throughout our nation.
Fair and Justice Prosecution (FJP) is an organization of prosecutors committed to promoting a justice system grounded in fairness, equity, compassion and fiscal responsibility. FJP utilizes the individuals at the forefront of the U.S. criminal justice system to encourage better methods for community safety and crime reduction.
FJP, disputes “tough on crime” prosecution, which has proven to lack an increase on community safety and minimal long-term effects on life improvement, and enabled prosecutors to re-evaluate outdated practices, connect with local leaders, provide more accessible research opportunities, and resources needed to facilitate prosecution reform.
One reform in particular that FJP is working on is developing anti-violence strategies in high crime rate communities.
The FBI crime statistics for 2020 show that, “violent crime was up 5.6 percent from the 2019 number. Property crimes dropped 7.8 percent, marking the 18th consecutive year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.”
While the overall property crime rate dropped, the report indicated that vehicle thefts rose 11.8 percent. In addition, there was an increase in certain violent crimes due to police brutality protests and surges of gun purchases in the U.S.
FJP discourages the use of fear-based policing in law enforcement because not only is it ineffective in stopping crime, but it also impedes public safety and trust in elected officials.
FJP’s strategy to combat the increase in violent crimes is to, “Expand proven anti-violence strategies, including confronting our nation’s gun problem, engaging and supporting our young people, and reducing the financial stress experienced by so many in our communities.”
FJP acknowledged COVID pandemic created unforeseen challenges, ranging from job loss to unstable incomes and its effect on personal relationships, to many Americans.
However, Director Krinsky acknowledged the impact that the pandemic has also had on law enforcement and its relationship with the community at large due to the “rise in police violence.”
Director Krinsky also mentioned that the increase in crime rates is not a result of “criminal justice reforms that voters are increasingly embracing [or] the calls for police reform that reverberated across the country in 2020.”
Director Krinsky is urging investment in communities most affected by the surge of violence and the pandemic by expanding proven anti-violence strategies, including improving the physical environment, strengthening anti-violence social norms and peer relationships, engaging and supporting the youth, reducing substance abuse, mitigating financial stress, reducing the harmful effects of the justice process and confronting gun issues.