It is time for 21st century justice in Ulster County.
Dave’s vision for a 21st century District Attorney’s Office is one that aggressively prosecutes dangerous criminals while enhancing public safety through effective prevention programs. As our next District Attorney, Dave Clegg will bring much needed justice reform—that both progressive and conservative voters support—to save resources and to produce more just outcomes.
A District Attorney must seek justice, not merely prosecution for its own sake.
True justice repairs harm to victims and the community. The current “tough on crime” system pursues high conviction rates and harsh sentences, too often at the cost of justice itself. Incarceration does not address the root causes of crime or the likelihood of reoffending, and does nothing to restore the victim or the community. Dave will implement strategies that have been proven to:
Combat serious crime
Successfully prevent crime
Seriously protect and address the needs of victims
Rehabilitate non-violent offenders
‘Tough on crime’ has failed. It’s time to be smart on crime and its causes
Overzealous prosecutors have driven mass incarceration. Nationwide, over-prosecuted communities have suffered social and economic deterioration, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and crime. Vast amounts of money spent arresting and confining citizens could be better invested—on youth programs, drug counseling, and community policing.
The District Attorney has the power to create restorative pathways for individuals—especially kids, veterans and those suffering from addiction—to programs designed to help rehabilitate them rather than simply locking them up. By offering diversion to nonviolent offenders we save millions of tax dollars—and give wounded families an opportunity to begin to heal and rebuild their lives.
Common sense criminal justice reforms will make our community safer.
We can fight the opioid epidemic with smart policy and compassion by seeking treatment for addicts instead of locking them up. Addiction is a disease, not a crime.
Let’s stop the school-to-prison pipeline that funnels at risk youth, particularly youth of color, into the criminal justice system. Dave will work to reduce racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system by helping to keep more of our children in school—providing a second chance and a path to a brighter future.
It’s time to implement bail reform by ending cash bail for low-level, nonviolent offenders—stopping practices that criminalize poverty and disproportionately penalize low-income individuals and their families.
Ensure transparency and accountability. The commitment to pursue criminal justice must include community outreach, crime prevention, civic engagement, and a determination to reduce racial and gender bias in law enforcement.
Help victims recover from loss and help them reintegrate into societY
A trauma-informed prosecutorial approach can both support and protect victims and their families and prevent them from being re-victimized by the criminal justice system.
As a teenage victim of violent crime, Dave understands the trauma—both physical and psychological—that victims of violent crimes endure.
The new Office of the District Attorney will make empathy, compassion, support, and closure for victims an enduring mission.
And listen to their voices
There has never been a more important time to listen to the voices of those victimized by violence and crime. Studies show that victims overwhelmingly support criminal justice approaches that prioritize rehabilitation over punishment. Seven in ten victims prefer that prosecutors focus on solving neighborhood problems and stopping repeat crimes through rehabilitation. Dave will make rehabilitation and crime prevention a central focus of the District Attorney's office.
Ensuring transparency and equal justice restores community trust.
As a criminal defense attorney, Dave has seen firsthand how the criminal justice system has a biased and disproportionate effect on the poor, persons of color, women, and vulnerable immigrant communities. The “tough on crime” approach often strong-arms disenfranchised communities by over-prosecuting people without the resources to defend themselves.
Under restorative justice, our justice system and community have shared goals: keep offenders accountable, repair harm, and work collaboratively to prevent the next cycle of crime. When the District Attorney’s office is seen as an accountable and fair partner, true justice becomes more attainable.