From Adrian Kamada/May 7, 2022, 2:51 p.m.

PRESS RELEASE – May 7, 2022 





Today Adrian Kamada, candidate for Humboldt County District Attorney, released a statement of goals and policies to adjust and modernize the D.A.’s Office into something that works efficiently and fairly, offers opportunities for better resolutions, and lets us collectively implement real justice.

“A lot of thought, input from many stakeholders, study of programs successfully used elsewhere, and plain common sense went into creating this”, said Kamada.  “It will remain a cornerstone of my administration but is also a living document.  We will constantly gather data on our progress and will make adjustments as needed.  The phrase “that’s the way we’ve always done it” will rarely be heard.”

Some choose to base their candidacies on three-word slogans and the records of their predecessor.  Adrian Kamada is busy looking forward, not backward, and is providing solid details about the path ahead of us.

The entire document can be downloaded on the AK4DA Vision page at  https://www.ak4da.com/vision.

For more information about Adrian and his plans for the D.A.’s office please go to www.AK4DA.com.

Vote-by-mail ballots are sent out May 9 and the election is held on June 7.  No matter who you choose, everybody involved in the Kamada campaign urges you to let your voice be heard - vote.


Note:  For a direct download in PDF format go to:   https://static1.squarespace.com/static/61d8a5df2e0e0d15491b2a8e/t/62757fd81f0bc6725a1074b8/1651867609393/Kamada%27s+Pledge+of+Action.pdf


If you’d prefer to read it here the entire document follows:

Practical Policies for Humboldt’s District Attorney’s Office

The June 7 election for Humboldt County District Attorney is our moment to embrace the fresh ideas and innovative policies it takes to tackle the alarming crime rates eroding our public safety.  We will choose smart cultural and structural changes in our community’s criminal justice system and usher in the most transparent District Attorney’s Office in this county’s history. We will be held accountable to our employers—all the people of Humboldt County.


1)   Innovation – Making the System Work


a)    Overview:


i)      Use resources responsibly and wisely, saving time and focusing priorities.


ii)    To be effective changes will be incremental.


iii)   We will adjust policies and programs as needed so they are tailored to result in greater public safety.



b)   Use Data-Driven Analysis:


i)      Gather data on all cases submitted to the D.A.’s office to develop evidence-based policies (see also accountability).  This data will include but not be limited to:

(1)   demographics.

(2)   stages in the criminal justice process: pretrial release, plea dispositions, sentencing, diversion program participation and completion rates/ratios, recidivism rates.

(3)   Collaborate with local tribal governments, government agencies and nongovernmental stakeholders in gathering, sharing, and analyzing data.


ii)    Build an intern program with Cal Poly Humboldt’s sociology department, and criminology program.



c)    Build a strong coalition with local stakeholders:


i)      Pool political power with sovereign tribes, community stakeholders, government agencies (esp. law enforcement agencies & Dept. of Human Services), and nonprofit organizations to lobby the state and federal governments for resources and cooperate to co-apply for certain grants.



d)   Modernize the DA’s Office by embracing technology:


i)      Obtain a separate office internet line so the case software program is more user friendly and finally get secure WiFi in the office.


ii)    Implement use of iSubpoena for electronic subpoena service.

(1)   Saves staff time preparing and serving subpoenas.

(2)   Eliminates the waste of public resources – Officers will be notified immediately if their presence isn’t needed, keeping them on the streets.

(3)   Saves time and money at law enforcement agencies processing subpoenas.


iii)   Incremental elimination of paper files – use secure laptops/tablets so existing software can finally be utilized. 

(1)   This will allow us to repurpose file clerk positions to more substantive work


iv)   Move towards having next-day access to footage from body-worn cameras to streamline the charging process.


v)     Use technology as part of building more efficient and stronger communication with victims, survivors, and witnesses.



e)    Create a Repeat Offender Program:


i)      Create actual consequences for people who continue to commit property and other crimes that are below the felony level. There are numerous other jurisdictions using repeat-offender programs – these programs will be carefully evaluated to find the most effective methods, and the details will then be tailored to the needs of Humboldt County.


f)     Build and Strengthen Alternatives to Traditional Court


i)      The purposes of Alternative to Traditional Court (“ATC”) programs are:

(1)   Decrease crime in the long-term by steering people away from the criminal justice system while holding them truly accountable, rather than pushing them into a penalized system that perpetuates more criminal behavior.

(2)   Save time and resources to allow prosecutors to focus on serious and violent cases. 

(3)   Well-designed ATC programs have higher success rates in reducing recidivism.

(4)   If the offender fails the ATC program, then the traditional court model of filing a complaint, arrest, and prosecution through the court system remains available.


ii)    Development of a deferred prosecution program (“First Offenders Program”)


(1)   A targeted community-based intervention program that seeks to educate, develop work skills, and work opportunities, so that defendants exit the program with higher ability to function in the community and avoid a criminal conviction.


(2)   Eligibility generally for first-time offenders in most misdemeanors and certain low-level felonies. Some exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis with good reason.


(3)   If the offense involves a victim, then it the victim must agree to diversion program with the following necessary goals:

(a)   Ensure victim feels safe

(b)   Restitution required, and can be achieved through means of restorative justice, where appropriate.

(i)    Restorative justice is a community-based approach directly addressing the harm the crime causes. It can be part of an ATC or part of the criminal court process


                  (4) Terms and conditions are tailored to meet defendant particular risks and needs:


iii)   Tribal Court Diversion

(1)   Approach from a the perspective of respect tribe’s sovereignty, and legal principles of self-determination

(2)   The development tribal court partners to support diversion programs and defendant accountability

(3)   Collaborate with tribal court to establish clear guidelines for the factors, and types of offenses eligible for diversion  

iv)    Other existing diversion programs

(1)   See Mental Health section below

(2)   Substance Abuse Programs



g)    Mental Health Crisis:


i)      Support existing HCSO and EPD mental health crisis intervention teams and encourage similar programs throughout the County.


ii)    Support development of alternative procedures so those in mental health crisis and  those in drug-induced states of crisis don’t negatively impact hospital Emergency Departments.


iii)   Where mental health played a significant role in criminal offenses, avoid filing criminal charges against non-repeat, non-violent offenders.


iv)   Assign a sworn peace officer district attorney investigator to be liaison for the Department of Health and Human Services to assist with issues relating to the mental health diversion programs. 



h)   Build a civil enforcement team for general cannabis and environmental violations, and unfair business practices:


i)      The D.A.’s office doesn’t not have experience or resources to have an effective stand-alone civil enforcement program.


ii)    Using a public/private partnership, allowed by the Unfair Business Practices Act, work with private civil law firms while retaining overall decision authority in the D.A.’s office.


iii)   Pursue grants with non-governmental organizations that provide a fellowship for people in the D.A.’s office who are specifically trained for civil enforcement.



i)      Revamp the D.A.’s victim witness program


i)      Implement new, evidence-based protocols.


ii)    Have immediate outreach to victims to offer support services.


iii)   Protect the integrity of cases and the safety of witnesses by using all legal means to protect identities, contact information, or other information that could endanger or further traumatize victims.



2)   Accountability  - Justice We Can Trust


a)    Overview: 


i)      Fairness and openness lead to building a vital trust with the community, which in turn aids law enforcement and prosecutors in solving crime and protecting that community.


b)   Engage with the public to build real trust relationships:


i)      Use community outreach such as holding regular community meetings throughout the County, in the evening and on weekends, where everyday people can attend and participate.  Participate in local schools, mentor at-risk kids, and be open to all opportunities for real, substantial engagement. 


ii)    Release the results of cases daily, and highlight all trials, major cases, and cases of particular public interest, not just when the D.A.’s office “wins”.


iii)   Create a publicly accessible database for checking the status of current and past cases.


c)    Law Enforcement:


i)      Engage in proactive data-sharing with law enforcement agencies to help analyze what works and what doesn’t.


ii)    Be available to law enforcement at every stage of the process, including serving in an advisory role on procedural matters, search warrants, and the particulars of criminal law in ongoing cases.


iii)   Conduct regular and frequent trainings for law enforcement that include legal and procedural updates from a diversity of trainers including prosecutors, defense attorneys, community members, service providers, and others. 


iv)   When we receive a case we’ll ask two primary questions:  “Can we charge it?” and  “Should we charge it?”  We’ll communicate directly with law enforcement agencies to gather more information if needed and to explain our decisions as necessary.



d)   Prosecutions:


i)      Cases will be carefully reviewed at the beginning to make sure all the elements of the offense are provable.


ii)    There will be clear, written charging standards that ensure that consequences are proportionate to the offense and criminal history. The facts and circumstances of each case will be evaluated, and tailored resolutions will be reached to achieve justice.


iii)   There will be no overcharging.  Unprovable charges will not be used as leverage in negotiating a plea deal.  Enhancements will not be requested as a matter of course but only in the interests of reaching a fair outcome.


iv)   There will be training for prosecutors regarding the collateral consequences of convictions, with the question always being “do these resolutions best serve the overall good of the community?  If probation for a minor offense prevents someone from joining the armed services, does that better our community?  If a conviction for a non-violent offense prevents someone from getting student aid, does that better our community?  What about a nurse who gets a first DUI with no other aggravating factors – does that person losing their nursing license and livelihood for a year make us a safer and better community?


v)     Replace assembly-line prosecution with thoughtful solutions that address what the root causes of the criminal behavior are while still holding the defendant accountable.


vi)   Make decisions based purely on the evidentiary value and overall circumstances of the case, not on outside influences. 


vii)Do not punish defendants for exercising their constitutional rights.



“The District Attorney is the gatekeeper of the criminal  justice system and must make tough decisions with a clear view of the goal: justice we can trust.”