District Attorney candidates Spencer Todd, Marion County, and Brian Decker, Washington County discuss their platforms as Safety & Justice Oregon provides an overview of their “8 Steps to Justice” a practical guide for progressive District Attorneys. This December 2021 event was facilitated by Julianne Jackson and Leland Baxter-Neal.
SJO’s Coalition is led by communities most harmed by a broken criminal legal system and its “8 Steps to Justice” calls on District Attorneys to reduce the number of people in prison, jails and on supervision, address racism in the criminal legal system, and to invest in safer communities for us all.
STEP 1: LISTEN TO COMMUNITIES. Build relationships with and listen to communities that are most impacted by crime, violence and over-policing.
STEP 2: SUPPORT CRIME SURVIVORS. Support all survivors whether or not they choose to prosecute and hire diverse victimsʼ assistance advocates to provide culturally specific support.
STEP 3: DISMANTLE SYSTEMIC RACISM. Learn how prosecutors contribute to a racist, unfair system and work with Black, Indigenous and other people of color to develop solutions.
STEP 4: RETHINK JAIL AND BAIL. Reduce the number of people sitting in jail because of low-level crimes, mental health, substance use crises and unaffordable cash bail.
STEP 5: REDUCE PROBATION AND PAROLE SENTENCING. Sentence fewer people to supervision and fix probation and parole so that they donʼt unnecessarily put people back into the system.
STEP 6: INVEST IN PUBLIC HEALTH — NOT PRISON. Support cost-effective programs that keep people off supervision and out of jail or prison. Reinvest in housing, addiction and mental health services.
STEP 7: LET JUDGES DO THEIR JOBS. End ineffective mandatory minimum sentencing and track racial disparities in sentencing.
STEP 8: HOLD POLICE ACCOUNTABLE. Setup independent investigations of police to ensure officers aren’t compromised by relationships with the prosecutor’s office.
Safety & Justice Oregon is shifting the political landscape to advance reforms that shrink the state’s prison and probations systems and invest in healing. Through civic engagement and engaging in local elections, SJO is advancing racial justice by expanding culturally-specific support for survivors of crime and people convicted of crime in Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color.