Our community has abundant opportunities for partnerships with social services organizations, universities and nonprofit groups. Jeff has shown that he will engage these resources to create better outcomes for all, as he did with Outreach Court, NC’s first therapeutic court for individuals experiencing homelessness, and the Misdemeanor Diversion Program for juveniles charged with adult crimes. Jeff also believes drug abuse is a public health issue and should be addressed when possible through treatment, not incarceration. He is a big supporter of Recovery Court, a therapeutic court for those struggling with addiction. As District Attorney, he will engage the entire community to achieve a more fair and effective criminal justice system.
Jeff believes that implicit bias and systemic racism affect nearly every aspect of our lives, including the criminal justice system. As District Attorney, Jeff will make implicit bias training mandatory for all DA staff. He also believes that hiring decisions should be made with an appreciation of the community served. He will make intentional recruiting efforts to encourage more applicants from under-represented communities to consider future careers in a district attorney’s office, especially in our district.
Jeff has also seen how the court system places a disproportionate burden on the poor. When he recognized the surprisingly high percentage of those whose driver’s licenses are revoked for financial reasons, Jeff started the NC Driver’s License Restoration Project to help individuals become lawfully licensed. As DA, Jeff will work to ensure that courts treat all people fairly regardless of their race, identity and socioeconomic status.
The duty of the District Attorney is to seek justice, not merely convictions. When a person has violated the law and sufficient lawfully-obtained evidence exists to prove it, then justice may demand a conviction, but a DA should never lose sight of the primary objective of justice above all else.
Jeff has a strong track record of prosecuting cases of every type of offense from Driving While Impaired to First Degree Murder. He takes the responsibility of listening to victims of crime and supporting them through difficult traumas very seriously. He’s also proud of his reputation for using the discretion entrusted in a DA to do that which is fair and just.
If elected, Jeff commits to join over 60 prosecutors across the U.S. in a pledge not to prosecute women who obtain abortions and health care professionals who provide treatment and would hold that position even if the protections of Roe v. Wade were to be eroded or overturned.
As District Attorney, Jeff will utilize community resources and equity considerations to seek justice.