Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Hosts District Attorney Candidate Forums

Denver, CO – The Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition has been hosting District Attorney Candidate Forums, designed to offer the communities directly impacted by the District Attorney’s office, an opportunity to ask questions relevant to their most pressing issues.

The District Attorney is arguably the most influential position in the criminal justice system. In Colorado, the District Attorney is an elected office and s/he holds tremendous decision-making authority and responsibility. Often, voters know too little information about DA candidates to make an informed decision when voting.– CCRJC

Some of the questions posed by the community center around rights of undocumented people, queer and trans issues, as well as mass incarceration/for-profit prisons.

When a District Attorney’s office is determining their rulings, these are the groups that are most often marginalized and impacted by decisions that do not take their rights into consideration.

CCRJC created a 2016 District Attorney Voter Guide with information on the Jefferson and Gilpin County candidates as well as their direct answers to the questions posed:

Here are four of the questions posed:

  • Crime survivors who are undocumented immigrants are often afraid to report the crime out of fear of being deported. What policies and procedures, if any, would you implement to protect undocumented crime survivors from deportation should they cooperate with police and prosecutors?
  • In general, what is your perspective on whether Colorado has too many people that are incarcerated and/or under some form of criminal justice supervision and specifically, what, if any, efforts would you lead or join regarding specific reforms regarding incarceration in jail or state prison and pretrial detention?
  • People with a criminal conviction can face long term barriers to housing, employment and other collateral consequences as a result of having a criminal record.  What, if any, strategies would you support that could mitigate unnecessary collateral consequences and do you think elected District Attorneys should be concerned about  collateral consequences?
  • What changes, if any, would you make regarding charging, plea bargaining, and sentence recommendation practices among prosecutors in the DA’s office that would reduce the number of people with mental illness who are involved in the criminal justice system and what would you do to better address their mental health treatment needs?

Unicorn Riot livestreamed the April 28th, June 9th, and October 11th forums, watch them below.

Jefferson and Gilpin Counties – October 11th, 2016

Broomfield and Adams Counties – June 9th, 2016

Denver County – April 28th, 2016

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