News Releases

December 8, 2021: District Attorney Gascón Outlines Accomplishments from First Year in Office

Greg Risling, Assistant Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón today reflected on his record of public safety along with the criminal justice reforms he implemented during his first year in office.

“As we work to define what it means to be a 21st century prosecutor, I have and always will put public safety first,” District Attorney Gascón said. “This past year, we have demonstrated how advancements in science and data analysis can help keep our communities safer and healthier. They also are helping us to expand and improve trauma-informed services to victims and survivors of crime and to address mass incarceration and inequities within the criminal legal system.”

“I am proud to stand alongside District Attorney Gascón, who is implementing smart, evidence-based policies that will deliver safer, healthier communities in Los Angeles. It is the same thing I am doing in Arlington County, Va., and that reform-minded prosecutors are doing in every corner of the country,” said Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. “As ministers of justice, our obligation is to pursue a criminal legal system that works for all, and we will not be deterred by those who cling to the failed policies of the past.” 

“The amazing progress District Attorney Gascón has made in the past year is reflective of what’s happening in prosecutors’ offices around the country," said Miriam Krinsky, executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution. "More and more Americans are calling for systemic reforms to the criminal legal system, and in increasing numbers, they see their locally elected prosecutor as a powerful force for change. Reform-minded prosecutors now represent around 20 percent of the U.S. population in communities large and small, rural and urban, blue and red. These leaders are creating a new normal in prosecution that reduces our reliance on incarceration, promotes public safety and moves us closer to a justice system that truly lives up to its name.” 

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office continues to file about half of all felony cases presented by law enforcement officials for criminal case filing consideration. That is consistent with the 2019 pre-pandemic felony filing rates. Misdemeanor filings for nonaddiction-related crimes also were consistent with 2019 filing rates for those same misdemeanor crimes.

To address the root causes of violence in some of the county’s most crime-stricken neighborhoods, District Attorney Gascón established the Community Violence Reduction Division, which works proactively with the Los Angeles Police Department by embedding veteran deputy district attorneys and investigators in four LAPD divisions to prosecute violent crime and find ways to interrupt it.

District Attorney Gascón implemented a trauma-informed approach to providing services to victims and survivors of crime. He also convened the office’s first Crime Victims Advisory Board to advance public safety by helping to expand victim outreach and services.

Under District Attorney Gascón, the office filed charges against 21 officers from seven agencies for crimes ranging from murder to filing a false report under penalty of perjury.

In an effort to keep government clean, the office filed public corruption charges against 21 people, including a former Maywood mayor, a former Industry city manager and a Compton councilmember.

On behalf of consumers, the office brought legal actions against six major companies accused of engaging in unlawful business practices. They paid $12 million in penalties, costs and restitution.

Death sentences are no longer sought in Los Angeles County. Nor will the office seek execution dates for people sentenced to death. In addition, post-conviction death penalty cases currently are being reviewed to determine if thereis ameritorious legal reason to vacate the death sentence or resentence the individuals in the interest of justice. To date, five people, including four with cognitive or intellectual disabilities, have been resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The office’s youth restorative justice policy has led to the withdrawal of 77 petitions to transfer minors to adult court and the recalling of 25 cases in which people were resentenced as juveniles. An additional 100 cases remained in juvenile court as result of the policy.

By not seeking many sentencing enhancements, District Attorney Gascón saved California taxpayers millions of dollars in prison-related costs. Conservative estimates show that prison exposure times were reduced by 18,000 years in just the first year of the policy.

In accordance with California law, the office no longer seeks cash bail for individuals charged with misdemeanors and nonserious or nonviolent felonies who pose no danger to the community. Cash bail creates a two-tier system of justice that permits people with financial resources to remain free while those who lack such resources are jailed even when they do not pose a danger to the community.

As part of the ongoing efforts to reverse the injustices of the drug laws, nearly 60,000 cannabis cases were identified for dismissal. They also will be expunged from people’s records, easing their ability to get jobs and housing and services.

In the year ahead, District Attorney Gascón will continue to work to increase transparency by providing the public with access to real-time statistics using the county’s Open Data portal.

To view the office’s Year in Review, click here: