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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office's Statement on D.C. Criminal Code Reform

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia today released the following statement about legislation to change the D.C. Criminal Code:

            When the D.C. Criminal Code Reform Commission (CCRC) indicated that it was ready to submit its final recommendations to the D.C. Council, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which was a member of the CCRC advisory group, voted to move those recommendations forward. The recommendations comprised a once-in-a-century effort to modernize the D.C. Criminal Code. We voted to move forward—even though we had serious concerns about a number of recommendations—because the modernization was sorely needed, and we expected that we would have the opportunity to continue to engage on those recommendations that gave us concerns. We testified in great detail about those concerns before the D.C. Council as summarized here (, and we have raised those concerns with our fellow community members and community leaders, including elected officials.

            The bill that is being moved forward today in the D.C. Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety represents an improvement over what the CCRC recommended and addresses several of our most significant concerns. We thank all of the D.C. elected officials who listened to our concerns, particularly Council member Charles Allen, whose leadership has been critical to moving this once-in-a-century effort forward.

            We still have concerns with multiple aspects of this bill and believe that some provisions, while well-intentioned, could undermine community safety and impede the administration of justice in our courts. Despite these concerns, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia supports this bill proceeding to mark-up. Once again, our support for this bill moving forward does not mean that we agree with every provision in the massive overhaul. To the contrary, there are provisions with which we strenuously disagree, including the provisions referenced in our comprehensive testimony that continue to appear in this version of the bill. But the D.C. Criminal Code is in dire need of an update, and there is much in this bill that would help. We also recommend that the bill move forward because it is our hope that Councilmembers will continue to listen to our concerns as this bill moves forward—just as they did before introducing today’s version of the bill. 

            It is our sincere desire that, as this bill progresses, the provisions that give us the greatest concerns from a community safety perspective will be addressed.

Updated October 14, 2022

Press Release Number: 22-349