I have to give Twitter all the credit (said no one ever) for connecting me last year to the broad network of hardworking attorneys, brilliant academics, and statisticians bringing smart criminal justice reform to communities nationwide. Through all the CJ reform affiliations across the country, my databank of studies, articles, and best practices grew so I could arrive here armed with a plan. What’s better is that the Pima County Attorney’s Office was invited to apply for a fellow through the prestigious Public Rights Project. The process began even before I took Office, but I thought: free lawyer? Well, sure we should try. And we were chosen!
Six DA’s offices across the country are excitedly watching applications pour in. Once that’s complete, PRP will go through an extensive matching process, eventually pairing us with an attorney who will arrive here in September for TWO YEARS! You can find the application here, so please share nationwide!
A couple other notes from this week:
- Recently, we hung our Core Values throughout the building (pictured) to remind our employees – from prosecutors to IT to victims’ advocates and administrators – WHO WE ARE and WHAT WE STAND FOR. It’s because of this collection of humans that my leadership team and I have been able to accomplish all that we have over the course of the first 4½ months. The staff here are the foundation for everything. Which is exactly what I shared this week when I delivered the virtual keynote address to APAAC’s annual Legal Assistant Conference. I told the story of Jodi Karlan and Jett Arvizu and so many others who saved this building and kept it running during the January Covid outbreak. May their quiet heroism remind us every day that every person in our agency is a professional, dedicated to a stronger and healthier community.
- Restorative Justice (RJ) is moving forward. Our Office, Defender Services, and a group of professional mediators observed a session of Neighborhood Court, an RJ program in Yolo County, California. That opportunity was priceless and gives us a chance to start defining the parameters of what our program will look like. It won’t be long before we start calling on you to help us gather volunteers.
To be continued,