|Posted:||November 17, 2021 12:49 PM|
|From:||Representative Stephen Kinsey|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Alternatives to Arrests|
|While arrests are an important tool for law enforcement, when it comes to low-level offenses, arrests often cause more harm than good by presenting unnecessary risk for law enforcement officers and by unduly harming the person being arrested. Involvement with the criminal justice system frequently results in the construction of economic barriers, especially for people of color and those living in poverty who are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. To better serve these communities and protect law enforcement officers we must begin to focus on alternatives to arrests, especially in cases of minor crimes.
Consequently, I plan to introduce legislation that will mandate that instead of immediately arresting an individual for committing a low-level offense which is subject to arrest without a warrant, an officer must first issue a warning or citation with a command to cease the illegal activity in question. Only if the officer’s command is ignored could the officer then arrest the individual. This would save law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and the individual both time and money, and it would help to lower incarceration rates around the state, lessening the burdens on our overcrowded prisons and jails.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation which aims to better protect and serve our vulnerable communities and save our criminal justice system time and money.
Introduced as HB2349