Krasner’s First 100 Days: DA Says Social Reform More Effective Than Prison in Preventing Crime

Philly’s prison population has dropped 9 percent since our new DA took office earlier this year.

Larry Krasner. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke.)

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner hears what his detractors say about him. Because the progressive Democrat has made it his business to end mass incarceration in the city, he’s earned the label “soft on crime.”

Just ask FOP president John McNesby, who famously stated that the former defense attorney’s election as Philly’s top prosecutor would be “catastrophic to the police department and the community.”

“We have to be willing to be smart, not just political, when it comes to crime,” Krasner told NBC10 in a new interview on his first 100 days in office. “The 16-year-old who is still in school is not the one who is most likely to go pick up a gun and go kill somebody.”

With this idea in mind, the 57-year-old has put more of an emphasis on investing city dollars in education and health and drug counseling than in jailing nonviolent offenders. Krasner’s new policies have led to a 9 percent drop in Philadelphia’s prison population since he took control of the DA’s office.

“This could be attributable to a number of factors, including new policies and initiatives across the city’s criminal justice system,” said Julie Wertheimer, chief of staff for the city’s Office of Criminal Justice.

Despite the barbs from McNesby, Krasner says that he has a great relationship with law enforcement – namely PPD Commissioner Richard Ross. (Although the two have reportedly still yet to meet in person.)

And to those who continue to say his stance as a reformer jeopardizes the future safety of Philadelphia, Krasner just laughs and points out the fact that many of his critics are members of an administration that saw a higher rate of violent crime than we currently have under his own leadership.