Improving Public Safety Outcomes in the Juvenile Justice System

Improving Public Safety Outcomes in the Juvenile Justice System


Dear Fellow Washingtonians,

As the District’s independent, elected Attorney General, there is no higher priority for me and those of us at OAG than public safety. Too many people, across all 8 Wards, don’t feel safe right now in our city.

And I see firsthand the devastating toll that violent crime takes on victims and their families, and the far-reaching impact it has on communities as a whole. That’s why I take my responsibility as the District’s chief prosecutor of juvenile crime with the utmost seriousness. We charge every serious, violent crime when we have enough evidence to do so. And we work to ensure that kids face swift and certain consequences when they break the law and that victims of crime get justice.

There is no doubt that effective policing and prosecution are critical parts of the criminal justice system. Equally important, however, are our efforts to ensure that after a young person is arrested and prosecuted successfully, they won’t commit another offense.

In the District, for the most serious offenses, that responsibility lies with the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS). And since taking office last year, it has become abundantly clear to me that DYRS is not providing sufficient intervention to protect our communities and ensure that kids won’t re-offend.

That’s why, last week, I introduced the Recidivism Reduction, Oversight & Accountability for DYRS Act – the ROAD Act. This legislation will help get DYRS back on track. It creates a roadmap towards effective intervention, oversight and accountability, and improved public safety.

The ROAD Act does three things:

  1. Requires DYRS to significantly reform its supervision and intervention practices to ensure that the decisions DYRS makes will lead to better public safety outcomes.
  2. Mandates permanent, independent oversight of DYRS, to increase accountability and transparency.
  3. Strengthens the Courts' authority to step in and intervene when it becomes clear that DYRS is not operating effectively.

These proposed legislative changes will help ensure that DYRS delivers on its obligations and fulfills its critical role to make DC a safer place for everyone to live, work, and visit. I look forward to working with the Mayor and the Council to ensure its swift passage.

With gratitude, 

Brian L. Schwalb 
Attorney General for the District of Columbia

Suing Live Nation for Creating an Illegal, Anticompetitive Monopoly in Live Entertainment

Alongside the United States Department of Justice and a bipartisan coalition of 30 state Attorneys General, I sued Live Nation for creating an anticompetitive monopoly over the live entertainment industry that has illegally increased ticket prices for District residents and concertgoers nationwide. Live Nation's monopoly not only raises costs for concertgoers but has harmed every part of the fan ticketing experience—from buying a ticket to showtimes—because the industry is not competitive. My office will always fight to hold companies accountable for anticompetitive and illegal conduct, and to ensure a fair market that promotes competition, innovation, and consumer choice in every industry.

Fighting Back Against Congressional Interference in Local DC Issues

Fighting Back Against Congressional Interference in Local DC Issues

I, alongside Mayor Bowser and Chairman Mendelson, wrote to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries urging a no-vote on the “DC CRIMES Act,” Congress’s latest attempt to interfere in our local affairs and the most recent example of why DC must become a state.

Congress cannot have it both ways—it cannot both criticize DC’s crime rate and then block our every attempt to reduce crime. If signed into law, this bill would curtail DC leaders' ability to determine how best to address public safety concerns and protect District residents. It would even prevent DC leaders from increasing criminal penalties or creating new offenses. It is pure political theatre from national politicians attempting to score points for their next hometown election – and it directly violates the principles of self-governance and local autonomy on which this country was founded. It won’t make us safer, and in fact, it will put the lives of everyone who lives in, works in, and visits DC at greater risk.

You can read our letter here.

Holding the Nation’s Largest Wireless Carriers Accountable Over Deceptive Advertising Practices

The nation’s largest wireless carriers—Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Cricket, and TracFone—will pay $10.25 million as part of a 50-jurisdiction settlement to end deceptive wireless advertising practices. Under the terms of the settlement, the carriers are required to change their advertising practices and must pay $10.25 million to the jurisdictions, including over $197,000 to the District of Columbia. Companies cannot mislead or deceive District residents about products, services, deals, or promotions. Protecting consumers is especially important when it comes to products we depend on every day, like our phones and our wireless service, and this bipartisan settlement makes clear that deceptive marketing practices will not be tolerated.

Securing Conviction Against District Businesswoman for Failing to Pay Sales Tax

Jerri Evans, the owner of Turning Natural—a juice bar chain operating in DC and Maryland—pled guilty to one count of failure to pay sales tax. An investigation conducted by the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) determined that Evans had avoided paying monthly sales taxes for three Turning Natural locations during tax years 2017 to 2020. Now, Ms. Evans will pay over $450,000 to the District. Business owners who evade sales tax payments take advantage of customers who have paid the tax on their purchases, give themselves an unfair advantage over businesses that follow the rules, and hurt District programs that rely on tax revenue to operate. The dedicated investigators at OTR work hard to ensure business owners are held accountable for their tax obligations, and OAG will continue to support them in our joint efforts to address tax fraud and ensure all District taxpayers are treated fairly.

Protecting the Right to Vote for All Citizens

I led a coalition of attorneys general in filing a brief in opposing an Ohio law that makes it a crime to help others return absentee ballots in most situations. The law makes it a felony to return or possess another voter’s absentee ballot unless you are a postal worker or one of a narrow set of family members, which would make it more difficult for millions of people—especially those with disabilities—to vote. Every eligible voter who wants to vote should be able to do so, and my office will continue to fight to protect the right to vote for DC residents and voters nationwide.

Connecting with ANCs

Connecting With ANCs

I was thrilled to host an all-Advisory Neighborhood Commission training earlier this month to discuss how my office’s work intersects with ANCs’ day-to-day responsibilities. ANCs play a unique, critical role in bringing government closer to the people.

Doing Business with OAG

OAG’s Procurement Unit is looking to expand its outreach to law firms that are interested in partnering with OAG for contingency fee contracts. If your firm is interested in being considered for this type of contract opportunity, please click here to “pre-register.”