Washington, DC Mayor issues violence reduction order and introduces new legislation
Recent reports in the media have highlighted how crime in Washington, DC, has reached record highs. Overall, crime in 2023 is up 25% compared to last year. Homicides are up 20%, and motor vehicle theft is up 10 %. In response, Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser recently issued Mayor's Order 2023-061, which focuses on reducing violence in the city. The Mayor's Order mentions the numerous programs run by the District's various government agencies with the aim of addressing violence. It directs those agencies to take several actions to be carried out within 45 days.
Below is a summary of those actions
The Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice must consult with criminal justice system partners and stakeholders to develop a plan that identifies violence prevention and intervention programs, proposes standardized requirements for contracts and grants, defines performance metrics and outcome goals, and recommends consolidation of programs.
The Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services needs to submit a plan with recommendations for establishing a hotline for concerned parents and a respite program for at-risk youth.
The Deputy Mayor for Education is tasked with providing a plan to expand alternative school options and reform school-based disciplinary measures.
Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure must develop a plan to create employment opportunities for individuals at a higher risk of involvement in the criminal justice syst m. The order is effective immediately.
This Order comes on the heels of Mayor Bowser introducing B25-029, the Safer Stronger Amendment Act of 2023. B25-029 aims to address gaps in the District’s public safety and justice ecosystem. It would also directs the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to report additional data on procedure and results so the government can better understand the effectiveness of its programs. Additionally, the Safer Stronger Amendment Act would provides District residents a say on the vital DC Sentencing Commission.
CLPA will conduct a separate analysis on this bill at a later time.