By Robert J. Hansen
Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig was called California’s most innovative prosecutor by Yousef Baig of the Sacramento Bee in an October article.
Reisig claims that he and his office are evolving towards a new era of criminal justice but his policies are less reformative and more in line with Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s than San Francisco’s progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
For starters, Schubert, who is running for California Attorney General, is endorsed by Reisig.
A top priority on Schubert’s campaign website is tackling rising violent crime by aggressively prosecuting violent criminals.
They also both submitted a request for a restraining order Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) preventing the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) from enacting an increase of time served credits for second-strikers
Reisig and Schubert 26 other California district attorneys were granted the TRO preventing the CDCR from enacting an increase of 50% credits to 66% credits for second-strikers with serious and violent criminal histories last December.
“CDCR believes they can increase conduct credits by 100% without ever giving victims and the public the right to meaningful participation in this process,” stated District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.
On January 25, 2022, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Judith S. Craddick reinstated TRO against the CDCR, preventing it from awarding 66 percent custody credits to nonviolent second-strikers until an appeal is filed, allowing the Third District Court of Appeals to consider the issues raised in the trial court’s previous denial of a preliminary injunction.
“It’s critical that decisions that reward credits to individuals with violent criminal histories be handled transparently and not behind closed doors,” Reisig said in a press statement. “Many individuals in state prison have earned the right to get credits, one example being those working in the fire camps. Credits are a means to reward and incentivize. People who have done nothing to rehabilitate should not automatically be rewarded credits.”
Failing to prosecute police officers involved in shootings or incidents where someone was killed is another similarity between the Yolo and Sacramento District Attorneys.
From 2015 through 2020, there have been 50 officer-involved shootings in Sacramento County and Schubert has not prosecuted one of the police officers or deputies involved. The police officers who killed unarmed Stephon Clark were never prosecuted.
According to the Yolo DA’s website, there were five police officer-involved incidents in Reisig’s time as DA and, like Schubert, none of the officers involved were charged.
None of the people killed in Yolo County by law enforcement were armed with a gun. Of the five, three were armed with knives, and two were not armed at all.
Michael Barrera was killed by Woodland police officers while handcuffed, having never been a threat, in February 2017, which was not how the incident was initially described by police.
Evidence obtained by Marissa Barrera, Michael’s sister, revealed he was handcuffed while police used tasers for an excessive length of time and killed him.
Schubert and Reisig both share a passion for prosecuting sexual predators and human trafficking, “ … making sure violent criminals are held accountable for their crimes.”
The Yolo DA initiated the Restorative Justice Partnership (RJP), an adult criminal diversion program that uses the principles of restorative justice to resolve offenses outside of the traditional courtroom.
RJP is the core program in the Yolo County District Attorney’s restorative justice diversion suite with the purpose to address criminal violations that impact the quality of life.
In 2020, the Yolo District Attorney’s office reviewed over 1,000 felony cases for diversion and only 6.7 percent (70) were diverted.
For all his claims, Reisig’s work and track record sharply contrast with that of well-known progressives DAs like San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, and are more in line with traditionalists like Schubert.