Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has won praise for policies that supporters say have resulted in far fewer black and Latino people being sent to prison—in an effective rebuttal to arguments made by Attorney General William Barr that the work of “rogue” progressive prosecutors is undermining the justice system.
“We know that mass incarceration over the past four decades has fallen primarily on the backs of black and Latinx communities,” said Sarah Staudt, who introduced a report on Foxx Wednesday prepared by a group of Chicago-area criminal justice advocacy organizations, reports the Chicago Sun Times.
“What our report today shows is that that situation is getting better in Cook County and continues to get better as Kim Foxx stays in office,” added Staudt, a senior policy analyst and staff attorney at the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the Chicago Council of Lawyers,
On average, 1,063 black and Latino people were sent to prison every month in 2012 after prosecutions by the Alvarez administration. In 2019, the average was down to 706, according to the report.
The sharp decline “has partially resulted from the state’s attorney’s office moving away from a culture that rewards mass incarceration to one that values rehabilitation and outcomes rooted in justice,” the report concluded.
The report effectively represented a pushback to a growing campaign from tough-on-crime advocates against reform prosecutors.
In remarks prepared for release to the Major County Sheriffs of America in Washington, D.C., this week, Barr cited “the increasing number of district attorneys who have fashioned for themselves a new role of judge-legislator-prosecutor.”
He called them “rogue” district attorneys who “undermine — rather than advance — our ability to carry out effective law enforcement.”
Charging that “these self-styled ‘social justice’ reformers are refusing to enforce entire categories of law, including the law against resisting police officers, he claimed the DAs “are putting everyone in danger.”