Ivan Bates | The Plan
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THE PLAN

We can reform the city’s criminal justice system and keep people safe at the same time. Those objectives shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. We can protect the rights of everyone in the city and still have a safe, viable community.

As your State’s Attorney, I will be tough but compassionate. I will put violent criminals behind bars, and I will ensure everyone is treated equally and fairly. I will use my decades of experience and knowledge to see that we achieve three distinct objectives:

VIOLENT CRIME

Violent crime will not be tolerated in Baltimore City when I am State’s Attorney. We need to ensure that we are properly prosecuting violent offenders the first time, so as to deny them an opportunity to repeat. We will do so by enforcing the laws that already exist on the books, especially those that exist for felons who possess illegal hand guns. Additionally, as State’s Attorney, I will provide better training for the police so they can strengthen their investigations and understand how to properly collect evidence and interview witnesses. Furthermore, I will reinvest in providing greater administrative support for our Assistant State’s Attorneys. This will include a renewed focus on victim’s families and witnesses so that they can feel more comfortable coming forward.

NON-VIOLENT CRIME

I will take a different approach to our city’s large population of nonviolent offenders. An effective State’s Attorney must have compassion and show the proper restraint because each case is different. This is especially true for certain nonviolent offenders where a lengthy jail sentence may do more harm than good. That is why we need to refocus on diversion and refer people to drug and mental health treatment, when appropriate. As State’s Attorney, I will also partner with the Mayor and City Council to make sure training and job placement programs are accessible for those that have served their time. We will use our community outreach division and our violation of probation division to help engage with those who have served their time because wraparound services are immensely effective at reducing recidivism and reintegrating people into the community.

RESTORING CONFIDENCE IN THE STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

We will restore confidence in the State’s Attorney’s Office because it is in disarray. The current State’s Attorney has enabled police misconduct, forced mass vacancies of career prosecutors, and has not been transparent with the public.

The current State’s Attorney has enabled police misconduct by knowingly turning a blind eye and putting corrupt cops on the stand. Like the cops who plead guilty federally – they lied, they stole and they illegally searched people’s homes without a warrant. And now, after tough questions about not doing enough to stop dirty cops, the State’s Attorney is willing to throw out good cases, all in an attempt to avoid further scrutiny. As State’s Attorney, I will not tolerate corruption. It erodes the public’s trust and hurts the reputations of good police officers who are working to help, and not harm, the community.

The current State’s Attorney has fired career prosecutors in the middle of trial and created an environment where many others have quit. As of today, nearly half of the experienced prosecutors in the State’s Attorney’s Office have left. Consequently, junior prosecutors have been forced to handle complex cases, and as a result, they have been allowing things to slip through the cracks.

The current State’s Attorney boasts an inflated 93% conviction rate. We only have to look at the exploding crime rate to know that this statistic is not an accurate representation of what’s really going on.

As State’s Attorney, I will correct these problems and make the office function properly. I will not tolerate corruption. It erodes the public’s trust and hurts the reputations of the vast majority of police officers who are working to protect and not harm the community. As State’s Attorney, I will restructure the office and hire back experienced attorneys so the office can finally start winning jury trials again. As your State’s Attorney, I will be transparent and accountable. I will also help educate the public on the role of the State’s Attorney and be a resource for the community. By being a better manager, we will more effectively be able to achieve our first two goals of prosecuting violent offenders and providing alternatives and opportunity for many non-violent offenders.

The status quo has failed us and continues to make excuses. We need an experienced prosecutor and not a politician in charge of the State’s Attorney’s Office. We must restore the public’s trust in how we successfully prosecute crime.

It’s time for change.