LAPD to stop charging criminals for many offenses

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Law enforcement and the incarceration of known criminals is such a 20th-century concept, right? That seems to be the message once again coming out of Los Angeles now that ultra-liberal George Gascon is in charge of the county District Attorney’s office. The latest announcement coming from the LAPD is that more suspects who are arrested for a variety of non-violent crimes, including some felonies, will not be taken to court, prosecuted, or put in jail. Instead, they will be “diverted” to community support programs and social services. Rather than incarceration, the suspects will be provided with “care and treatment” without facing the stigma of being treated like a criminal. And just as a reminder, this new policy is being put in place at the same time that the city is facing a historic surge in crimes of all types. (Daily Wire)

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) will begin to implement a plan to divert some adults arrested for select misdemeanors and non-violent felonies “to community support programs in lieu of filing criminal charges, prosecution, and transportation to jail facilities.”

LAPD described the endeavor as a “great opportunity” to develop strategies “which may reduce recidivism and enhance public safety.” Launched in cooperation with L.A. County’s newly formed Alternatives to Incarceration Office (ATI), the initiative intends to “advance the County’s vision to provide care and treatment instead of jail whenever possible,” LAPD said.

The offices of L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón and of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer are also part of the endeavor, formally known as the Alternatives to Incarceration Pre-Filing Diversion Program.

You can read the official announcement from the LAPD at this link. This whole idea was cooked up by the county’s new Alternatives to Incarceration Office (ATI). It’s part of the Democrats’ “police reform” efforts, which all basically amount to little more than defunding (if not abolishing) the police and doing less police work.

Fortunately, this new non-incarceration policy won’t apply to everyone. The announcement is rather vague in which offense will be eligible for “diversion,” only saying the would include “select misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.” But when you include non-violent felonies, that covers a lot of territory so we could potentially be talking about many, many crimes.

Amazingly, the announcement also describes this program as a great opportunity to reduce recidivism. Apparently, they learned nothing from the lesson of San Francisco. After they began eliminating bail for most offenses and immediately putting suspects out on the streets, more than half of them were arrested for another crime before their trial date came around for the original arrest.

Several years ago, California decriminalized shoplifting and the theft of property worth less than $950. The result was that smash-and-grab shoplifting sprees skyrocketed. Stores are closing all across the state because theft is so rampant that they can’t turn a profit or find anyone willing to insure them. That’s what these people simply don’t seem to grasp. When you decriminalize bad behavior, there will always be an ample supply of people who take that as governmental permission to engage in that behavior. And then they will do those things with abandon.

We’ll keep an eye on the crime blotters for LA County going forward. I think we all know where this is headed and, honestly, it’s hard to have any sympathy for the people who keep electing these fools to office.