For Immediate Release:
Contact: Michael G. Bare
April 14, 2023
Oakland, CA – On DA Price’s first days in office, the Alameda County DA Accountability Table (ACDA Table) released their 100-Day Agenda for New Alameda County DA Pamela Price which included a 7-point agenda for the DA’s office. DA Price was elected on a reformist agenda, a referendum against the racist and carceral status quo of past DA administration and their policies.
Two-thirds of people incarcerated in Santa Rita Jail are BIPOC: 50% are Black in a county that is 10% Black. Diversion programs were woefully underutilized, police officers were almost never held accountable by D.A O’Malley while they donated to her campaigns, and the D.A’s office pursued excessively punitive and anti-immigrant policies for decades. Alameda County also has the highest number of 5150’s in the entire state, reflecting the depth of the carceral and mental health crises in our community. These are the reasons why DA Price was elected. However, pro mass incarceration agitators, well-funded and connected to police associations, are following the blueprints that ousted San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin. Recent media attacks on DA Price are directly targeting promised reforms, working against the people’s will to transform the prosecutor’s office’s historic role in driving mass incarceration and allowing the epidemic of police violence to go unchecked. These police propagandists and their allies in the media have exploited recent tragedies to drive their agenda and move us away from implementing the necessary solutions. These same reporters did little to nothing to speak up when police terrorized Black and Brown communities, republished police press releases and talking points without investigation posing OPD messaging as credible, vetted and impartial news, acting as a propaganda mouthpiece for the police.
As communities most impacted by violence and incarceration, we deeply feel the pain of losing loved ones and extend our deepest sympathies to the families of these recent tragedies. All stakeholders should be working hard to provide the victims’ families with the services and support they need and work to prevent tragedies like these from happening again to other families.
The ACDA Table continues to vow to engage with and hold DA Price’s administration accountable to promises made on the campaign trail, and also recognizes the office’s first steps in the right direction to transforming the DA’s office. These steps include the release of the Interim Final Special Directive 23-01 and the reopening of 8 cases involving police killings and in-custody deaths. The Interim Final Special Directive 23-01 “reduces reliance on sentencing enhancements and allegations as an effort to bring balance back to sentencing and reduce recidivism” and states that “Exceptions may be allowed on a case-by-case basis in cases involving the most vulnerable victims and in specified extraordinary circumstances.” This is not, as the news media has purported, an ending of enhancement policies. Additionally, Price’s administration has reopened 8 cases with police killings for review, which is a vital step in holding police accountable for extrajudicial killings that have come to define police presence in our communities.
“This is the boldest policy in the country that seeks to end excessive punishment and incarceration. Research has shown time and again that prolonged incarceration does not improve public safety, and actually increases recidivism. This policy seeks to end racist sentencing enhancements that have been applied almost exclusively to Black and Brown people” ” said Yoel Haile, Director of the Criminal Justice Program at the ACLU of Northern California.
The advocates’ will continue to urgently engage for progress on DA Price’s 10-point platform on which she campaigned, including urging Price’s Office to:
- End youth criminalization and transfers to the adult court system.
- Decline to charge low-level misdemeanors and felonies
- Increase and prioritize the use of diversion programs.
- End the use of sentencing enhancements.
- Commit to review all requests for resentencing.
- Take immigration consequences into consideration in reviewing cases.
- Hold police officers accountable for illegal conduct.
The Alameda County DA Accountability Table is a coalition of local community-based organizations committed to ending mass incarceration, eliminating racism from the criminal legal system, and police accountability, including the below organizations:
American Civil Liberties Union, Northern CA
Anti Police-Terror Project
Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)
East Bay Community Law Center
Ella Baker Center
Justice Reinvestment Coalition
Urban Peace Movement
Spokespeople, including advocates, legal and policy experts, and systems-impacted community members, are available upon request.