by WorldTribune Staff, January 25, 2022
U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for crime reduction grants awarded by the Department of Justice to groups which espouse anti-police policies, some of which are backed by leftist billionaire George Soros, a report said.
Under its 2021 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program, the DOJ has funneled the grants to organizations and municipalities which support defunding or restructuring of police departments, bail reform, lower incarceration rates, and decriminalizing and deprioritizing a broad range of criminal offenses.
These polices “have been linked to skyrocketing criminal violence in many Democrat-led cities,” Just the News reported on Jan. 24.
The DOJ awarded a $1 million grant to the Urban Peace Institute (UPI) for its South Los Angeles Peacemakers program, the report said.
The UPI has called for the “radical restructuring” of American policing, including shifting power from police to community “peacemakers.” The nonprofit was instrumental in leftist Los Angeles DA George Gascon’s criminal justice changes in the city. Soros pumped more than $2.5 million into a California political action committee to support Gascon.
The city of Oakland, California also received a $1 million grant from the DOJ to reduce crime in that city. The award documents show the Urban Institute as one of its partners in that program, Just the News reported.
Another taxpayer-funded award of $1 million was given to the Center for Court Innovation (CCI), previously the Fund for the City of New York, to increase safety in the Bronx by empowering “public safety, violence prevention, youth services, community organizing, urban planning and public health strategies …”
CCI has also been funded by Soros.
“We design and implement bail reform strategies to reduce the use of jail and increase the fairness of the justice system,” CCI declares in its Rethinking Incarceration policy.
CCI’s Manhattan Justice program said it is pushing for a more fair criminal justice system and believes that transformation is needed in response to criminal activity. The program “helps build a more effective and restorative justice system by providing comprehensive services as alternatives to traditional responses to crime,” according to the organization.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office is a partner in the Manhattan Justice program.
Critics say the policies of Soros-funded DAs, which have included abolishing bail and, have led to a spike in crime throughout the country.
According to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report released in September, the U.S. saw a 30 percent increase in homicides in 2020 — the largest single-year spike since they began recording crime statistics 60 years ago. The report also said there was a 24 percent decrease in arrests across the country in 2020.
“Everywhere Soros-backed prosecutors go, crime follows,” Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton told the New York Post. “These legal arsonists have abandoned their duty to public safety by pursuing leniency even for the most heinous crimes, and they often flat-out refuse to charge criminals for shoplifting, vagrancy and entire categories of misdemeanors.”
The Capital Research Center revealed that 24 district attorneys have been elected since 2015 with help from political action committees funded by Soros.
Parker Thayer, the researcher who wrote the report, said Soros’s “influence on left-wing DA candidates is often wildly underestimated.”
Since 2016, Soros’s “personal network of political action committees formed specifically to back left-wing DA candidates” has doled out at least $29 million, Thayer said.
“Most Americans have no idea what happened,” Thayer told The Washington Times. “They see the headlines, they see the crime taking over cities, but regrettably few know that these crime surges are largely the direct result of George Soros’s influence and his generous funding of the left-wing ‘Rogue Prosecutor’ movement.”
Of the 24 Soros-supported prosecutors cited in the Capital Research Center report, 23 still hold office. A third of the DAs have won re-election despite mounting criticism over policies popular with the Left such as down-charging defendants and eliminating or reducing cash bail.
Newly elected Manhattan DA Bragg, whose campaign received $1.1 million from Soros-funded groups, kicked off his tenure this month by declaring he would no longer seek prison sentences for low-level crimes and would downgrade some felonies, including drug crimes and armed robbery, to misdemeanors.