COLLABORATION, COMMUNICATION, ORGANIZATION
Some of the biggest downfalls of any office is a lack of collaboration, communication, and organization. Halle's plan is to work in tandem with the law enforcement agencies in the county and bridge the current collaboration and communication gap. By collaborating with law enforcement officers, new policies and procedures can be established to better advance the objectives of both offices, keep the community safe, and result in more convictions. Another key component of collaboration is organization, which will streamline the District Attorney's Office's ability to prosecute more cases and hold criminals responsible for their actions.
Diversion programs are implemented across the country with great success rates. Pierce County has the resources to establish a diversion program, but those resources are not being utilized by the current District Attorney. Halle's goal is to jumpstart this program to streamline the criminal justice system. A diversion program would provide positive alternatives to the criminal court process for non-violent criminal offenders. The program would be designed to deter future criminal behavior. A criminal would need to qualify for the diversion program, and if he/she would successfully complete the program, the Pierce County District Attorney's Office would agree to not proceed with criminal prosecution.
This program would provide an opportunity to non-violent criminals to avoid negative consequences with a criminal conviction. Further, it eases the burden on court and corrections systems by allowing those departments to focus on the more serious and violent criminals. It would also aid in protecting the community by closely supervising the participant, and would save tax dollars by saving court and corrections costs.
CHARGING OUT CRIMES
Law enforcement officers work hard to protect the community, and it is important that the criminal offenders are held responsible for their crimes. Halle's priority is to charge out more referrals from law enforcement officers, and work with new officers to learn their critical role inside the courtroom. By collaborating with law enforcement agencies to effectively prepare criminal complaints and to be prepared on the stand, the goal is to effectuate more crimes being charged to best protect the community.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Mental health affects the community, and it is time to take notice and bring mental health services to the criminal justice system. As a member of the Pierce County Criminal Justice Collaborating Council (CJCC), Halle has participated in discussions regarding mental health grants the CJCC received. One of the grants is awarded with other counties, including Dunn County in which the CJCC has been working closely.
The grant's objective is to serve young people in jail under the age of 25 and to assist them in receiving the appropriate mental health services. Unfortunately, despite having access to this grant, the current District Attorney is not utilizing this program nor has he attended these meetings to jumpstart this program. Halle intends to utilize the grant funds to begin a program to get mental health services to those in need and to alleviate the jail housing those defendants.
SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS
For many crime victims, testifying and preparing for court is a traumatic experience. Halle's priority is to work with the Victim Witness office to expand the support provided to victims during this time. One objective is to advocate for a therapy dog for crime victims, which has been found effective to alleviate stress and ease the traumatic experience for victims in other counties offices across the nation. UW-River Falls provides therapy dogs on campus to its students throughout the school year and Halle would work with non-profits to provide therapy dogs at no cost to the county.