Jose Nieves is a lifelong New Yorker and career prosecutor. He spent eleven years as a prosecutor in the Kings County District Attorney’s office before serving as a Captain the U.S. Army Reserves for over 10 years with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp. Nieves then shifted his career to prosecuting law enforcement, first working at the New York City Department of Corrections, where he prosecuted Corrections Officers on Rikers for misconduct. Later, at the Office of the New York State Attorney General, he investigated and prosecuted police officers involved in deaths of unarmed civilians.
Nieves is running as an experienced prosecutor who has a proven record of holding police accountable for misconduct. He advocates for increasing transparency, ending cash bail, and has committed to closing Rikers Island by focusing on diversion and public safety instead of low-level crime. While Nieves recalls being subjected to racial profiling and stop-and-frisk policies as a young, Latino man growing up in New York City, it remains to be seen if a career prosecutor like Nieves would deliver on promises of progressive change.
Ending Broken WindowsA-
Will decline to prosecute almost all broken window offense.
Ending Cash BailB-
Expresses desire to curb cash bail, but has provided few details and carved out numerous exceptions.
Commits to releasing some but not all office data. Pledges to create a diverse office, hold implicit bias trainings, and hold community meetings. Commits to 80% of the staff living in Queens. Would join the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY).
Access to EvidenceA-
Commits to ending the Queens Waiver policy and to providing discovery to defendants.
Police and DA MisconductB
Will establish a wrongful conviction unit, but has not committed to establishing an ethics review unit.
Will hire advisors for immigrant-friendly plea decisions. Supports immigrant-friendly charging decisions.
Mental Health and Drug TreatmentB
Supports treatment programs, with possible exceptions for domestic violence. Wants to identify all possible mental health and drug diversion programs for low-level, nonviolent, or first time offenders.
Ending Mass IncarcerationA-
Supports closing Rikers; will work with people who are on probation and parole to avoid unjust collateral consequences.
Past Record on Progressive ValuesC
Has spent his career as prosecutor, including 11 years in the Brooklyn DA’s office. Has recently shifted his focus to prosecuting Corrections Officers on Rikers Island and prosecuting police misconduct and shootings at the Attorney General’s Office. Nieves has trained and supervised other prosecutors and police.
📄 Queens for DA Accountability Questionaire
📄 5 Boro Defender Questions