MANHATTAN - Dan Quart sat down with Law360 to discuss how he will reform the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and pull it out of the era of broken windows policing. Quart will focus the office’s resources on violent and economic crimes and on keeping all New Yorkers safe.
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Since 2011, Quart has been a New York State assembly member representing Manhattan's East Side. As a lawyer in private practice, Quart did pro-bono work, including volunteering with The Legal Aid Society, where he represented tenants facing eviction.
Quart said he aims to reform a district attorney's office that is "stuck in an era of broken windows policing."
"More prosecution doesn't equal more public safety," he said.
Quart plans to reduce incarceration, and to do so, he has a list of crimes he intends not to prosecute, he said.
He also plans to review the office's drug-related policy and take a hard look at pretrial practices. He will seek to revamp the sex crimes unit in the office, he said.
"I have an aggressive agenda and no time to waste," Quart said.
Quart plans to reroute resources into prosecuting sex crimes, white-collar crime, wage theft and cybercrimes.
Quart said he will make gun violence a priority, partnering with law enforcement agencies to stem the flow of firearms into the city, and prosecute people who use them. He will also offer diversion for some gun-related offenses, following the model set forth by Gonzalez in Brooklyn.
Quart pledged to invest in restorative justice, funding pilot programs such as the West Harlem Community Restoration and Reentry Project, which deploys credible messengers hired in the community to engage in crime prevention.
Pledging to hire a diverse legal and nonlegal workforce, Quart said he won't make space for prosecutors who tend to overcharge defendants.
"They'll have to find employment elsewhere," he said.
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