- TARGET RESOURCES TO PROSECUTE SERIOUS OFFENSES
In an effort to appear “tough on crime,” the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has a reputation for overcharging and overzealously prosecuting cases. This toxic “win at all costs” culture is financially unsustainable but, even more importantly, it sacrifices the cause of justice itself. Lara Gressley will make sure that every case that her office brings before the court should be prosecuted. That means taxpayer money will be spent where it matters most – keeping Riverside County families safe from crime. Lara Gressley’s ability to discern this critical difference will result in fairness and fiscal accountability.
- REVIEW PRIOR CONVICTIONS AND FREE THE INNOCENT
The Riverside County DA’s Office resists exposing a wrongful conviction, for fear of revealing error by the prosecution, misconduct by the police, or both. But we know that these wrongful convictions have occurred. In fact, California leads the nation in exonerations as defined by the National Registry of Exonerations, surpassing Illinois, Texas, and New York. Lara will seize every opportunity to expose evidence that will bring the truth to light. She will establish a Conviction Review Unit, tasked with discovering and correcting all wrongful convictions, no matter how long ago the injustice occurred. Lara will also establish policies within the Office that require the prompt disclosure of all exculpatory evidence to the defense and that hold law enforcement accountable. Lara’s prosecutors will be charged with uncovering truth and preventing wrongful convictions.
- END CASH BAIL INCARCERATION
Nearly 60% of Riverside county jail inmates are still awaiting the resolution of their cases. Many are incarcerated simply because they cannot afford cash bail. Taxpayers are paying tens of thousands of dollars per year to incarcerate each of these inmates whose bail, in many cases, may be as little as $2,500. Those who must remain incarcerated for safety or flight risk will be kept under lock and key. But in non-violent cases, Lara will seek alternatives to cash bail, such as monitoring and regular check-ins that have been proven to work in places like Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. This will keep communities safe and ensure that the defendant appears in court.
- TREAT THE MEDICAL PROBLEM OF ADDICTION
Lara Gressley recognizes that the solution to drug and alcohol addiction is treatment, not incarceration. There are resources available and programs that work to cure those addicted to drugs and alcohol. Some of those programs are independently financially sustained, which means they present no cost to taxpayers. Still, they are not utilized by the current administration. Yet many individuals have committed crimes because of their addiction, but are incarcerated without treatment. Lara will foster the drug court process and utilize rehabilitation programs for those eligible. This will reduce the recidivism rate, which the incumbent has watched rise to 70%. This strategy will reduce incarceration and keep the communities safe, and it is also simply the right thing to do.
- BRIDGE THE DIVIDE BETWEEN POLICE AND CITIZENS
Ineffective, divisive police measures fail to make us safe. They also divide police and the neighborhoods they are tasked with protecting, increasing unnecessary conflict and making police work more dangerous. Lara will work with police agencies to reform divisive law enforcement tactics while holding suspects and police officers equally accountable as the law requires. Victims of crime, their families, our communities, and suspects all deserve transparency and fairness in determining the truth.