Justice is about people, not numbers
They say justice is supposed to be blind. Unfortunately, for many years that's exactly what our local justice system was...blind to the fact that it could do more, and in some cases, blind to its own mistakes.
As a Criminal District Judge in Dallas County, on the front lines for more than 21 years, I saw first-hand a prosecutorial system that often valued convictions at any cost. But racking up “wins” versus “losses” is no way to evaluate effectiveness.
Lost in the statistics were people. Yes, the worst offenders needed to face appropriate punishment. But we also needed to be asking questions like: “Is our system addressing the root causes of crime?” and “Are we doing enough to help offenders find a path back to a productive life?”
As a result of thinking about these questions, in 1998 I began a special DIVERT court that helped drug offenders, in appropriate circumstances, address their wrongs without going to prison. They went through a carefully supervised rehabilitative program. Guess what? It worked. Not only did the program save taxpayer dollars by reducing the jail population and reducing recidivism, it also turned lives around. People who worked the program went from the brink of destruction to sustainable life success. The rest is history, as the DIVERT concept has grown and expanded in Dallas County and elsewhere.
I was willing to do the hard work of innovation, because I understand that justice is also heart work. It's about people and the community. We have to do what it takes to keep our community safe, but also find solutions that help move people forward.
I’m running for District Attorney because I am passionate about what we can do together to open our eyes and reimagine our definition of justice, to make our system fairer, more transparent, and more rehabilitative.
I am ready to do the hard work, and the heart work.
Former Texas State District Judge
Democratic Candidate for Dallas County District Attorney