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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Queens DA Candidate Mina Malik Announces Plan to Create Data Transparency Initiative in Queens DA Office

Mina Malik, Queens District Attorney Candidate

Queens, NY – Mina Malik announced that she will create a Policy & Strategic Initiatives Unit and launch a Data Transparency Initiative (DTI) as Queens DA, similar to the one she implemented as Executive Director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), to ensure fair and just prosecutions and to restore faith in the Queens District Attorney's Office.

Under Malik’s proposed Policy & Strategic Initiatives Unit, the DTI will report on the number of individuals charged with various crimes across the borough and ensure that as much information as possible about the operations in her office is available to the public. The data will be used to identify, prevent and remedy any over-policing and over-prosecution of crimes in communities across Queens.

“For many years, several communities in Queens have been over-policed and over-prosecuted,” said Malik. “These exploitative practices have resulted in a lack of confidence in our law enforcement officials. There is an unfavorable perception by some residents that law enforcement is not an equal partner in the shared goal of creating safe, healthy and thriving neighborhoods. With my Data Transparency Initiative, all residents will have available to them information about what my office is doing and how we are charging – or not charging – various crimes.”

In 2016, Malik launched a 
Data Transparency Initiative in the CCRB that was the first-ever for a police oversight agency in the nation. Malik intends for the Queens Data Transparency Initiative to be even more robust with more data points.

As part of this effort, the Office will release raw, unanalyzed case-level data at least once a year, on a publicly accessible database. Publicly available data for each case will be anonymized to protect the defendant’s privacy, but will otherwise include:
  1. Demographics of the charged individual, including race and ability to afford an attorney;
  2. Description of the initial charge(s) and possible penalties;
  3. Charge modifications and corresponding penalties;
  4. Bail/bond information;
  5. Date and details of initial plea offer and how the offer changed over time;
  6. Pretrial detention status, including duration and release dates;
  7. Case disposition;
  8. Sentence sought by the DA’s Office, and;
  9. Sentence imposed by the court.

The Policy & Strategic Initiatives Unit will also draft and distribute annual reports which will include an analysis of each year’s case-level data-sets, focusing on:
  1. Case acceptance – This will show Malik’s priorities. It will reveal the types of cases that the District Attorney routinely chooses to prosecute, as well as those which she typically declines to act upon.
  2. Charging – This will break down the charges that the Office pursues, so that the public may know how the DA responds to criminal behavior in Queens.
  1. Bail/bond practices – Poverty is not a crime. Malik believes that no one should spend an hour in custody simply because they cannot make bail. To demonstrate her commitment to this philosophy, Malik will disclose any bail and bond requested and ultimately imposed by the court in every case.
  2. Pretrial detention/release – Even a day in jail can impose significant hardship. Malik will disclose every detention recommendation, and vows that no DA in her office will seek detention unless strictly necessary. Detention will be a last recourse, not a first impulse.
  3. Dispositions – The “tough-on-crime” mentality sent too many people to prison and kept them there far too long. Malik believes that no person should serve a sentence that exceeds their moral culpability, and commits to disclose the sentences sought in every case, as well as the sentences ultimately imposed by the court.
  4. Recidivism – Malik will report the rates at which defendants are prosecuted anew after release from prison or jail.
  5. Race & ethnicity of defendants – Racial disparities in the criminal justice system are enormous and intolerable. Malik is committed to fair and equitable practices that will reduce these disparities as much as possible. So that the public may judge success, Malik will disclose the race and ethnic background of every defendant prosecuted by her office.

Mina Malik most recently served as Deputy Attorney General in the District of Columbia. She previously served as Executive Director of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, and as Special Counsel to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.

As Special Counsel, Malik played an instrumental role in the creation of Brooklyn’s Conviction Review Unit and its first-in-the-nation marijuana decriminalization policy. Malik also served for fifteen years as an Assistant District Attorney and as a Special Victims prosecutor in the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

contributed mmda

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