Did you know that the District Attorney holds immense power in deciding the fate of individuals, their families, loved ones, and the community at large? The DA can decide who to charge and who not to charge, resentencing, as well as the power to choose alternatives to incarceration such as diversion programs that include restorative justice or substance abuse recovery.

Alameda County’s criminal justice system is broken. Currently more than 60% of charges brought against adults were non-violent, low-level offenses that could have been directed to diversion programs. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice study found that from 2009 to 2017, only 229 cases were prosecuted in the Behavioral Health Court in Alameda County. That is barely two cases per month every year. The status quo of the leadership in the DA’s office is not working. The time for change is now. This is our chance to elect a leader who will support alternatives to incarceration, end the practice of charging youth as adults, and support investments in community. 

You can learn more about how the DA impacts our lives by listening to our Monday Meals conversation with special guests, Danny Thongsy, Campaign Coordinator at Justice Reinvestment Coalition, J Vasquez, Policy & Legal Services Manager at Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, and Oakland Rising’s own Deputy Director, Jon Bean.