Chesa Boudin's parents were incarcerated when he was just fourteen months old for driving the getaway car in a robbery that tragically took the lives of three men.
Chesa's father is still in prison. Chesa knows first-hand the destructive impacts of mass incarceration – he had to go through a metal detector and steel gates just to give his parents a hug. Though he was not physically injured that tragic day, he was one of the dozens of people whose lives were devastated. But restorative justice saved him – and did more to rehabilitate his parents than any number of years in prison ever could.
This experience caused Chesa to dedicate his career to making our country safer by reforming our criminal justice system. Beginning in high school, he spoke out on behalf of children of incarcerated parents.
Through his education at Yale, as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and Yale Law School, Chesa continued to be an advocate for reform. After law school, he worked for two federal judges handling criminal trials and appeals, authorizing search warrants, and learning the highest standards for ethics and integrity in the application of the law.
As a San Francisco Deputy Public Defender, Chesa has handled more than 300 felony cases including attempted murder, shootings, stabbings, drug sales, kidnapping, and auto burglary. He has a direct understanding of what it takes to reduce our staggering recidivism rates and redirect those arrested towards school and employment.
Chesa has also been a leader in San Francisco and across the country for fundamental criminal justice reform. He has worked directly with victims of crime and families of prisoners to make the system serve them better. Chesa has led efforts in San Francisco and California to reform our unfair bail system, protect immigrants from deportation, and to establish a pretrial release program in order to increase equity by allowing defendants to keep their jobs and housing while navigating the system.
As our next District Attorney, Chesa's first priority will be to improve public safety by fundamentally reforming our broken criminal justice system that is devastatingly expensive, inefficient, unjust and inhumane. It's broken because more than 2/3 of people who are arrested and prosecuted come back into the system within a few years.