Stronger Communities

Stronger Communities

Mental Health and Addiction Treatment in Place of Prosecution
For too long, our criminal justice system has been used to deal with individuals with mental health disorders in lieu of a functioning mental healthcare system.  Individuals with mental health issues belong in doctor’s offices, not jail cells.  As D.A., my office will work to separate mental health crises from true crimes at the point of first contact with the police, including following Denver’s model of having mental health professionals respond with police on certain calls.  By ensuring those with mental health and addictions issues receive treatment, we can address the fundamental issues leading to poverty and crime and ensure a decline in future crime rates.  A District Attorney must separate those whose fundamental disadvantages lead to their involvement in the criminal justice system from the truly criminal elements and address each differently. 

Worker and Consumer Protection Focuses.
Worker and consumer rights are too often overlooked in our rush to prosecute violent offenders and higher profile crimes.  As D.A., my office will no longer refer these to the civil legal system.  We will, where appropriate, prosecute willful violations of worker safety that result in serious injury and death, proactively investigate and prosecute wage theft, including payroll fraud, employee misclassification, and foreign labor force wage theft.  To this end, we will partner with cities and community-based organizations to increase reporting and visibility of these often-overlooked crimes.

End the Death Penalty
The time for the death penalty has passed in Colorado, if there ever was a time.  I will unequivocally support the legislature’s effort to abolish the death penalty.

Advocate for Rehabilitation and Re-Entry
The American tradition is that if you do the crime, you do the time.  Equally so, once you have paid your debt, you should again be welcomed as full, productive member of society.  As D.A., my office will lead reform efforts to help individuals move beyond convictions to employment by supporting offender job programs, advocate for healthcare access and treatment while in prison and upon re-entry, and de-emphasize revocations of parole, probation, and pretrial release based on technical violations.  My office will also advocate for a wider range of conviction expunctions to allow those who have rehabilitated their lives to move beyond their past mistakes.

Community Engagement and Conviction Integrity Unit
Under my direction, the District Attorney’s Office will re-engage the civilian advisory board, formerly instituted by D.A. Dave Thomas, to align policy with public intent.  A Conviction Integrity Unit will also be established to review past cases with an emphasis on examining and addressing potential erroneous convictions, racial disparity in previous sentencing, and past marijuana and drug convictions that are no longer crimes or were overly harsh.  The CIU will be responsible for ensuring complete open file discovery throughout the office and a policy of transparency with investigations and information to the defense bar and the public.