Manhattan District Attorney Announces 20-Year Cap on Prison Sentences, Prison Only for Serious Crimes

By Mei Perez

MANHATTAN, NY- Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg started 2022 by announcing significant criminal just reform changes to the DA’s office by asking his prosecutors to no longer press for prison sentences of more than 20 years, other than cases with “exceptional circumstances.”

In addition to putting a cap on prison sentences, Bragg urged his prosecutors to only pursue prison sentences for serious crimes. These new policies are aimed to reduce the substantial U.S. prison population, which has been a topic of contention for many years.

The Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group that promotes criminal justice policies that minimize the incarceration of minors and adults, applauded Bragg for his reformation policies.

The project’s executive director, Amy Fetigg, stated “Alvin Bragg’s science-based policies will make communities more resilient and humane. We hope leaders across the country will follow his example.”

Fettig also claimed The Sentencing Project has been recommending a 20-year cap on prison sentences based on research that has shown life sentences do little to mitigate crime.

Instead of spending “inordinate sums of money” on incarceration, she argued, funding should go towards other program areas such as education and rehabilitation that foster “healthier and safer communities.”

About The Author

Mairead Perez is a third year at UC Santa Barbara studying English and Biology. She hopes to attend law school after finishing her undergraduate degrees.

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