Is the criminal justice system broken? How have public policy failures resulted in issues that the criminal justice system is being forced to address? Do alternative justice programs really work?
To address these important questions, District Attorney Charles Branson is joining 150 prosecutors from across the country this week at the Best Practices for the 21st Century Modern Prosecutor Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. During this first of its kind conference, prosecutors and experts from both metropolitan and rural counties are coming together to discuss the role of the modern prosecutor.
“For many years I have been working hard to transform the face of prosecution in Douglas County. My office has created multiple programs to help keep defendants out of the court system, including specialized programs for those dealing with mental health and drug problems, programs for women and juveniles, as well as our long established criminal diversion programs, and the creation of a pre-trial release program. Attending this conference allows me to learn about the most current and cutting edge best practices in prosecution from around the country. This information will fuel my continuing effort to ensure that the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office stays on the forefront of prosecution reform,” said Branson. Branson also stated, “I consider the continued reform of our criminal justice system in addressing the issues of equality, race, and public safety to be a mandate from our community.”
Prosecutors with very different jurisdictions and constituent needs are leading the charge to develop the best strategies and the best solutions to address the need to reduce violent crime and also keep people out of the criminal justice system.
“Addressing criminal justice reform in Douglas County should not and cannot be a partisan issue. Reaching out across the political spectrum and finding the right answers, no matter their source, must be at the forefront of everything that the leaders in our community do. Without that mindset, leaders risk failing our community. As the leader of the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, I know our community deserves an office that listens to the needs of its constituents and responds accordingly. Not on a whim. Not for show. But because getting things right is critical for our youth, for our families, and for the continued ability of our community to thrive,” Branson urged.
The conference is being hosted by Sim Gill, the Salt Lake City District Attorney and by the Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence. Guest speakers include District Attorney Jackie Lacey from Los Angeles County, CA; District Attorney Beth McCann from Denver, CO; County Attorney William Montgomery from Maricopa County, AZ; Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos from Arlington County, VA; District Attorney Cyrus Vance from New York County, NY; District Attorney Scott McNamara from Oneida County, NY; Prosecuting Attorney from Jackson County, MO Jean Peters Baker; District Attorney Darcel Clark from Bronx County, NY, among others.
*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor