Declining to prosecute offenses often associated with poverty

In Chicago, the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx stopped prosecuting individuals arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked drivers’ licenses when the license had been suspended because of financial reasons, citing a desire to focus office resources on more serious cases and not criminalize poverty.[]Megan Crepeau, “Cook County to Stop Prosecuting Some Traffic Offenses Because It Lacks Resources, Foxx’s Office Says,” Chicago Tribune, June 15, 2017, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance issued policies directing their staff to no longer prosecutor theft of services, or fare evasion, noting that the offense does not pose a threat to public safety and prosecution would disproportionately affect low-income individuals.[]As of February 2018, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declines to prosecute theft of services cases except when the individual has prior violent felony convictions in the last ten years, prior sex crime convictions, or there is other information about the individual’s threat to public safety. Manhattan District Attorney, “Models for Innovation” (New York: Manhattan District Attorney, March 15, 2018), Under the policy, the office has received significantly fewer referrals of theft of services cases from police and have prosecuted more than 95% fewer theft of services cases it did prior to the policy. Manhattan District Attorney, “PL 165.15(3), 2017-2018” (New York: Manhattan District Attorney, August 1, 2018), Following the policy change in Manhattan, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that his office would also be declining to prosecute theft of service cases. Madina Toure, “Manhattan District Attorney To End Most Prosecution for Fare Evasion This Fall,” Observer, June 10, 2018,