Public Safety and Law Enforcement
Public safety is not just about how we can lower crime. It is also about making sure that people from all communities can feel safe in all neighborhoods. I will work to build a community centered and driven violence approach model that so many activists have been calling for in Boston. We have to create meaningful ways for those living the realities to inform our thinking. I would call for a complete assessment of how residents are engaged, the role neighborhood liaisons can also play as well as a review of how the Violence Intervention Program and trauma response unit is working with BPD and other departments to address violence. It’s all interconnected.
Because over half of Suffolk County’s incarcerated population are pre-trial detainees, we need to increase funding for public defense counsel. Private law firms should be encouraged to also increase their quotas for pro bono work.
I support Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ vision for “progressive prosecution.” Using jail as our sole tool has not been an effective way to ensure public safety, as evidenced by the recidivism rate of past offenders. There are many data-driven options besides prosecution – including restorative justice, treatment and effective use of city services – to build accountability while keeping communities safe.
The bail system in modern day America is little more than an attack on the poor, preventing them from leaving custody and receiving proper counsel. I will join in the work to end the cash bail system in Boston courts.
Our police force should reflect the neighborhoods they serve and protect. I support community policing initiatives so that each community is reflected in its police force.
Violence-Mental Health Connection
We need to expand mental health services to the victims and their families who suffer the residual impact and aftermath of criminal violence. In addition, I will offer this service to our law enforcement officers who are affected by the onslaught of violence while in the line of duty.