Delaine Eastin Endorses Pamela Price for Alameda County DA

Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin

Special to the Vanguard

Delaine Eastin is the first and only woman to hold the seat of California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Eastin believes the best crime prevention program is education, and that investments in restorative justice and diversion courts are the best way to end the pipeline-to-prison for California’s youth.

“As I have been watching this race for District Attorney in Alameda County for more than a year and Pamela Price is the only candidate who has remained committed to ensuring that Alameda County’s youth are treated as youth in the criminal justice system,” stated Eastin. “Pamela is the only woman in the race, and is intelligent, passionate, authentic and experienced in challenging the status quo in the justice system.

“The school-to-prison pipeline has contributed to a reported 11,532 incarcerated youth in California, the highest number in the nation. The school-to-prison pipeline is the culmination of outdated and sometimes racist discipline policies (zero tolerance), suspensions, truancy and other school-based arrests and heavy handed policing of non-violent behaviors like smoking on campus, uniform violations and cell phone use,” noted Eastin.

“As someone who taught in the California Youth Authority some years ago, I know these policies disproportionately affect Black and Brown students. In fact, the suspension rate for Black males in California schools is 12.8 percent compared to 3.6 percent for all students. Research shows that African-American over-representation in school suspensions is not due to higher rates of misbehavior. In fact, according to a comprehensive 2018 report and a review of research by the U.S. Government Accounting Office, implicit bias on the part of teachers and staff may cause them to judge student behaviors differently based on the students’ race and sex.

”We have made some strides in California’s education system to break the school-to-prison pipeline through training, resources and education efforts, but while schools are changing, the criminal justice system still over-criminalizes our youth. Pamela is the candidate who is steadfast in making sure our children are not sentenced as adults and have the right pathways for success,” Eastin noted.

Studies have shown that restorative justice programs provide the chance to be productive, instead of violent—replacing harm by engaging everyone involved. Restorative justice gives our youth the tools necessary to become responsible citizens and address conflict with conversation instead of behaviors that could lead to more law enforcement interactions.

“Pamela’s approach to public service is aligned with my aspirations for a candidate for public office who wants to bring about a substantive improvement in our criminal justice system, such that we focus on early intervention and prevention rather than the ham handed, knuckle dragging and throwing the book at children who have stumbled,” Eastin notes. “Pamela is the candidate with the courage, vision, and heart to do the job. While other candidates might tell you what you want to hear, they lack the courage, the vision and the heart to fundamentally improve our justice system. She has the courage to make the tough choices that will make a difference, the vision to put in place programs that can fundamentally change the choices available to children at the margins and the heart to govern for all people including those talking tough who have been struggling to live in horrifying environments.”

Pamela reached out to Delaine to say, “It is quite the honor to have Delaine’s vote of confidence. She has been in the trenches working to ensure our next generations have the opportunity to succeed even if they make mistakes along the way,” said Price. “It is key that we build an education system that replaces punitive disciplinary policies with restorative justice. It is critical that we build a justice system that stops charging and/or incarcerating youths under the age of 18 as adults. It is key that we have educators and education leaders fighting for these changes,” stated Price.  “Because Delaine lived in Alameda County for many years and was first elected here, I am so proud to receive Delaine’s support with so many other education leaders. The time to change the system is now.“

Eastin adds, “It is paramount that we have the top prosecutor leading reform in the criminal justice system. I trust Pamela Price to get the job done and employing her model of compassionate justice is the best choice for public safety in Alameda County.”

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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