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Alameda County DA reflects on 2023 annual report as recall election looms

It’s been nearly a year and a half since the Alameda County District Attorney took office. Since then, she has been repeatedly criticized for being too soft on crime.   

Now, as she faces a recall, Price is releasing a list of accomplishments including, she says, actions to improve public safety, stabilize staffing in her office and increase community engagement.

“We have done much to restore the office in order to be able to move forward on our mission to protect public safety by advancing justice,” Price said. “The office we found was literally running on fumes with broken lines of accountability and communication.”

On Tuesday, the DA highlighted the creation of a civil rights bureau focused on restorative justice and touted the use of collaborative courts to redirect offenders to programs instead of prisons.

She also spoke about expanding victim support services and improving accountability over the last year.

Since becoming the county’s top cop, Price says her office has taken action on nearly 12,000 cases.

“We know this is an important moment for the residents of Alameda County who have just barely begun to see the work we are doing and that we will continue to do to protect public safety,” she said.

But as a recall election looms, critics say Tuesday’s move is less about transparency and more about a last ditch effort to save the DA’s job.

“When you get into this situation you have to portray that you are actually doing your job and that is all she is doing,” Brenda Grisham, SAFE recall leader, said.

Grisham said she wants to know how the data reflects efforts to hold criminals responsible and get justice for victims’ families.

“What kind of data is going to be released? We want to know how many people have been charged, how many people have been convicted, how many gun-related crimes have there been? Those are details that the public really, really needs to know,” Grisham said.

The county data doesn’t currently break down how many convictions, plea deals and other outcomes have come from cases.    

Those are figures the DA’s office says they are working to have ready by the end of the year.

“That is the part of the work ahead. Unfortunately that data in some instances is held by the courts and others we are trying to unpack how did the case overall resolve,” Tara Anderson, assistant chief of administration and operations, said.

But as voters prepare to decide whether to oust her from office, Price said the data shows the county is improving under her leadership.

“We have work to do, more work to do, but I do feel like we have made tremendous progress over the first year,” Price said.

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Source: NBC Bay Area

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