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Transparency & Accountability
MEET THE CANDIDATES IN MAINE
There are eight prosecutorial districts in Maine, each with an elected district attorney. All eight DAs are up for election in 2018. Find out how your candidates compare on key criminal justice issues.
All DA candidates in the state were sent a questionnaire and invited to respond.
MEET THE CANDIDATES IN MAINE
Select two candidates to compare their views on key criminal justice policy
Randall J. Bates
The Power of the District Attorneys Office ACLU PositionDistrict Attorneys are one of the most powerful positions in the Maine criminal justice system. Ninety-one percent of Americans across all political parties say that the criminal justice system has problems that need to be fixed. District Attorneys should use the substantial power of their office to support criminal justice reform, correct overly harsh and punitive policies, and make the system fairer and more equal for all people.
Transparency and Accountability ACLU PositionTransparency and accountability are the foundation of the relationship between elected public servants and their constituents.
Youth ACLU PositionChildren do not belong in prison. Community-based responses are more effective, less costly, and keep families involved.
Poverty Penalties and Bail Reform ACLU PositionThe criminal justice system unfairly punishes people for being poor. People should not face additional punishment or spend more time behind bars simply because they are too poor to pay a fine or bail. We support elimination of monetary payment as a condition of pretrial release. We also believe that insofar as monetary payment remains a condition in some circumstances, it is only fair that bail amounts should be set based on an ability-to-pay determination.
Mental Health ACLU PositionMainers with mental illness need support and treatment, not jails or prisons - in fact, incarceration exacerbates existing illness. And 84 percent of Americans agree that people with mental illness don’t belong in prison.
Drug Policy ACLU PositionSubstance use disorders are a public health problem, not a criminal justice problem. Seventy-one percent of Americans agree that incarceration is counterproductive to public safety because prison doesn’t do a good job of rehabilitating people with problems like drug addiction and mental illness.
Racial Disparities ACLU PositionThe criminal justice system treats people of color unfairly. For example, black Mainers are arrested twice as often as white Mainers for marijuana possession, even though research shows that they use marijuana at the same rate.
Mass Incarceration ACLU PositionThere are far too many Mainers under correctional control. Mass incarceration is not making Maine safer and is costing taxpayers more money than the alternatives. Two in three Americans (68 percent) would be more likely to vote for an elected official if the candidate supported reducing the prison population and using the savings to re-invest in drug treatment and mental health programs.
Immigration ACLU PositionDistrict Attorneys should take into consideration the immigration-related consequences of their decisions and work to keep families together. District Attorneys should support municipalities that choose not to participate in federal immigration enforcement.
Conditions of Release and Probation ACLU PositionData from Maine shows violations of probation and conditions of release are major drivers of incarceration. Because people who have not been convicted of a crime are entitled to a presumption of innocence, they should only be subject to conditions of release that are necessary for public safety.