B.A. in Political Science from The University of Michigan
Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law
M.A. In Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida
Civic Organizations (limit 75 words)
Legal Aid Society of Orange County- Past Board of Trustee Member
Past Chair of the Citizens Police Review Board for Orlando Police Department
Past President of Paul C. Perkins Bar Association
Past President of Florida Chapter National Bar Association
Past Chair of National Bar Association’s Pro Bono and Public Service Committee
Florida Bar Judicial Administration and Evaluation Committee
Mentor with Paramore Kidz Zone
Member Rejoice in the Lord Ministries
What are 3 of the most important justice issues facing citizens of Orange County? (limit 150 words)
1. Gun violence. The number of homicides in and around Orange County within the first quarter of 2016 show violence is a severe issue that requires attention.
2. Violence against women and Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence is no longer a private issue. Domestic violence can cost Orange County companies up to $121 Million per year in lost productivity, absenteeism, and healthcare costs.
3. Mental Illness. Our criminal justice system carries a heavy burden of managing mental health issues. The Supreme Court of Florida has opined that our jails and prisons have become the asylums of the new millennium.
What do you think are the leading factors that reduce recidivism? Do you think that the State Attorney’s office has a responsibility to reduce recidivism? Why or why not? (limit 150 words)
Leading factors in that reduce recidivism include:
1. Risk Assessment. It is crucial to distinguish between high to medium risk of reoffending and low risk offenders
2. Education and Employment. Higher crime rates are consistently linked to unemployment and educational attainment.
3. Support. Studies have shown that an offenders peer group is the number one leading factor that determines whether the offender will reoffend or not.
The State Attorney certainly has a responsibility in reducing recidivism. The State Attormey is a branch of law enforcement, whose primary goal should be community safety which includes crime reduction and recidivism. It is important for State Attorneys to work with both law enforcement and the community.
Explain the role and responsibilities of the State Attorney’s office? (limit 150 words)
The State Attorneys Office as the chief prosecuting agency in the circuit has a responsibility to work directly with police agencies, conduct grand jury investigations and prosecute criminal cases. Community safety is the primary responsibility.
The State Attorney’s Office should not only be present in the courtroom, but also the community. The office has a responsibility to be present in the community to educate about the process and build relationships that can assist in making communities safer for all.
The State Attorney’s Office, while not a part of the legislative body, also has a responsibly to maintain data and provide reports back to the legislature to assure consistency with original legislative intent of criminal statutes. Reports will also assist the community at large to remain well informed.