The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office takes a constructive, community-first approach to criminal justice focused on community-based social services to reduce recidivism, racial disparities and inequalities in the criminal justice system. By reinventing and reforming the traditional response to crime and conviction, the Office works to increase public safety while also reducing its reliance on the traditional prosecution responses like incarceration, conviction, fines and fees.

Fresh Start
Fresh Start is a pre-arraignment diversion program intended to address the root causes of crime and improve public safety through social services, counseling, and rehabilitation as an alternative to fines, conviction, and incarceration for certain non-violent, first-time, low-level offenders in Westchester County. With Fresh Start, the District Attorney’s Office refers to the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health eligible first-time defendants charged with non-violent, low-level offenses, such as Petit Larceny, Disorderly Conduct, and Trespassing, among others. Upon competition of the program, the DA’s Office declines to prosecute the participants’ charges. Offenders who do not participate, or fail to complete the program, are required to appear in court as originally scheduled and face criminal prosecution by the DA’s Office.

Motion for Justice Initiative
The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester partnered with the Vera Institute of Justice’s Motion for Justice Initiative in 2021 in an effort to examine and reduce racial disparities in the Westchester County criminal justice system. As part of the Motion for Justice Initiative, the Vera Institute has provided financial support to the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, and assisted the Office with staff training, community engagement support, and policy expertise.

Educational Programs
The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office provides educational programs and trainings for students, parents and school staff to increase public safety initiatives related to Red Flag Laws, anti-violence and gun safety, drinking and driving, internet safety, bias and hate crimes, senior scam alerts, wage theft and labor fraud, and intimate partner and dating violence.