A first-of-its-kind study of Suffolk County criminal cases found that declining to prosecute some low-level offenses can actually lead to less crime.
The study analyzed more than 67,000 misdemeanor cases in Boston, Winthrop, Revere and Chelsea from 2004 to 2018, and found that people arrested but not prosecuted on low-level, nonviolent misdemeanors were 58% less likely to commit another crime in Suffolk County in the following two years.
This was welcome news to Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, who pledged to not prosecute more than a dozen of these types of crimes when she was running for office in 2018.
Rollins joins us to talk about how the findings of the study line up with her agenda. We follow up with WBUR Senior Reporter Ally Jarmanning and WBUR Legal Analyst and retired federal judge Nancy Gertner.
This segment aired on March 29, 2021.