St. Louis prosecutor cites progress on reform efforts
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says her office is declining to prosecute more cases and increasingly issuing summonses rather than arrest warrants as part of a reform effort.
Gardner, a Democrat, said Wednesday that she immediately began addressing what she called a “heavy-handed” criminal justice system once she took office in 2017.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Gardner released data showing that her office now declines 64 percent of referred cases. That includes cases deemed to have insufficient evidence that would result only in low-level charges, such as possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Meanwhile, Gardner says she is working with service providers to address issues like substance abuse and mental illness while reserving jail for “those who are truly a danger to our community.”
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com