Alvin Bragg, the new district attorney of Manhattan, New York, announced his office is downgrading charges for many felonies and will seek prison sentences for only a handful of crimes.

Bragg, a Democrat who was elected in November, outlined his policies in a “Day One Letter” sent to all staff on Monday, saying they were “effective immediately.”

“The Office will not prosecute the following charges, unless as part of an accusatory instrument containing at least one felony count,” the letter read.

The offenses that no longer will be prosecuted include marijuana misdemeanors, prostitution, resisting arrest, fare dodging and trespassing.

Bragg also said his office would “not seek a carceral sentence” except for homicides, violent felonies, domestic violence, some sex offenses, public corruption, rackets and major economic crimes.

“This rule may be excepted only in extraordinary circumstances based on a holistic analysis of the facts, criminal history, victim’s input (particularly in cases of violence or trauma), and any other information available,” the memo read.

The DA instructed prosecutors to “use their judgment and experience to evaluate the person arrested, and identify people: who suffer from mental illness; who are unhoused; who commit crimes of poverty; or who suffer from substance use disorders.”

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This order from Bragg comes in spite of the fact that New York City saw a surge in crime last year.

WNYW-TV reported that the overall crime rate in New York City was up 11.2 percent in October compared with 2020.

Particularly, theft and larceny increased throughout the city.

“The number of robberies jumped 15.8% (1,450 v. 1,252) and felonious assaults increased by 13.8% (2,123 v. 1,865) year-over-year,” the outlet reported. “Grand Larceny and auto thefts were also up sharply in October compared to the same period last year.  Auto thefts are up almost 15% for the year versus 2020.”

Last month, the New York Police Department reported an even bigger jump in November. “Overall index crime in New York City increased by 21.3% in November 2021, compared with November 2020 (10,186 v. 8,396),” it said.



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