For the past twenty years, I have worked as a prosecutor, seeking justice on behalf of victims and communities on cases ranging from hate crimes to sexual assaults. As Attorney General, I will use all of my hard-won knowledge and experience – and the respect I’ve earned from law enforcement, the criminal defense bar and community advocates – to fight for reform that brings meaningful, lasting improvements to the way our system works.
As Attorney General, the following criminal justice issues will be my priorities:
Drug Sentencing Reform and Addiction Treatment
Our jails are overcrowded with drug-addicted offenders who commit crimes to support their addictions. I will work with the legislature, law enforcement, the District Attorneys, defense advocates and other interested community groups to reduce the number of these offenders going to jail, and refocus our efforts and funds on effective addiction treatment options. Without such measures, these offenders will continuously enter and leave the justice system, at tremendous individual and public cost.
End Private Prisons
I will work with the legislature, Department of Corrections and local communities to end Colorado’s use of private prisons. Private prisons embody an inherent conflict of interest between Colorado’s duties to house and rehabilitate prisoners, and the corporate goal of maximizing profit. The custody and rehabilitation of inmates should no longer be outsourced in this manner. As a prosecutor for the past 20 years, I strongly believe that a profit-based prison system completely undermines the mission, integrity, and fairness of our justice system.
Alternative Treatment Courts
Some groups of criminal offenders – such as military veterans, and those suffering from mental health conditions or drug addiction – can receive vital help through court systems that provide a variety of medical, mental health and other professional services. Treatment courts have been established in many court systems, including in Jefferson and Gilpin counties under my leadership. They have resulted in greatly reduced recidivism rates, while giving these offenders the assistance they need for long-term success. Helping other local jurisdictions establish these courts will be a key goal of my tenure as Attorney General.
Advocacy Before the State Legislature
We need an Attorney General who knows firsthand the legal and practical path to changing our criminal justice system for the better. In my previous role in charge of the Attorney General’s Criminal Division, I have advocated before the legislature on numerous criminal justice questions. Under my leadership, the Attorney General’s Office will provide clear, comprehensive guidance to the legislature in support of reforms that improve our collective work in to creating a system the serves crime victims and seeks justice without fear or favor.
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