On the Right Side of History –
June 13, 2019 – “The vast majority of warrants that we’re spending our time on are low-level, public-health cases,” Assistant District Attorney David Angel said in an exclusive interview with this news organization. “What we’re trying to do is shift that back, so that the public-health cases are handled by the public-health system, and the public-safety cases that we’ll have left are handled by the criminal-justice system.”
The new policy, expected to be implemented by the end of the summer, adds Santa Clara County to a small number of jurisdictions across the country experimenting with treating minor drug possession as a public-health issue. Last year, Washington State’s King County, where Seattle is located, and nearby Snohomish County became the first in the country to stop filing charges for such crimes, with district attorney’s offices in those counties citing inadequate resources as a factor that helped drive the change. Texas prosecutors in the Dallas and San Antonio areas have instituted similar policies, and Philadelphia’s DA has expressed the intention to do so.