As I have reported here, we’ve been hiring and welcoming lots of wonderful and dedicated new prosecutors and law clerks to PCAO the last several weeks. Real reform requires leaders in our Office willing to shepherd and mentor our newest colleagues.
This week, Vicki Otto, a prosecutor in our special victims bureau, continued in her new role as PCAO Training Director and led four new attorneys and five new law clerks in “Talking Like a Human” in the courtroom (pictured). It’s an important training to all of us and to Vicki, in particular, because prosecutors need, as Vicki says, to use “language that fully comprehends the humanity of both our victims and the folks we are prosecuting.
“When we are solving human problems, we need to use human language,” Vicki says. “Deciding which humans in our community pose a risk and which don’t is a human problem.”
I also had the privilege this week of meeting over a dozen students from across Pima County who are enrolled in our brand new, summer-long High School Enrichment Academy (HSEA), also led by Vicki. The HSEA hosts kids from Pima County high schools who have a genuine interest in learning about justice and community service. It teaches them about our legal system and how it impacts our community. I got to give the welcome address and stayed with them to answer any questions they had, and their interest in the system was so thoughtful. One of the mentors mentioned getting goosebumps watching kids from Cholla and Sunnyside to CDO and Tucson High and Desert View to San Miguel get together to picture themselves as the next generation of criminal justice leaders.
To be continued,
📸 by Rozana Villanes