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Danielle Sered explaining why the U.S. needs to move away from carceral punishment at TED NYC 2017.

 
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  • The average homicide offender in Boston has seven-plus prior arraignments

  • Between 2001 and 2010, 64% of suspects in police killings in the U.S. had a prior conviction

  • In Massachusetts, two-thirds of people sentenced to DOC and half sent to local jails are rearrested within three years

  • The current prosecution-based public safety paradigm’s repeat failures are putting both civilians and law enforcement officers in danger

  • There is a large and growing body of evidence that restorative justice programs improve victim satisfaction and reduce recidivism more than prosecution-based approaches

  • Restorative justice is particularly effective with juvenile offenders and violent offenders

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JP Progressives Candidates Survey +

1 - What's your position on implementing a restorative justice program in Suffolk County?

Perfect D.A. Scorecard Follow-up Questions +

1 - Has the candidate proposed a comprehensive, detailed plan on how the office will divert every single case, including violent offenses of all kinds (pending victim approval), into restorative and transformative programming tracks prior to prosecution? Has the candidate released the plan to the public? Does the candidate commit to traditional criminal prosecution only after all other less-invasive restorative alternatives have been attempted (1.5 grade points) How does the candidate plan to fund and scale such a program countywide? (1 grade point)

2 - The goal of restorative justice programs is to restore things to their original state prior to the crime. Transformative justice, to the extent possible, seeks to improve the situation for all parties involved. Will the candidate commit to transformative justice programs that go beyond traditional restorative programs? (1 grade point)

3 - There will be instances where someone given the chance to participate in restorative justice fails and commits another crime. There will be many in the media and law enforcement eager to use this as proof that the old way of doing things was the right way. How will the candidate respond to this? (.5 grade points)

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Evandro Carvalho’s Response +

1 - “I fully support implementing restorative justice programs in Suffolk County.”

1, 2, 3, 4 - N/A Candidate did not answer questions by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1.0) Candidate specifically commits to restorative justice programs but need much more specific information in order to gauge level of commitment

(-1.0) Candidate does not mention plan to fund and scale such a program countywide

(-1.0) Candidate does not mention transformative justice

(-.5) Candidate does not acknowledge plan to defend restorative justice programs against criticism

Grade: F (4.0 – 3.5 = 0.5)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.5 x 10% = .05

Linda Champion’s Response +

1 - “I am in favor of programs that will get people out of the criminal system, back to work, and into safe, affordable, clean housing.”

1, 2, 3, 4 - N/A Candidate did not answer questions by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1.5) Candidate does not specifically commit to restorative justice programs.

(-1.0) Candidate does not mention plan to fund and scale such a program countywide

(-1.0) Candidate does not mention transformative justice

(-.5) Candidate does not acknowledge plan to defend restorative justice programs against criticism

Grade: F (4.0 – 4.0 = 0.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.0 x 10% = .00

Greg Henning’s Response +

1 - “The “breakdown” policy I mention above is itself a restorative justice program because it makes the community stakeholders in the outcome of the cases, and it is done with the cooperation and consent of the defendant and his attorney. I would also encourage restorative justice programs that bring the defendant and those affected by the particular crime – including the victim – together when all parties are willing to participate. Victims will always have a place at the head of the table whenever dispositions are discussed or constructed.”

1, 2, 3, 4 - N/A Candidate did not answer questions by deadline.

(-1.0) Candidate specifically commits to restorative justice programs but need much more specific information in order to gauge level of commitment

(-1.0) Candidate does not mention plan to fund and scale such a program countywide

(-1.0) Candidate does not mention transformative justice

(-.5) Candidate does not acknowledge plan to defend restorative justice programs against criticism

Grade: F (4.0 – 3.5 = 0.5)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.5 x 10% = .05

Shannon McAuliffe's Response +

1 - “I am enthusiastically in favor of restorative justice as the most effective tool in addressing willing victims’ pain, trauma and harm. Circles and similar community conferences at Roca made victims more whole while allowing those who imposed harm the opportunity for redemption which fuels the change process. The people closest to the problem are always closest to the solutions.”

1, 2, 3, 4 - N/A Candidate did not answer questions by deadline.

(-.75) Candidate specifically commits to restorative justice programs, and shows understanding of their efficacy, but need much more specific information in order to gauge level of commitment

(-1.0) Candidate does not mention plan to fund and scale such a program countywide

(-1.0) Candidate does not mention transformative justice

(-.5) Candidate does not acknowledge plan to defend restorative justice programs against criticism

Grade: D- (4.0 – 3.25 = .75)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.75 x 10% = .08

Rachael Rollins's Response +

1 - “I am committed to implementing a Restorative Justice program within the office.”

1 - I have yet to propose any such plan. When the plan is completed, it will be released to the public. I do fully commit to criminal prosecution only after considering less-invasive restorative alternatives.

2 - I intend to seek more funding for my budget than DA Conley has sought in the past. If we have to do a reduction in staff in order to fund these programs, we will absolutely consider that. The Gang Unit will be the first place I look, as 3 of the 12 ADAs in the Unit are currently on approved leave to run the Greg Henning Campaign. Greg has been on leave since March 1, 2018. How many black and brown men do we think have received continuances based on a lack of staffing in the office? Further, the Gang Unit reports up to the Crime Bureau Division, who’s chief just left to head up the BPD Legal Department. I am told from many CPCS lawyers that all of the cases handled within these units are stagnant right now. This is our current justice system at work. Completely unacceptable.

3 - Yes.

4 - I will be vocal about the fact that failure is part of success. And remind people in the media that we are committed to the success of the programs and will continue using them because they work. This type of commitment requires a strong and proven leader that can stand firm, even when the position might be unpopular. I am that person.

(-0.0) Candidate specifically commits to restorative justice programs and to make plan public

(-0.0) Candidate commits to plan to fund and scale such a program countywide

(-0.0) Candidate commits to transformative justice programs

(-0.0) Candidate acknowledges need to defend restorative justice programs against criticism

Grade: A (4.0 – 0.0 = 4.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 4.0 x 10% = .40

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Candidates had from July 8, 2018 to July 23, 2018 to answer the following 4 questions to improve their grades. Only Rachael Rollins submitted complete answers by deadline +

  • Has the candidate proposed a comprehensive, detailed plan on how the office will divert every single case, including violent offenses of all kinds (pending victim approval), into restorative and transformative programming tracks prior to prosecution? Has the candidate released the plan to the public? Does the candidate commit to traditional criminal prosecution only after all other less-invasive restorative alternatives have been attempted (1.5 grade points)
  • How does the candidate plan to fund and scale such a program countywide? (1 grade point)
  • The goal of restorative justice programs is to restore things to their original state prior to the crime. Transformative justice, to the extent possible, seeks to improve the situation for all parties involved. Will the candidate commit to transformative justice programs that go beyond traditional restorative programs? (1 grade point)
  • There will be instances where someone given the chance to participate in restorative justice fails and commits another crime. There will be many in the media and law enforcement eager to use this as proof that the old way of doing things was the right way. How will the candidate respond to this? (.5)
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MassINC’s Ben Forman explains the geography of incarceration and how it affects residents of certain neighborhoods more than others

 
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  • In legal contexts, in order to bring a lawsuit, an aggrieved party must have been personally harmed in order to have “standing” to file suit

  • This is because a person who has been personally harmed can identify the problem actor(s), describe the harm inflicted, and explain what is needed to repair the injury

  • In the context of a district attorney race, the principle of standing is material because a candidate who is a member of a group disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system will have a more comprehensive understanding of who the system is targeting, how, and why, and thus will be much more likely to pursue and achieve lasting, meaningful reform

  • Much like standing, residence is important because a candidate who has lived, does live, and pledges to remain living in a neighborhood in Suffolk County where residents are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system will have a much more comprehensive understanding of who the system targets, how, and why, because they will be routinely observing it happen to their neighbors, family, and friends

 
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Evandro Carvalho +

(-0.0) According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, African American men are the group most disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system. As the only candidate that is a member of this group, Evandro Carvalho has the most standing

(-0.0) Evandro Carvalho has lived, does live, and has committed to remain living in Upham’s Corner, which is a neighborhood where residents are disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system

Grade: A (4.0 – 0.0 = 4.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 4.0 x 10% = .40

No further information needed from candidate in this section.

Linda Champion +

(-.5) According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, African American women are the group of women most disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system, but at a rate far less than African American men. As one of two African American women candidates, Linda Champion has the second most standing

(-2.0) Linda Champion has not, does not, and has not yet committed to remain living in a Suffolk County neighborhood where residents are disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system

Grade: D+ (4.0 – 2.5 = 1.5)

Equity Adjustment: +.25^

Adjusted Grade: C- (1.5 + .25 = 1.75)

Grade Points for this Section: 1.75 x 10% = .18

^Candidate received an equity adjustment of +.25 because the Suffolk County DA’s Office has historically excluded women from key leadership roles.

Greg Henning +

(-2) White men are the group of men least disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. The incarceration rate for white men has been in steady decline for more than a decade. Accordingly, white men have the least standing of any group in a jurisdiction that most disproportionately prosecutes men of color

(-1.5) Greg Henning lives in Suffolk County, in Dorchester, but he lives in a part of Dorchester that is racially segregated and where the mostly white neighborhood residents are not disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system

Grade: F (4.0 – 3.5 = 0.5)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.5 x 10% = .05

Shannon McAuliffe +

(-1.5) According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, white women are the group of women least disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system (and at a rate far less than white men). However, because the incarceration rate for white women has risen 53% since 2000, more than any other group of any race or gender, white women ought to be granted more standing than white men

(-2.0) Shannon McAuliffe lives in Suffolk County, but she lives in a part of Boston that is racially segregated and where the mostly white neighborhood residents are not targeted by the criminal justice system

Grade: F (4.0 – 3.5 = .5)

Equity Adjustment: +.25^

Adjusted Grade: D- (.5 + .25 = .75)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.75 x 10% = .08

^Candidate received an equity adjustment of +.25 because the Suffolk County DA’s Office has historically excluded women from key leadership roles.

Rachael Rollins +

1 - Does the candidate have standing to run for D.A. in Suffolk County? (2 grade points)

"I am a black woman. My brothers are black men. No matter what neighborhood we live in, we are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system.

I was born in Boston and have lived in Boston (Dorchester, Mission Hill, JP and Roxbury). My parents dedicated 60 years combined to Boston Public Schools and in that time worked in over 30 different schools. Further, for the 20 years that I have been a lawyer, I have worked in Suffolk County as well as dedicated my personal time to Suffolk County and the communities most impacted by the racial disparities in the criminal justice system (MBLA, NAACP, AG Committee, JNC).

When I am elected DA, I will be bringing my entire family into Suffolk County. It should be noted, unlike the two white democratic candidates in the race that have the financial luxury to loan themselves $10k to start their campaigns, I had to raise every dollar in my campaign. Accordingly, will live in the Suffolk County neighborhood where I can afford the rent or afford to purchase a permanent home."

2 - Win or lose, do you commit to living in a neighborhood in Suffolk County where residents are disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system? For how long after the election will you commit to living there? (2 grade points)

"I commit to continuing my plight to restore justice to the criminal system and to have racial and gender equity throughout the criminal justice system. If I do not win the primary and there are affordable housing options for me to continue living within Suffolk County, I will absolutely stay. If there are not, I -- like many other black people in Boston -- cannot afford to stay. I am responsible for my daughter and my two nieces. My responsibilities are bigger than this questionnaire."

(-.25) According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, African American women are the group of women most disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system, but at a rate far less than African American men. As one of two African American women candidates, Rachael Rollins is tied for the second most standing. Candidate received a higher grade than equally situated candidates because the criminal justice system has directely impacted immediate family members.

(-0.25) Candidate commits to moving her daughter and adopted nieces to Suffolk County win or lose, cost permitting, but does not specifically commit to living in a neighborhood where residents are most disproportiontately targeted by the criminal justice system

Grade: B+ (4.0 – .5 = 3.5)

Equity Adjustment: +.25^

Adjusted Grade: A- (3.5 + .25 = 3.75)

Total Grade Points for this Section: 3.75 x 10% = .38

^Candidate received an equity adjustment of +.25 because the Suffolk County DA’s Office has historically excluded women from key leadership roles.

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Linda Champion, Greg Henning, Shannon McAuliffe, and Rachael Rollins had from July 8, 2018 to July 23, 2018 to answer the following questions to improve their grades. Only Rachael Rollins submitted complete answers by deadline +

  • Does the candidate have standing to run for D.A. in Suffolk County? (2 grade points)
  • Has/does/will the candidate lived/live/remain living in Suffolk County in a neighborhood where residents are routinely disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system? (2 grade points)
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 Credit: Kristin Johnson

Credit: Kristin Johnson

 
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  • Candidates for DA in Suffolk County must raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in order to be competitive

  • Contributions often come from the very individuals whose livelihoods depend upon the district attorney continuing to arraign and prosecute the maximal number of cases

  • This structural arrangement poses many different conflicts of interest

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These are the questions each candidate should be graded on answering before voters can be convinced candidates can ethically raise enough money to be competitive +

  1. Is the candidate viable from a fundraising standpoint? (2.5 grade points)
  2. Has the candidate accepted money from police in Suffolk County? (1 grade point)
  3. Does the candidate pledge to accept no contributions from individuals and organizations whose paychecks and continued funding are dependent upon arrests, arraignments, prosecutions, and incarcerations continuing? (.5 grade points)
 

Evandro Carvalho +

Grade Point Deductions:

(-2.0) As of July 2, Evandro Carvalho ranks 4th out of 5 candidates in money raised, and 4th out of 5 candidates in cash on hand

(-1.0) Candidate has accepted $1,100 from Boston Police employees with “police” “detective” “officer” and /or “sergeant” in the OCPF employment field

(-.5) Candidate has made no such pledge and donations accepted indicate no

Grade: F (4.0 – 3.5 = .50)

Equity Adjustment: +.50^

Adjusted Grade: D (.50 + .50 = 1.0)

Total Grade Points for this Section: 1.0 x .05 = .05

*^Candidate received an equity adjustment of +.5 because there is a well-documented, persistent racial wealth gap in Massachusetts. Both white candidates in this race utilized this gap to their advantage by loaning their campaigns founding $10,000 donations.

Linda Champion +

Grade Point Deductions:

(-2.25) As of July 2, Linda Champion ranks 5th out of 5 candidates in money raised, and 5th out of 5 candidates in cash on hand.

(-1.0) Candidate has accepted $950 from police officers, at least $450 of which comes from Boston Police employees with “police” “detective” “officer” and /or “sergeant” in the OCPF employment field

(-.5) Candidate has made no such pledge and donations accepted indicate no

Grade: F (4.0 – 3.75 = .25)

Equity Adjustment: +.50^

Adjusted Grade: D- (.25 + .50 = .75)

Grade Points for this Section: .75 x .05 = .04

*^Candidate received an equity adjustment of +.5 because there is a well-documented, persistent racial wealth gap in Massachusetts. Both white candidates in this race utilized this gap to their advantage by loaning their campaigns founding $10,000 donations.

Greg Henning +

Grade Point Deductions:

(-0.0) As of July 2, Greg Henning ranks 1st out of 5 candidates in money raised, and 1st out of 5 candidates in cash on hand

(-1.0) Candidate has accepted $55,775 from police officers, the vast majority of which come from Boston Police employees with “police” “detective” “officer” and /or “sergeant” in the OCPF employment field

(-.5) Candidate has made no such pledge and donations accepted indicate no

Grade: C+ (4.0 – 1.5 = 2.5)

Grade Points for this Section: 2.5 x .05 = 0.13

Shannon McAuliffe +

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1) As of July 2, Shannon McAuliffe ranks 2nd out of 5 candidates in money raised, and 3rd out of 5 candidates in cash on hand

(-0.0) Candidate has accepted $100 from one police officer, which is not from Boston Police employees with “police” “detective” “officer” and /or “sergeant” in the OCPF employment field

(-.5) Candidate has made no such pledge and donations accepted indicate no

Grade: C+ (4.0 – 1.5 = 2.5)

Grade Points for this Section: 2.5 x .05 = 0.13

Rachael Rollins +

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1) As of July 2, Rachael Rollins is 3rd out of 5 candidates in money raised, and 2rd out of 5 candidates in cash on hand.

(-1) Candidate has accepted $725 from police officers, at least $600 of which comes from Boston Police employees with “police” “detective” “officer” and /or “sergeant” in the OCPF employment field

(-.5) Candidate has made no such pledge and donations accepted indicate no

Grade: D+ (4.0 – 2.5 = 1.5)

Equity Adjustment: +.50^

Adjusted Grade: C (1.5 + 0.5 = 2.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 2.0 x 5% = 0.10

^Candidate received an equity adjustment of +.5 because there is a well-documented, persistent racial wealth gap in Massachusetts. Both white candidates in this race utilized this gap to their advantage by loaning their campaigns founding $10,000 donations.

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Candidates had from July 8, 2018 to July 23, 2018 to answer the following two questions to improve their grades. No candidates pledged to accept no contributions from police and/or individuals whose paychecks rely upon arrests and arraignments continuing, nor did any candidate pledge to return the contributions of either/both +

  • If the candidate has accepted contributions from police in Suffolk County, will the candidate return the contributions and pledge to accept no such future contributions from them (1 grade point)
  • If the candidate has accepted contributions from individuals and organizations whose paychecks and continued funding are dependent upon arrests, arraignments, prosecutions, and incarcerations continuing, will the candidate return the contributions and pledge to accept no such future contributions from them? (.5 grade points)
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