Zero Tolerance Policies

Policy 2021-01: Elimination of “Zero Tolerance” Policies

Every criminal case involves a unique human story. No two cases are exactly alike, nor is the factual background that brought a person within the criminal justice system’s orbit. Everyone involved in the criminal-justice system—from crime survivors to defendants to witnesses and families—deserves to have their case treated with care and attentiveness.

Accordingly, the first Policy put into place by Eli Savit upon taking office was to rescind so-called “zero-tolerance policies” maintained by the Prosecutor’s Office. “Zero-tolerance” policies require anyone who engages in certain conduct to face inflexible sanctions, regardless of the factual circumstances. Those policies have been shown to exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequity. The data shows that they are ineffective. And they can prohibit Assistant Prosecutors from resolving a case in a manner that promotes rehabilitation and restoration. 

One-size-fits-all justice, simply put, is not justice at all. Accordingly, it is the policy of the Prosecutor’s Office to seek to resolve every case according to its unique circumstances, and in the way that will best promote public safety and rehabilitation. 

Read our full Policy Eliminating “Zero Tolerance” Policies and Setting Standards for Plea Bargaining Conduct and Diversionary Opportunities