In the United States’ criminal justice system, prosecutors play a huge role in determining outcomes. I’m running for Commonwealth’s Attorney in Richmond, VA. AMA about the systemic reforms we need to end mass incarceration, hold police accountable...
The United States currently imprisons over 2.3 million people, the result of which is that this country is currently home to about 25% of the world’s incarcerated people while comprising less than 5% of its population.
Relatedly, in the U.S. prosecutors have an enormous amount of leeway in determining how harshly, fairly, or lightly those who break the law are treated. They can often decide which charges to bring against a person and which sentences to pursue. ‘Tough on crime’ politics have given many an incentive to try to lock up as many people as possible.
However, since the 1990’s, there has been a growing movement of progressive prosecutors who are interested in pursuing holistic justice by making their top policy priorities evidence-based to ensure public safety. As a former prosecutor in Richmond, Virginia, and having founded the Virginia Holistic Justice Initiative, I count myself among them.
Let’s get into it: AMA about what’s in the post title (or anything else that’s on your mind)!
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I'll start answering questions at 8:30 Eastern Time. Proof I'm me.
Edit: I'm logged on and starting in on questions now!
Edit 2: Thanks to all who submitted questions - unfortunately, I have to go at this point.
Edit 3: There have been some great questions over the course of the day and I'd like to continue responding for as long as you all find this interesting -- so, I'm back on and here we go!
Edit 4: It's been real, Reddit -- thanks for having me and I hope ya'll have a great week -- come see me at my campaign website if you get a chance: https://www.tomrvaca2.com/