Providing our communities with adequate mental health services is essential to the work I have done as a prosecutor to keep our community safe. Behavioral health is not just a social justice issue, it is a criminal justice issue too and it is about time the law enforcement community participates in solutions. Far too often we see folks entering the criminal justice system due to mental health struggles. Many times, involvement with the courts becomes cyclical because we do not provide access to appropriate resources that address the root causes of their actions. Here, in the 8th Judicial District, these concerns have never been properly addressed. I have pledged not to criminalize mental health crises and have called on the current administration to do the same. Unfortunately, they have not joined in that pledge.
As District Attorney, I will start adult diversion programs that provide quick and effective access to mental health treatment without further burdening those already struggling. I will create a culture where attorneys understand the impact of mental health and act thoughtfully in response. I will be an advocate in the community and with other elected officials for increased mental health resources. I will use the great discretion of the District Attorney’s office to distinguish criminal behavior which deserves prosecution from mental health issues which necessitate resources and treatment. These changes will help foster a safer, healthier, and more just community.