Safety and Justice for All

A platform for a fairer and safer Durham

Here is how District Attorney Deberry will continue working, every day, to serve the people of Durham over the next 4 years:

Focus on Safety

Since taking office in 2019, Satana has been laser-focused on keeping our community safe. She has used the DA’s Office’s limited resources to concentrate on prosecuting violent crime and other serious offenses — rather than on low level offenses that do not threaten public safety and that clog our court system. Satana will:

  • Continue to prioritize and strengthen the prosecution of violent and serious offenses
  • Continue to coordinate with law enforcement, including holding monthly meetings, discussing charges, and conducting cross-training to ensure cases are handled effectively from start to finish
  • Seek court-ordered forfeiture of guns that are used in crimes or that are present in homes experiencing domestic violence

Improve Victim Services

Satana and the prosecutors in her office recognize that victims of violence need more support and more options for accountability than traditional prosecutor offices have provided. Satana will:

  • Continue to provide high quality, trauma informed services to victims (ranging from quarterly meetings with the families of homicide victims to a lending closet of professional clothes for victims to wear in court)
  • Reduce re-traumatization during the court process
  • Reduce victims’ financial burdens in pursuing cases
  • Continue the certification of U-Visas for immigrant victims of crime
  • Continue the certification of T-Visas for immigrant victims of human trafficking
  • Expand the use of restorative justice and mediation for more victim-led and victim-centered accountability

Break the Cycle of Crime

The vast majority of cases that come through Durham’s courts are nonviolent in nature. The damaging effects of convictions and pretrial detention in these cases can increase a person’s likelihood of committing new offenses. Satana will:

  • Increase resources to divert nonviolent crimes to mental health and drug court
  • Expand the use of the Post Arrest Diversion Program for people charged with low level felonies so that they can address the trauma, mental health issues, and/or substance abuse issues that have brought them into contact with the criminal legal system
  • Provide opportunities for community-based partners to lead community-based accountability
  • Continue to divert school-based offenses from court
  • End the school to prison pipeline

Restore Trust and Integrity in the District Attorney’s Office

Satana has restored both community trust and professional integrity to the DA’s Office. Satana will:

  • Continue her commitment to a DA’s Office team that looks like Durham
  • Build on the strong culture, team, and momentum she and her team have created over the past three years
  • Continue reviewing sentencing in cases of prosecutorial misconduct or overreach
  • Partner with researchers to ensure plea offers and prosecutorial discretion meet the highest standards for fairness
  • Sponsor and participate in ongoing staff training to eliminate racial bias in the criminal legal system
  • Continue sharing with the Durham community about the DA’s Office priorities and progress
  • Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to hearing community needs and aspirations by participating in key community events (PAC meetings, victim memorial events, community forums, etc.)

Continue Criminal Justice Reform

Satana set out to transform the criminal justice system in Durham County in 2019.  In just three years, we are well on our way to a fairer and safer community. And there remains much to do. Satana will:

  • Continue to reduce unnecessary court involvement and incarceration when safety is not at risk
  • Increase transparency and trust in the courts
  • Address inequity and bias in the criminal legal system
  • End reliance on cash bail and mass incarceration in nonviolent cases
  • Participate with other national leaders to continue learning from the research and experience in multiple jurisdictions
  • Continue to put Durham County on the national map as a leader in the reform of the criminal legal system – a model for what is possible when we all come together to create a more vibrant community