2018 Candidate Contra Costa Office of District Attorney

I want to thank everybody for supporting me through the nomination process to be placed on the ballot for the June 5, 2018 primary.  Having been a Deputy Prosecutor and Defense Attorney, I have been exposed to all sides of criminal justice.   

My first concern as a citizen and candidate for District Attorney is public safety.  Filings against criminal defendants are taking too long.  Following the passage of Proposition 47 in November 2014, the number of theft and drug cases has increased dramatically.  While our police officers are diligently investigating and arresting suspects, their reports seem to languish at the District Attorney's Office for several months until they are screened.  Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrators are being released only to commit more crimes!  Enough is enough!  I along with my neighbors have been victims of property crimes. The prompt screening, filing, and prosecution of criminal cases is one of my top priorities.

I have been successful in business for over twenty-five years by being organized and efficient.  Unfortunately, the current DA's Office seems to rely on wasteful paper files instead of utilizing a paperless system.  This has hampered the administration of justice by not providing a defendant with a plea offer prior to arriving in court.  In turn, the Court's are congested and Judges are spending too much time on case discussions when a simple e-mail to the defense attorney outlining the proposed terms of an offer will suffice.  I invite the public to attend an open court session to witness the inefficiency.

We need to examine successful rehabilitation programs to lower the recidivism level.  If a defendant has mental health or alcohol/substance abuse issues, incarceration without treatment is fruitless.  Individuals will return to the community only to commit more thefts and abuse more drugs!  This is counter to public safety.  Helping people achieve educational goals and obtaining marketable skills so that they can earn a living will also lower crime rates!  As District Attorney, part of the plea offers can be based on the attendance of therapeutic programs or educational goals.

Finally, I would like to invite the other candidates to debate the issues that are important to the voters of Contra Costa County.

Regards, 

Lawrence Strauss

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