Q1 Please provide constituents your campaign contact information.
Name Kit Kosakowski
Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Number 202-255-8131
Q2 Please include any campaign website or campaign social media information below.
Q3 Topic 1: Reducing Utah Incarceration RatesUtah has made efforts to reduce incarceration through legislation passed in 2015 known as the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). The legislation aimed to reverse Utah’s trend of prison population growth at six times faster than the national average. Now law, the JRI changed sentencing and parole guidelines and created program oversight to reduce incarceration and recidivism.As County Attorney, you will have the power to change office policy on many aspects of criminal prosecutions. For example, recently elected Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner issued a memorandum to his staff outlining when to decline certain charges, when to offer diversions, and guidelines for plea offers and sentencing arguments. The policy changes are an acknowledgment of and an effort to end mass incarceration.
How will you incorporate the JRI’s goals of reducing incarceration and recidivism into your local County Attorney policies?
Public safety must always be the highest priority. However, if an offense and offender do not represent any threat to public safety, alternatives to incarceration should be considered. These alternatives should be identified by a joint effort among law enforcement, the County's attorney's office, and mental and other health care professionals and if appropriate, the courts. Care should be taken to identify and implement only those alternatives which, in the opinion of the above, will result in actual and permanent reform on the part of the offender.
Q4 Do you support alternatives to incarceration?
Q5 If yes, what alternatives to incarceration do you support?
Other (please specify):
I strongly support Community Service, Drug Court, Work Release and Mental Health Court. I am less enthusiastic about Electronic Home Monitoring/GPS Monitoring, Restorative Justice, and Personal Recognizance Bonds but I am open to being convinced that they would be effective.
Q6 Topic 2: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice SystemThe Justice Reinvestment Initiative’s 2017 Annual Report found that the percentage of minorities newly committed to prison has increased from 34% to 43% since 2015, the year the JRI became Utah law. Before that time, the percentage of newly committed minorities had been stable at 34%. (Note that 2016 census estimates show that minorities only account for approximately 21% of Utah's population).
What will you do as the County Attorney to prevent the racial disparities noted in the JRI's Annual Report from happening in your county?
Everyone needs to work hard to stamp out racial disparities in the justice system. Almost everyone has inherent biases even though they don't realize it. Prosecutors are no different. Each prosecutor must take care that his/her biases don't creep in when deciding whether or not to file charges, the level of those charges, whether a plea bargain is offered or accepted, and what the sentence should be. As an insurance policy against inherent bias, the above-listed decisions should always be reviewed by another member of the County Attorney's team.
Q7 Do you believe that racial disparities currently exist in your county’s criminal justice system?
Q8 Topic 3: Prosecutorial Misconduct Prosecutorial misconduct has been a concern nationally, which has led to the formation of Conviction Integrity Units in many prosecutor offices to review allegations of misconduct. Prosecutorial misconduct has also been a concern in Utah where the Board of Utah County Commissioners has considered forming a prosecutorial oversight committee.
As County Attorney, what will you do to ensure that your office is transparent and accountable to accusations of prosecutorial misconduct?
The Utah State Bar's Office of Professional Conduct in cooperation with the District Courts and the Ethics and Discipline Committee under the supervision of the Utah Supreme Court is the best mechanism for addressing accusation of prosecutorial misconduct.
Q9 Do you believe that claims of prosecutorial misconduct should be handled by an internal review board, such as a Conviction Integrity Unity?
Q10 Do you believe that claims of prosecutorial misconduct should be handled by an external review board, like the one proposed in Utah County?