Darcel Denise Clark became the 13th District Attorney for Bronx County on January 1, 2016. She is the first woman in that position and the first African-American woman to be elected a District Attorney in New York State. She was re-elected to a second term in 2019.
District Attorney Clark’s mission is “Pursuing Justice with Integrity,” and in fulfilling that mission she has restructured the Bronx District Attorney’s Office to reflect 21st Century prosecution, focusing on fairness to defendants, assistance for victims, crime prevention and community outreach. She enacted the Vertical Prosecution model, created a Conviction Integrity Unit, a Professional Responsibility Bureau, a Public Integrity Bureau, and established a Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau to decrease violence and corruption in the jails.
District Attorney Clark pioneered initiatives such as the Overdose Avoidance and Recovery Program that diverts low-level offenders at risk of opioid overdose directly into treatment, and Bronx Community Justice, which involves “circles” of community volunteers who resolve petty crimes with offenders outside of the criminal justice system.
Prior to her election, District Attorney Clark served as an Associate Justice for the NYS Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department; a NYS Supreme Court Justice in Bronx County; and a Criminal Court Judge in Bronx and New York Counties. She spent more than 16 years on the bench.
District Attorney Clark is a lifelong Bronx, New York resident, raised in public housing and educated in public schools. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Boston College, where she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees, and earned her law degree at the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
District Attorney Clark returned home in 1986 to begin her legal career at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. She prosecuted drug felonies, violent crimes and homicides. District Attorney Clark served as a Supervising ADA in the Narcotics Bureau and the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Court Bureau. In 1999, she left the Office for her first judicial post.
District Attorney Clark is co-chair of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, and a Board Member of both the National District Attorneys Association and the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York. She frequently addresses national and local legal organizations, including the American Bar Association, the National Black Prosecutors Association and the New York State and New York City Bar Associations, on a range of criminal justice topics.