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. He watched children he grew up with end up in prison themselves.
The 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.
CHESA WILL WORK TO:
- End mass incarceration. 2/3 of people are back in prison within three years of their release. Breaking the cycle of crime and incarceration is the only way to make us safe.
- Give crime victims a voice in every case. Justice needs to include all of us.
- Eliminate cash bail. It allows dangerous people with money to buy their way out while poor people languish in jail regardless of how weak the evidence is against them.
- Equal enforcement of the law. Effectively prosecute police misconduct. Investigate and prosecute political corruption, corporate crime and landlords who break laws to exploit tenants.
- End racist disparities. They plague every step of our criminal justice system.
- Treat every arrest as an opportunity for intervention. In San Francisco, 75% of all people booked into jail suffer from serious mental illness, drug addiction – or both.
- Focus resources on serious and violent felonies. Two-thirds of the cases that go to trial in San Francisco are misdemeanors – a tremendous waste of resources.