Decarcerate PA is proud to join with our allies across the city as part of the Philadelphia Coalition for a Just District Attorney. Learn more and get involved at http://phillydaforthepeople.org/
The DA is the most powerful person in the criminal justice system.
After a long history of DAs notoriously targeting rather than showing up for Black and Brown people in Philly, this is the time for a real people’s DA to stand up. The 2017 race is wide open--and that means candidates have to earn our votes. We need more than talk about progressive policies, we need real concrete commitments to stop the overcriminalization of Black and Brown people.
These are the main priorities that any District Attorney calling themselves progressive would need to commit to acting on in their first 100 days as DA:
- Stop Targeting Black and Brown Communities - Too many prosecutors focus on convictions and not on justice. We need a DA to commit to lessening the harsh impacts the system has on our communities. This includes declining to prosecute charges that criminalize us, but don’t keep us safe, ending cash Bail in Philadelphia, and centering restorative solutions to crime that prioritize the real needs of victims.
- Increase Transparency & Accountability - There's a lot we don't know about the prosecutor's office--including simple things like how many people of color they convict a year--because historically there hasn't been a commitment to transparency. We need a DA that will commit to being held accountable and will hold law enforcement accountable when they break the law.
- Treat Kids like Kids - We need a DA who will commit to making sure youth are in juvenile facilities rather than adult jails, and pushing to complete the work of re-sentencing young people who were sentenced to life without parole.
- Consider the Immigration Consequences of Arrests and Convictions - In the Trump era, it is even more important that our new DA considers how any contact with the criminal justice system can result in deportation, limits collusion with ICE, promotes language access in courtrooms and elsewhere, as well as considers deportation as a collateral consequence in plea agreements.
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