DA101_1.jpg
 
gets-charged.png

who gets charged with a crime

After arrest, police present the case to one of the DA’s prosecutors, who decides whether to prosecute and what charges to bring. Historically DAs have over-prosecuted, raising incarceration rates.

severity-3x_1.png

the seVERITY of a criminal charge

DAs determine whether to charge crimes as violations, misdemeanors (punishable up to one year in jail), and felonies (serious criminal offenses punishable by years in state prison). Historically, DAs have at times overcharged Defendants to pressure them into making pleas.

offer-3x.png

what TO OFFER in a plea bargain

90% of criminal cases do not end up in jury trials. In plea bargains, the prosecutor makes an agreement to ease or drop charges, and reduce punishment in exchange for a guilty plea by the defendant. Plea ‘bargains’ give the DA inordinate power, and are rife with abuse.

see-bail.jpg

WHETHER TO SEEK BAIL AND DETAIN

DAs can ask judges to set bail for individuals before trial or conviction. Pre-trial incarceration penalizes the poor who end up detained for weeks or months before due process. Additional fees follow them through the criminal justice system: before, during, and after conviction.

treatment.png

WHO GETS ACCESS TO TREATMENT VS JAIL

‘Tough on Crime’ DAs too often choose to incarcerate the vulnerable: people with addictions or mental illness, veterans, and at–risk youth.

A smarter DA will use diversion to offer people in crisis rehabilitation programs designed to help them rather than locking them up.

 
most-powerful.png
 

prosecutor impact

Most voters don’t realize how a DA’s decisions impact the people facing the criminal justice system, and the long-term consequences suffered by their families and communities. 

The DA is the county’s top elected prosecutor, serving with broad discretion and little oversight. For decades, harsh decisions by ‘Tough on Crime’ DAs have made our nation the leader in over-incarceration.

Most DA races go unchallenged, and DAs can remain entrenched in power for decades. DAs have been active roadblocks to justice reform efforts— thwarting transparency and change.

Americans agree: the ‘War on Drugs’ and the reign of ‘Tough on Crime’ DAs has been costly for taxpayers, devastating for vulnerable persons with addiction and mental illness, and has made us less safe.

lawyerDA_bg.png
 
 
ulster-map_1.png

over- incarceration make us less safe

For the past 30 years, counties in NYS have steadily lowered their average incarceration rate.

But Ulster County has sharply increased its jail admissions.

 
broken-system.png