Pop quiz. Who is the most powerful person in the criminal justice system?
No, it's not a judge. It's your local county attorney.
Know how a county attorney gets their job? They are directly elected, just like your state representative or city council member.
The decisions county attorneys make directly impact the racial disparities that we see throughout the criminal legal system, including in New Hampshire's incarceration rates. They decide in criminal cases who is charged, the severity of those charges, or if any charges are filed.
In short, they have the power to continue disproportionately flooding jails and prisons, but they also have the power to champion and enact criminal legal reform.
As our state grapples with systemic racism and makes a concerted effort to advance racial justice, it is all of our responsibilities to know where our county attorney stands on issues of systemic racism and criminal justice reform, and hold them accountable.
That's why we sent a questionnaire on systemic racism and the criminal legal system to the candidates running for county attorney in every part of the state, with questions on topics like disproportionate incarceration, police reform, ending low-level drug offenses, and more.
Before you vote this September and November, make sure you know where your candidates for county attorney are on these critical issues.
We hope you'll check out the responses to our questionnaire. And if your candidate did not respond to our questionnaire, urge them to!
And, if you have any questions about how to vote this year, visit our new voting resource, VoteNH2020.org.