SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer today released a series of guiding principles for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office regarding the role of the prosecutor in our society.
In releasing these policy positions and initiatives, District Attorney Spitzer is calling on all elected California district attorneys to have a conversation about how prosecutors can address systemic racism in the criminal justice system and end mass incarceration.
“We as a society have engaged in systemic mass incarceration. As a prosecutor, I will stop it. We as a society have prosecuted people of color differently. As a prosecutor, I will stop it,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “We cannot fix a systematic problem without a systematic approach. That approach must be thoughtful, thorough, and include different perspectives, different experiences, and different ideas. Justice is not evidenced by the longest sentence; justice is what is best for the individual, the victim, and society as a whole.”
District Attorney Spitzer’s policy positions and initiatives include:
- End mass incarceration
- Establish a Conviction Integrity Unit
- Establish Recidivism Reduction Units that address an individual’s chances for success
- Support mental health diversion when practical to address underlying issues with programming
- Support dual 911 dispatch with mental health response and training to 911 calls seeking psychiatric assistance
- Support policies that prevent law enforcement agencies from investigating their own officer-involved shootings
- Ban the use of carotid holds by law enforcement within the Orange County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation and support the ban of carotid holds across all District Attorney Investigation Bureaus
- Response to “Defund the Police” is to require local jurisdictions to support and advocate for sufficient community resources that support the above principles and initiatives that reduce recidivism and provide equal opportunities for all.
“Seeking justice means we must constantly ask ourselves whether the system in which we hold so much power is working in a fair way for all people, from all backgrounds, experiences and beliefs, and who may or may not be citizens of this country. Where the system fails to be fair, we fail to be fair unless we improve the system. And where we have failed, we must acknowledge those failures as important steps in improving our own work, and the system of justice in which we do that work.”
District Attorney Spitzer’s The Role of a Prosecutor and the Role of the Orange County District Attorney in our Society: Policy Positions and Promotion of Initiatives can be found on www.orangecountyda.org.