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DEDICATED TO OUR FUTURE

"I came to the District Attorney's Office to help people.  Over the past decade I have prosecuted many of the most serious crimes in Washington County, including murder, sex trafficking, child abuse, and sexual assaults.  

 

During my career, the most rewarding moments have not come from winning the cases, but instead from being able to help provide justice to vulnerable victims and their families.  As District Attorney, I will work to ensure that all members of our community have full access to justice."

                                                                           - Kevin Barton

SEEKING JUSTICE

As your District Attorney, my first responsibility is to seek justice.  I will dedicate my office to protecting the public and to keeping Washington County safe from those who threaten our community.  I will aggressively prosecute crimes committed against vulnerable victims such as child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence, hate and bias crimes, sexual assault, human trafficking, or other crimes of violence.  

I will pursue innovative ways to prevent crime through the use of proven specialty courts and programs that address the underlying cause of crime while ensuring public safety and personal accountability.

 

Examples of specialty courts and programs I support include:

  • Drug Court (provides intensive drug treatment for select non-violent drug addicts as an alternative to incarceration)

  • Mental Health Court (provides focused treatment for select non-violent offenders with mental health needs)

  • Domestic Violence Diversion Program (provides a path toward rehabilitation while ensuring personal accountability for select first-time domestic violence offenders)

  • Early Case Resolution Program (provides an immediate plea opportunity for select non-violent misdemeanor and felony crimes to promote justice without delay and court efficiency)

  • Diversion Programs (promotes rehabilitation and an opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction for select non-violent offenders)

  • Intensive Probation (provides an opportunity for intensive treatment and supervision for select non-violent drug and property crime offenders in order to promote rehabilitation and accountability as an alternative to incarceration while also focusing on crime prevention to enhance community safety)

  • Veterans Court (provides a rehabilitation opportunity for select military veterans who have experienced combat-related stress, injury, or mental illness and have committed lower-level crimes as a result of the injury)

  • Second Look (provides opportunity for select juvenile defendants in the adult criminal system to earn early release to court-monitored strict supervision in order to promote rehabilitation)

SAFE SCHOOLS AND NEIGHBORHOODS

We need to keep Washington County schools and neighborhoods safe.  As Chief Deputy District Attorney I am the chairperson of Washington County's multidisciplinary team of professionals who work to ensure our children are safe in schools and at home.  We collaborate with law enforcement school resource officers, child protective services workers, and pediatricians to protect children.  

 

I am also leading a School Safety Task Force that will focus on ensuring children are safe in schools from threats such as shootings/violence, cyber threats, bullying, sexting and sexual assaults, suicides, and drugs.  As District Attorney I will continue working to ensure our schools and neighborhoods remain a safe place. 

PROTECTING CHILDREN

Children are among the most vulnerable members of our community.  We have a special obligation to ensure that children grow up without fear of physical abuse, sexual abuse, drug endangerment, internet threats, cyber bullying, exploitation, neglect, and other dangers.  

 

As the lead child abuse prosecutor in Washington County, I have personally prosecuted hundreds of child abuse cases, and I am particularly aware of the threats against children in our community.  I will continue to make it my mission as District Attorney to use all available resources to protect children and to hold those who harm children accountable.

INCLUSIVE OF ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY

An important aspect of being safe is feeling safe.  It is the responsibility of the District Attorney to help ensure everyone in our community feels protected and has the opportunity to live, work, and raise a family in safety and has full access to justice.

 

As District Attorney, I will do all that is within my power to ensure that the courthouse is a safe place for witnesses and victims and their families, regardless of citizenship status, to ensure full access to justice without fear. 

I am committed to reaching out to all members of the community, without regard to race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, citizenship status, religion, or any other classification.

PROTECTING VICTIMS

Crime victims have constitutional and statutory rights that are provided by Oregon law.  I will ensure all victims' rights are honored throughout the criminal process.​  Vulnerable victims, such as children, the elderly, or the disabled, are especially in need of protection.

An important victims' right is the right to receive restitution from a convicted defendant as compensation for the harm caused.  However, many victims often receive only a fraction of the full restitution ordered by the court.  As District Attorney, I will work to ensure the courts prioritize restitution to crime victims.

RESPONSIBLE TO COMMUNITY

The District Attorney serves the public.  I will continue working to engage the community through a variety of methods to maintain trust and communication and to ensure that the work of the District Attorney's Office reflects the values of the people.  

 

I am proud to be a member of the Building Bridges Steering Committee.  We are a coalition of public safety leaders and diverse civil society organizations committed to build hope and trust.  I will continue working toward this goal as District Attorney.    

Examples of outreach I support include: crime prevention programs and youth engagement opportunities to stop crime before it occurs; peer-courts for youths who engage in minor criminal behavior to be held accountable by other youths and outside of the adult court system; community education to help empower people to avoid victimization; and routine public engagement to maintain an active and constructive dialogue with the community.  

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Washington County is changing and so is crime.  Technology plays an increasing role in how criminals commit crime and how people are victimized by crime.  Today, evidence on a smartphone or computer might be as important as DNA or fingerprints at a crime scene.  Technology provides criminals with another method of harming members of our community, whether it be online exploitation of our children or financial exploitation of our elderly.

 

I have worked for the past several years to modernize Washington County's ability to investigate digital crimes.  I created and led the initiative to establish a District Attorney's Digital Forensics Laboratory, which opened in the spring of 2017.  We are the only District Attorney's Office in Oregon with this in-house capability.  Additionally, I am working with law enforcement partners toward the goal of creating a countywide digital forensics laboratory to meet the challenges of technology and crime while safeguarding the community.  

© 2018 Kevin Barton for Washington County District Attorney