OREGON DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
COLUMBIA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
WHY DID YOU BECOME A PROSECUTOR?
I wanted to become a prosecutor after an experience working with youth who were living in a domestic violence shelter. I had been considering law school for some time, but after that experience I saw an opportunity to make a difference for people who didn’t typically have a strong voice in our system.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR WORK?
The most rewarding part of my work invariably revolves around the time I spend with victims. I am always seeking a resolution to my cases that makes a victim feel whole again and puts him or her in a place where they can truly move on with their lives. It is a great feeling when we succeed in that goal.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND THE WORK YOU DO?
That I have learned through years of doing this work that the most important thing a prosecutor can do is listen. My deputies and I are committed to listening to all of those involved in the system – victims, law enforcement, even defendants – and truly understanding their feelings about a given case. I think we get better results when we do that.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE COMMUNITY TO BETTER UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM?
That the system is made up entirely of human beings. When you see the components of the system as the human beings that they are, you achieve better outcomes.
DO YOU HAVE VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES IN WHICH YOU PARTICIPATE?
I am involved in the St. Helen's Kiwanis Club and Columbia County Legal Aid.
OF THE WORK OF YOUR OFFICE, WHAT MAKES YOU THE MOST PROUD?
It may be the relationship we have built with local law enforcement. Our police know they can count on me and my deputies at any hour of any day to help them protect the public.
Examples of Diversion Programs and/or Alternative Sentencing Programs and Community Engagement Programs:
We have a behavioral health court, a drug court, and a “justice reinvestment team” consisting of a prosecutor, police officer, and patrol deputy, who work together to supervise high-risk offenders in our community