The breeding-ground for “woke” District Attorneys and politically correct prosecutions?


The New York Post says the problems originated at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Ground zero for woke district attorneys is a left-wing think tank in the heart of the Big Apple.

The soft-on-crime approach espoused by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and other progressive prosecutors in troubled Democratic cities has been nurtured and advanced by a policy center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, no less.

. . .

The Institute’s symposiums and issue papers hold forth on topics such as race, officer-involved deaths and bail reform — all in a concerted effort to change the role of the prosecutor to be more proactive and less punitive.

“No one should be defined by their bad conduct alone,” the Institute’s “Vision for the Modern Prosecutor” declaration says about the accused.

Its position papers endorse charging accused criminals with fewer serious crimes or keeping them out of jail entirely. And it recommends that offenders not be called as such, but rather something that respects their “humanity.”

The Institute’s paper on “Creating a Culture of Racial Equity” suggests that a hotline be created for district attorneys so “whistleblowers” can turn in “internal obstructionists” not on board with their boss’ woke policies.

Another treatise on “How Prosecutors Can Support a Reimagined Police Response” bizarrely suggests celebrating times “when prosecutors exonerate someone.”

. . .

The institute says in its 2020 primer on “Prosecutorial Culture Change” that the job of the head prosecutor “is not to ‘win’ cases, impose long sentences, or ‘beat’ the defense. Instead, it is to promote safety, accountability, healing, trust, and empowerment.”

. . .

One CUNY professor called the Institute elitist and said it operates with “a smug sense of righteousness and smartness.”

“All of this unravels when you take it into communities, when you deal with victims,” the professor said. “This kind of rigid ideology does not survive the battlefield of reality in the community.”

Thomas Kenniff … said fair treatment was a noble objective but “can’t be a code word for abandoning the traditional role of the prosecutor — which is to assign consequence to crime.”

There’s more at the link.

Yes, I’d say that’s the problem, right there.  When you turn “woke” scholars loose in an academic ivory tower, divorced from the problems of the real world, it doesn’t take long for the iron to enter their souls – and rust there.  They lose sight of the effects of their nicely theoretical policies, and blather on about “equity” and “fairness” and all that stuff.  Meanwhile, those of us who have to live every day with the criminals they set free to continue their lives of crime . . . we see it rather differently.

When I worked as a prison chaplain, I used to say to opponents of private ownership of firearms, and concealed carry permits, that I wanted them to come and spend just one day at work with me, surrounded by felons of the worst kind (I was stationed in a high-security penitentiary).  I told them that when they left the place that evening, they’d do so permanently convinced of the error of their former attitudes, because encountering such felons “in the raw” is an eye-opening and life-changing (not to mention frequently very frightening) experience.  They didn’t believe me, of course – the convinced liberal seldom, if ever, allows the real world to challenge his or her preconceptions – but I knew the truth, and they didn’t.  I’d learned it the hard way.  They’d been shielded from that.

That’s the problem with these professors.  They think they understand reality.  In fact, they understand only a very limited subset of reality, the liberal cocoon in which they’ve lived most of their lives.  They’ve never had to live in fear of a violent felon kicking down their doors and assaulting, robbing, raping or murdering them – but that’s a daily reality in many of our inner cities.  Instead of siding with the victims, as they should, they see only the liberal shibboleths that elevate the offenders onto a pedestal of victimization, deprivation and circumstance.  “They couldn’t help it!  They’re products of their environment!” scream the liberals.  Yeah, rightSo are their victims – but there are a lot more victims than perpetrators, and none of the former developed the habits of the latter.  That argument fails in the face of that logic.

Criminals gonna criminal, to coin a phrase.  It’s been that way since Cain killed Abel, and nothing’s changed since then.  Nothing will ever change, because human nature is the same as it’s always been.  Prosecutors and District Attorneys who fail to recognize and deal with that reality are putting the rest of us at risk, and should be dealt with accordingly.



  1. This should be called what it is: Returning to the 1970s policy of not-so-benign neglect of minority neighborhoods as a punitive response for black communities daring to complain about Democratic police policy, and making Democrats look bad nationally. Sure, you said you wanted police to stop killing black people, but doing that would require Democrats to spend more money on police, and what we really want to do is spend more money hiring our college-educated voters who, if we provide them jobs, will donate money to us. And if you keep complaining, well, maybe we shouldn't put out fires in black communities, either, that would be racist; black fires did nothing wrong.

    Or, if you don't want to spend more money on police, y'all could stop concentrating poverty as densely as possible; hey, look, almost all of the problems of urban poverty disappear when you don't put all the poor people in one part of town. But Democrats don't actually want poor people living next door to them, they want them segregated off in projects, sufficiently far away that the existence of poor people won't make the donor class uncomfortable.

  2. Now do research as to who is funding this think tank, and who is funding the funders. Links go back to… some Hungarian camp-guard and his friends.

  3. I suspect that the real origin of this Soros-type nonsense is in the law schools themselves.

    Law schools are notorious hotbeds of social engineering advocacy since the 1970's. They brainwash a bunch of relatively young, reality-inexperienced kids who just finished 4 years of college indoctrination with all of its nonsense. Many of the kids were poli-sci majors or something equally ridiculous and incapable of earning a living doing what their bachelor's degree was in.

    I've seen it first hand, as I went to law school at the age of 48.

  4. NYC and Chicago are the intellectual hearts of Leftdom in our country. Portland and Seattle are the practical training grounds for their shock troops. LA and SF are the sewers where morality goes to die.

  5. @Orphan – when you scatter poor (from whence the criminal classes flow) people around, you increase the total area of devastation. See the joys that Section 8 housing has inflicted everywhere it has been implemented for decades. Of course, when you concentrate poverty, you get Cabrini-Green. But that's a problem you can take care of once every few years, with minimal losses to the troops if you do it right.

    Would you rather have one big nest of yellow jackets in the back corner of your yard, or twenty smaller ones scattered all around your house?

  6. @MrChuck – I live next to Section 8 housing, specifically projects. It isn't scattered around, except in the sense that there are multiple densely packed projects in the city.

    I've lived next to Section 8 tenant housing in the past.

    I can tell which one creates more problems, and has prompted me to move a firearm to easy reach more frequently, and it isn't the one that spreads poor people out; unless you know the landlord, tenant housing isn't particularly noticeable. (Because there's a minimum rent, tenant housing is only occupied by people who work a steady job, outside certain illegal situations where the landlord doesn't collect money from the tenants and lies to the government about it, which is its own thing.)

    But also, even tenant housing isn't actually spreading poverty around, since the only houses that get added to the program are in low-rent neighborhoods in the first place (as there's sharp caps on the rents received); it's basically a program that distributes very poor working class people among slightly less poor working class people.

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