Wednesday, October 20, 2021

10.19.21 Meeting Summary

Last night the Council did not have any action items or public hearings.  We did hear a presentation by the Contra Costa County District Attorney, Diana Becton, regarding the operations of the District Attorney's office.  I appreciated her taking the time to visit with us to share the work that she and her office does throughout the county. 

There were a number of questions asked of DA Becton regarding the treatment of and prosecution of crimes, and how the DA's office prioritizes its resources.  Myself and Councilmember Diaz expressed concerns about the treatment of lower level crimes, conveying that the lack of prosecution is frustrating to those in the community and especially to those that are victims of these crimes.

One key thing that was missing was data.  While we were presented with information regarding the number of felonies and misdemeanors that were filed, what was not available was the number of incidents referred to the DA's office that were not filed.  The system that tracks cases was not able to produce this type of data, or any aggregate level data that could give greater insight and transparency into the actions of the office.  DA Becton did state that a system to provide that type of data was in the works and she was hoping it would be available sometime in the future.

DA Becton did share information about programs she is seeking to implement, like neighborhood community courts for low level offenses that may help alleviate the burden that high volumes of cases places on our court system.