The Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition sent a questionnaire to candidates in the upcoming election. Replies are posted at philacrosstown.org were received from Beth Grossman, the sole Republican candidate for District Attorney, and four of the seven Democratic candidates – Joe Khan, Lawrence Krasner, Rich Negrin and Michael Untermeyer. Democrats Jack O’Neill, Tariq El-Shabazz or Teresa Care Deni did not respond. One takeaway – the candidates often agree on reforms so the Crosstown can follow up after the election to implement these changes:
1. Videotaping Interrogations – All five candidates urge that in custody interrogations be videoed.
2. Cash Bail Critics – Even though no specific question was asked about the current cash bail system, Kahn, Krasner, and Untermeyer flat out called for its replacement and Negrin noted “we desperately need bail reform”.
3. “Decarceration” – No specific question was asked about reducing the inmate count, but Kahn, Krasner and Untermeyer listed this as a top priority and both Grossman’s and Negrin’s answers repeatedly advocate diversionary programs which lead to decarceration.
4. Information on Immigrants Held in Custody – All 4 Democrats (Kahn, Krasner, Negrin and Untermeyer) oppose sharing arrest data on immigrants with ICE (Immigration and Custody Enforcement).
5. Police Abuse Procedures – Kahn, Krasner and Untermeyer all suggest a separate unit staffed by personnel outside the office to address cases of inappropriate police conduct.
6. Seattle’s LEAD Program – When asked about successful programs in other cities, Grossman, Kahn, and Untermeyer cited the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program in Seattle.