There’s one person in the system who can do a lot to end mass incarceration tomorrow if they want to — it’s the prosecutor.
District Attorneys and the prosecutors they oversee are enormously powerful in the US criminal justice system, in large part because they are given so much discretion to prosecute however they see fit. They effectively decide who goes to prison and who doesn’t, and how long someone will go to prison for — by unilaterally choosing what charges to bring against anyone. If we’re ever going to genuinely transform our nation’s criminal justice system, then we have to overhaul prosecutorial practices.
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