New Mayors Group to Reject ‘Tough-on-Crime’ Tactics

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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, one of the ten city mayor s who formed a new crime prevention group Photo by Kevin Close via Flickr

Ten mayors have joined with the Center for American Progress advocacy group to launch a new national initiative of city leaders committed to pursuing what they call “a fair, equitable, and comprehensive approach to public safety and criminal justice reform.”

Mayors for Smart on Crime brings together mayors from cities of varying sizes and from different regions to present a voice for Smart on Crime principles, and reject “tough on crime” approaches that the mayors say are “short-sighted, ineffective, and disproportionate in their effect on black and Latino communities.”

The mayors taking part are Bill de Blasio of New York City, Jenny Durkan of Seattle, Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, In., Michael Hancock of Denver, Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, Michael Tubbs of Stockton, Ca., Marty Walsh of Boston, Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge, Nan Whaley of Dayton, Oh., and Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, Al.

Freeman-Wilson said, “As a former attorney general, judge, and deputy prosecutor, I have seen the criminal justice problem from every angle. If we continue to use law enforcement centered solutions, we will get the same mixed results and we will continue to lose valuable human potential.”

Philadelphia’s Kenney said the group would be “standing up against the divisive Trump administration policies that threaten all the great progress we’ve made as cities and as a country.” Each quarter, mayors will focus on one of five areas: violence reduction and prevention, pre-trial and bail reform, accountable community policing, opportunities for the formerly incarcerated or those involved with the justice system, and public health solutions and investments.

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