Lucy Lang

Democratic Candidate for Manhattan District Attorney

Running on her experiences as a prosecutor with top priorities to end incarceration, prioritize the safety of our communities, and ensure that those who enter the justice system are treated equally and with dignity.

“I will divert cases which are better handled by social services out of the system — including crimes of poverty, mental health challenges, or substance misuse.“ (Source: AMNY)

“The time is ripe for someone with a vision that’s aligned with what our communities are calling for, and the depth of experience to operationalize it,” (Source: The City)

“I have had essentially a master class in implementing change in district attorney’s offices because I have worked with DAs all over the country, in offices of all different sizes.” (Source: The City)

Qualifications/ Experience

Prosecutorial Experience

  • Former prosecutor who worked for twelve years in the Manhattan DA’s office as both an Assistant District Attorney and the Executive Director of the Manhattan DA Academy.

Managerial Experience

  • Executive director for John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Institute for Innovation in Prosecution where she worked with crime survivors, advocates, scholars, formerly incarcerated people, and progressive prosecutors from across the nation on reforms at the forefront of the criminal justice movement — from restorative justice, to racial equity, and police accountability.

Top Priorities as DA

  • Ending Mass Incarceration: District Attorneys have historically played a harmful role by helping perpetuate racial injustice in America. Now they must play a unique role in eliminating it. The criminal justice system has a disproportionate impact on marginalized — and especially Black — communities. To begin addressing this injustice, we must recognize past harms, shrink the system’s footprint, support historically marginalized communities, affirmatively enact anti-racist policies, and develop an anti-racist workplace culture. (Source: votelucylang.com)
  • Targeting Public Corruption and its Private-Sector Links: Arguing that “an underreported issue that has devastating effects on New Yorkers and erodes the legitimacy of our public institutions,” Manhattan district attorney Lucy Lang says she’ll launch a Public Corruption Unit “to proactively investigate criminal conduct by public servants and elected officials” with a dedicated staff and a new reporting mechanism for the public to drop a dime on dirty officials. (Source: CityLimits.org)
Candidate's Standing On The Issues

Prosecution of Crime

  • “I’m committed to meaningfully shrinking the footprint of the criminal justice system.” The job of a district attorney goes beyond prosecution: it involves engaging communities, rehabilitation and prevention.
  • “No one should get special access and treatment because of who they are, or who their lawyer is,” she said. “And the public is rightly outraged when it appears that that has happened.” (Source: The City)
  • She does not have a list of crimes that she would decline to prosecute, opting to make those considerations on a case-by-case basis. (Source: 5bd.org)
  • Lang said she plans on diverting criminal cases “wherever possible” into social services addressing mental health, substance abuse and conduct related to poverty. (Source: Law 360)
  • To boost the public’s trust in the justice system, Lang’s plan includes the creation of a “prosecutorial ombudsman” that would receive and process complaints of prosecutorial misconduct that could be filed, even anonymously, by ordinary citizens, attorneys and members of the judiciary. (Source: Law 360)
  • Lang plans to stop relying on mandatory minimum sentences to coerce defendants to take pleas, which increases mass incarceration. “I don’t believe in overcharging.” (Source: Law 360)

Public Safety

  • Lang said she wants to focus on “dignity, equity and safety,” pushing assistant district attorneys to interact more with communities touched by the justice system — as she did in a college-in-prisons course she founded within three state-run facilities in New York City. (Source: The City)

On Guns

  • Lang has proposed a specialized gun court but said she would curb violence by addressing the root causes through expanded access to education and employment for both perpetrators and victims. “People return from upstate prisons, often worse off than when they left.” (Source: Wall Street Journal)
  • Through the expansion of wraparound services, investment in community-based intervention and incentivizing alternatives to incarceration, Lang believes we can intervene before violence erupts. (Source: votelucylang.com)

On Recidivism

  • The current system perpetuates a horrifying cycle: people are released from correctional facilities with even fewer resources than when they entered, sent back to communities where they are systematically prohibited from engaging in every aspect of a healthy life, and pushed into the same circumstances that led to their incarceration in the first place. In short: we set people up to fail, then punish them for failing — over and over again. (Source: votelucylang.com)
  • Addressing reentry requires both “front-end” and “back-end” solutions: preventing people from becoming ensnared by criminal justice involvement, and providing them with the resources to succeed even when they become criminal justice involved. (Source: votelucylang.com)

On the role of NYPD

  • Lucy Lang says she will release a “detailed report” when grand juries decline to charge cops. She also vows to “take a proactive role in improving NYPD training and policy to be in line with the office’s moral and ethical standards and justice system philosophy” and “closely monitor police actions and intervene where there is a high-risk for police misconduct.” (Source: City Limits)
  • Lang pledged to build a well-funded public corruption unit to investigate police misconduct. One of its tasks will be tracking adverse credibility findings against officers. (Source: Law 360)

Mental Illness & Crime

  • Lang says she will impose “an explicit policy of declining to prosecute homelessness-related offenses, poverty-related offenses, and nonviolent crimes linked to substance abuse and/or mental health needs.” (Source: City Limits)
  • She will promote a public health approach by converting Manhattan’s Mental Health Court into a fully-funded and fully- equipped institution, capable of addressing the unique challenges of justice-involved people with mental illnesses while promoting public safety. “It’s time that we turn to new ideas and think about safety as much as a public health issue as a criminal justice problem.” (Source: votelucylang.com)
August 13, 2020

Vance Ally Lucy Lang Joins Manhattan DA Race, Signaling Cy Won’t Run Again

November 24, 2020

DA Hopeful Plans to Use Forfeiture Money to Fund Mental Health Services

January 6, 2021

How Manhattan’s Next DA Might Handle Lying Cops and Bad Prosecutors

February 15, 2021

Who’s Who in the Race to Be the Next Manhattan District Attorney

March 15, 2021

Manhattan District Attorney Candidates Throw Out Traditional Playbook

April 2, 2021

Where The Manhattan DA Candidates Stand On Reform

April 8, 2021

2021 Elections: Who’s running to become Manhattan’s next district attorney

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