Friday, March 31, 2006

Community Allocution Program

An update from ANC2F's Committee on Crime and Public Safety -

One of our goals this year has been to develop a process to maximize community input in the sentencing of criminal offenders in the neighborhood. As part of these efforts, we've been working closely with MPD's Third District, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and its Community Prosecution Division for the 3rd District.

As part of our efforts, we recently provided input (by way of letters from the community and in-person testimony) on two key cases that were up for sentencing last week. In one of the cases, the judge sentenced the defendant, who had multiple drug and property arrests, to 230 days.

We were told that without our letters and support, it was quite possible that the defendant would have received probation. Thanks to statistics provided by Sgt. Emerman, we were able to show the dramatic decrease in thefts from auto (from nearly 100 between January and the time the defendant was locked up pending sentencing to 3 in the nearly a month since his lock-up). We believe this was enormously helpful to the prosecution.

In the second case involving possession of cocaine, we submitted five community letters. The judge postponed sentencing to give the defendant's counsel additional time to review the letters, but we are hopeful for a similar success.

We are currently looking for condo buildings, businesses, and individuals who may be interested in participating in the community allocution process by way of letter writing or in-person testimony from time to time. If you or someone you know may be interested, please email the Committee on Crime and Public Safety at

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