A PLAN FOR OUR COMMUNITY
As DA I will stop spending the limited resources of each county on incarcerating non-violent misdemeanor offenders. I will work with local organizations to have these offenders perform acts of restoration for their offenses through community based service. Sweat equity is a powerful tool for convincing non-violent offenders to change their ways. Allowing these non-violent offenders to engage in restorative justice without the worry of losing a job, and without punishing their family with the loss of wages will go a long way to preventing these misdemeanors from reoccurring. Just as importantly restorative justice lowers costs to the taxpayers, freeing our tax dollars to go to other areas of our county budgets.
We MUST have the resources to prosecute serious offenses that damage our community. Time and energy are precious. We need to spend it on violent and sexual offenses, on protecting those among us who are abused, and protecting our communities from the truly dangerous people. If someone hurts a family member, if they hurt a child, if they hurt anyone in our community, we’re going to prove it, insure they are punished and prevent them from having an opportunity to do harm to our community again.
As District Attorney I will not clog our courts nor our jails with non-violent misdemeanors whenever possible. Nor will I waste precious tax dollars on frivolous jail time of two or three days for these types of offenses.
As District Attorney I will petition the Maine Judiciary to institute Veteran’s Court, Drug Court and Co-Occurring Disorders Court to cover our Counties of Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and Waldo Counties. These courts work hard to end the cycle of crime, and the costs associated with it, by getting non-violent offenders back on track. The District Attorney’s Office has a responsibility to taxpayers to spend tax dollars effectively and efficiently. These Courts are more cost effective, and the most effective response to lowering recidivism rates. These courts are being used effectively around the State of Maine. It is time the communities of Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and Waldo counties have access to these resources that have long been ignored by the current District Attorney.
Sick people need medical treatment, not jail time. Our jails are brimming with members of our community who are struggling with mental illness and addictions. This is an expensive, dehumanizing way of dealing with our families, friends, and neighbors. The opioid epidemic is stretching our resources even thinner. We need an effective proactive cost innovative policy to move our Justice System forward. As DA I will take a systematic and comprehensive approach to substance abuse and mental illness in the criminal justice system to unclog our jails of non-violent offenders to make room for those who violently rip our communities apart with violence based crimes.
Maine consistently ranks in one of the top two positions as the oldest state by average population age. Lincoln County is the “oldest” county in the Country by average population age. One in ten elderly Mainers are abused in their homes, often by family members. One in twenty of these cases are ever brought to court. The current District Attorney rarely prosecutes when someone actually files a complaint about abuse. This is unacceptable and we need to put an end to it. As District Attorney I will implement a Midcoast task force to find the best methods of identifying victims and bringing criminals to justice. Prosecuting abusers is a top priority.
As District Attorney I will work with Maine Council on Elder Abuse Prevention on this issue to insure that the DA’s office has a better handle on how to prosecute these cases. I also will help work to insure that local, county and state law enforcement officers have the tools they need to gather the evidence required to prosecute these cases.
If you believe that you or someone you know is suffering from elder abuse please call the Maine Elderly Abuse Hotline at 1-800-624-8404.
While in combat situations, Veterans develop survival skills that keep them alive. Unfortunately when Veterans return home sometimes those very skills that kept them alive, are against the law here at home. Transition from combat to civilian life can be difficult and challenging for some of our families, our friends and our neighbors.
I believe that those among us who have served sometimes need a little bit of understanding and assistance with the “Readjustment Blues”. Veteran’s Court exists across this country and here in Maine. The District Attorney’s Office in Kennebec and Somerset Counties have used this alternative court system with unprecedented success to resolve criminal cases involving veterans.
As District Attorney I will work with Warden Randy Liberty to assist our four county sheriffs with making changes to our incarceration policies to improve the safety of our veterans as they travel through our justice system. As District Attorney I will do everything I can to convince the Maine Judiciary to bring a Veteran’s Court to our counties. And I will not stop pressuring the Judiciary until they give our veterans the justice system they deserve.
It is extremely important that our community police departments have the resources they need to do their jobs in the 21st Century. As District Attorney I will work with police departments and the county commissioner to apply for a variety of grants from the Federal Government that will assist with protecting our communities.