Janika-White-for-Shelby-County-District-Attorney

Commitment  to Community Centered  Prosecution

Community Engagement

The District Attorney’s office must actively engage in the life of the community it serves to promote understanding and a spirit of cooperation and problem-solving. A change in focus will prove to be invaluable to the success of any effort to reduce the threat of violence within the community and develop a shared vision to promote public safety. 

Janika will foster relationships with the District Attorney’s Office and the community by participating in community events, attending community meetings, educating citizens on laws and functions of the criminal justice system, and creating a space to share ideas on how to reach our common purpose which is a safer community. Janika will work hard to establish community trust and ensure that the entire office is aware of the needs, culture, and shared values of the community it serves.

Community Prosecution

Janika will place culturally competent and highly trained prosecutors (throughout Shelby County)  in neighborhood offices or police stations to interact directly with community members. The community prosecution team will process low-level offenses in the neighborhood, ultimately minimizing the touches for some with the criminal justice system. In addition, the community prosecutor will develop relationships with individuals in the community and identify and collaborate with organizations that provide services to understand and prioritize crimes based on the community’s needs.

Solve the Real Problems

It is proven that alternatives to incarceration such as diversion and restorative justice programs create long term safer communities. Janika is dedicated to breaking the cycles of poverty created by the criminal justice system and creating pipelines to success. She will collaborate with criminal justice partners to assess the impact of traditional prosecution of low-level, non-dangerous offenses on individuals, the community and the criminal justice system to determine the continued best alternatives to traditional use of fees and incarceration. Janika will partner with community-based rehabilitative programs that may be recommended as an alternative to incarceration such as mental health and substance abuse treatment, anger management, moral recognitive therapy, job readiness training, and parenting classes. Janika will devote resources to expunge eligible arrests or convictions and work with organizations providing re-entry services to those recently released from incarceration.

Treat addiction as a medical problem, not a crime

In 2020, more Shelby County citizens died by drug overdose than deaths by homicide. Janika knows that the solution to drug addiction is treatment, not incarceration. Prisons are ill-equipped to treat addiction. As District Attorney, Janika will work with the Shelby County Drug Court to reduce recidivism by allowing those arrested for drug possession or for minor offenses due to addiction to get the treatment they need instead of incarceration.

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