Philly DA says more money needed for restorative justice programs

Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner speaks at City Council (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner speaks at City Council (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

In the just over 100 days he’s been in office, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner says the city has made progress. And keeping people out of jail for low-level crimes or while they’re awaiting trial hasn’t turned Philadelphia into a Wild West town of lawlessness.

“Contrary to all the criticism that came at the time saying the city would be on fire and zombies would be running the street as it turns out that has not happened,” Krasner said.

He says it’s important to phase out strict sentencing rules.

“You look at the individual, you look at the case you are not going to take the college student with no prior record who bought a gun at a gun shop because he got beat up and wasn’t checking carefully enough to know that he needed a permit to carry, when he safely carried that gun out of fear, you have to know the difference between that and a gang banger,” he said.

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Krasner says he’s also working to deal with providing a safe space for victims and witnesses at the Criminal Justice Center since a former space was taken away.

The DA says he is also seeking to diversify the number of minority attorneys in his office by recruiting at different law schools than the DA’s office has done in the past, including Harvard.

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