Ivan Bates Takes Over Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office With Tough-On-Crime Platform

Ivan Bates addresses seniors and older adults in Baltimore City. Screenshot via @ivanjbates on Instagram.

What’s happening?

Ivan Bates was sworn in to the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office on Tuesday, Dylan Segelbaum reports for the Baltimore Banner. During his campaign, Bates vowed to overturn policies enacted by his predecessor, two-term incumbent Marilyn Mosby, in favor of a more aggressive approach to prosecuting non-violent, low-level crimes.

What changes does Bates plan to make? 

Bates campaigned on a tough-on-crime platform. His top priorities include reversing Mosby’s non-prosecution policy of low-level crimes—such as drug possession, trespassing, and prostitution, among other offenses—and pushing for jail time for people caught with illegal guns. 

But criminal justice experts have warned that increased incarceration efforts could have more consequences for the city’s vulnerable residents. 

“We have to have humility about the limits of the criminal justice system in addressing these public safety challenges,” Heather Warnken, the executive director of the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform, told The Daily Record. “Taking such a hard line about, for example, gun possession equals jail, fails to take into consideration the very real reasons why people feel vulnerable and possess guns in the first place.”

Anything else I should know?

Bates also plans to conduct a cost and efficiency review of programs offered by the state’s attorney’s office and potentially close some. At the start of this year, his office already announced its intention to end AIM to B’More, a diversionary program for people charged with low-level, drug-related felonies. 

You can read more here.

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