REFORMING SEIZED ASSET PROTOCOLS AND REFOCUSING SPENDING ON CRIME PREVENTION
Melinda will bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the use of seized assets.
Each year, millions of dollars are seized by the District Attorney’s office and become available for crime prevention efforts, but taxpayers deserve to know exactly how these funds are spent.
As District Attorney, Melinda will bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the use of seized assets by annually reporting on what programs are funded and how they make our families and neighborhoods safer.
Melinda believes that the District Attorney’s office must be a partner with communities throughout Queens on public safety. Using her broad experiences in public service, Melinda will refocus spending of seized assets funds on critical programs that can have a systemic impact on crime prevention and reduction, including:
Addressing the heroin and opioid crisis: Increase the number of overdose clinics and help victims of addiction get access to services after overdose treatment. Melinda will create a program modeled after Staten Island’s successful Heroin Overdose Prevention and Education (HOPE) program, providing a one-stop shop for those struggling with addiction as well as their families and loved ones.
Reducing gun violence: Approaching gun violence as a public health issue as much as a criminal issue. Using the successful Cure Violence model and introducing the concept of violence interrupters as a means of prevention, Melinda will partner with community groups to stop crime before it happens.
Giving family members the tools they need to deal with unexpected situations: When a parent or grandparent finds a gun in their child or grandchild’s possessions or a family member suspects opioid abuse or involvement in gang activities, there must be a system in place to someone get the help needed to deal with the individual circumstances, not just an option that automatically leads to incarceration.
Providing alternatives to drunk and drugged driving: It is well known that there are certain days on which driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs occurs at a higher rate than normal, including the night before Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day. By smartly using seized asset funds and partnering with ride-sharing services such as Uber, the DA’s office can provide free rides for individuals who may find themselves out late with their vehicle and in need of a safe ride home.