This is how we end mass incarceration

Email sent: Jul 14, 2018 10:11 am

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Hi ACLU Supporter

The most powerful person in the criminal justice system is the district attorney an elected official who will decide your fate if you ever have a run-in with the law.

Watch and share this video explaining how prosecutors like the DA use their unchecked power to perpetuate mass incarceration and are rarely held accountable.

Power of the Prosecutor Video

This fall, over 1,000 DAs are up for election throughout the country. That's why the ACLU Smart Justice team is bringing the fight to the ballot box to enact real change. Here's what we've accomplished together so far:

  • The ACLU of Massachusetts hosted a revolutionary forum inside Boston's South Bay House of Correction putting Suffolk County DA candidates face-to-face with those who bear the brunt of their decisions people who are currently incarcerated. The DA candidates debated crucial matters and took questions from members of the audience who are currently incarcerated at South Bay in a meaningful interaction paving the way for a more ethical and accountable future.

  • Ever since the police killing of Michael Brown in 2014 and the protests in Ferguson, Missouri that followed the issue of equal justice, no matter your race or income, has been front and center in St. Louis County. The ACLU of Missouri organized a forum on the issue, canvassed door-to-door, and developed candidate questionnaires to engage the public and prosecuting attorneys in our fight for criminal justice reform.

  • California DA candidates were held to unprecedented standards of transparency thanks to the ACLU's #Vote4DA questionnaire to which 26 candidates responded despite overwhelming pressure against doing so from the Association of Deputy District Attorneys. June DA races saw historically high voter turnout, engagement, and contested incumbent seats that had gone unchallenged for far too long.

  • With the highest incarceration rate in the country, the state of Oklahoma is ripe for commonsense reform. Our team on the ground in Tulsa ran candidate questionnaires, canvassed door-to-door, and held a candidate forum ahead of the primary election last month which resulted in record-shattering voter turnout that bodes well for our fight.

We know we've got the people on our side: Nine out of ten voters from both sides of the aisle want prosecutors to prioritize alternatives to incarceration. It's clear there's a vast disconnect between public opinion and prosecutors' actions. And in a democracy, it's not supposed to work like that.

But too many people aren't aware that we the people elect DAs and that our votes have the potential to transform our broken criminal justice system.

Watch and share this video showing how DAs are going against the will of the people to maintain a broken criminal justice system. Getting informed is the first step we have the power to make real change at the ballot box this fall.

Together, we're combatting mass incarceration one DA race at a time. As we approach November, we'll keep you updated with resources like candidate scorecards, questionnaires, and more. We can win this but we have to keep up the fight.

Thanks for raising your voice,

Bill Cobb

Bill Cobb
Deputy Director of the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice

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