Human Trafficking (H.E.A.T. Watch)
Nancy has led the statewide charge in response to human trafficking. She launched the H.E.A.T. Watch Program which unites prosecutors, police, service providers, policy makers and communities in the fight against human trafficking of all forms. She created the HEAT Institute, a research institute, AC United Against Human Trafficking Advisory Group and the Labor Trafficking Task Force.
Advocacy for Women
As the first woman ever elected as District Attorney in Alameda County, Nancy has made advocating for women and vulnerable populations a focal point of the office. As DA, Nancy has successfully secured millions in funding to eliminate the backlog of untested sexual assault forensic kits and has written pivotal legislation to empower survivors of sexual assault. As President and a leader of the California Women Lawyers, she championed equal rights and advancement of women in the workplace. Since Nancy has become DA, more than 60% of lawyers hired have been women. Nancy is a frequent speaker on Women’s equality and more recently on the #MeToo Movement.
Nancy was selected by the American Bar Association as a 2016 recipient of the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. The Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of women lawyers who have excelled in their field and have paved the way to success for other women lawyers. Click here to read the full story about this prestigious award.
Family Justice Center
Nancy founded and led the creation of the Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC), a one-stop location providing legal, health, and support services to empower victims of interpersonal violence. ACFJC co-locates professionals, advocates and providers to provide an effective, comprehensive response, referrals, empowerment, healing and hope for victims of domestic violence and their children, for victims of sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse and human trafficking. The Office on Violence Against Women declared the ACFJC a national model. More than 150,000 women, children and families have been served through the work of the ACFJC. Through Nancy’s leadership, the ACFJC is now also a trauma recovery center.
Criminal Justice Reform - Sentencing
Under Nancy’s leadership, the DA’s office has created several collaborative courts and initiatives to reduce recidivism and incarceration. She created the Fair and Equitable Policing and Prosecution Working Committee to ensure bias has no role in prosecution or victim services. She created the Justice Restoration Project to change the paradigm for young offenders who continue to commit crimes. JRP focuses on identifying an individual’s pathway for success. ACDA is the only prosecutor office in the country to receive social impact funding for the initiative. Nancy believes in second chances and a justice system that is fair for all.
With Nancy as DA, pre-trial detention has fallen to about 24% compared to the statewide average of 70%. A person should not be detained in custody because they do not have the means to post cash bail. Nancy has been a strong advocate of bail reform and has put action to her advocacy.
- Bail Reform
Nancy has created and funded several programs to keep youth out of the Justice System. The DA Justice Academy has graduated more than 360 youth; 100% have gone to college. The “Every Day Counts” Initiative addresses school attendance. 93% of 1st through 5th graders have improved attendance. 65% of high schoolers have improved attendance. Nancy has a Youth Employment Program as well.
Nancy’s priority for youth engaged in criminal activity is always rehabilitation. She engaged Community Works providing restorative justice to youth. She has worked with allied agencies to create diversion and other programs as alternative to Juvenile Hall. She has reduced filing against juveniles by 2/3.
A huge priority of her office is addressing the most violent crimes being committed by juveniles. She created committee to review the most serious crimes, and has reduced to single digits the number of cases that are transferred to adult court each year.
Nancy has all but eliminated the Death Penalty. 5% of inmates on California’s Death Row are from Alameda County, and 98% of of those Death Penalty cases from Alameda County were tried before Nancy was DA.
Put a different way, Only 1 out of 197 eligible cases was tried as a death penalty case since Nancy has been District Attorney.
Elimination of bias
Under Nancy’s leadership, the DA’s office has made elimination of bias in prosecuting and sentencing crimes a top priority.
This includes careful, ongoing review of prosecution statistics. It also includes the more radical notion that when the DA’s office elects to prosecute any given defendant, they take into account the circumstances in the defendant’s upbringing that may make him/her more likely commit a crime.
Nancy has pushed hard over eight years as DA to create systems and procedures in the DA's office to ensure that defendants of all backgrounds and ethnicities are treated with equal consideration.
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