Kevin at work
DEDICATED TO OUR FUTURE
"As District Attorney for Washington County, my mission is to seek justice and protect our community. This means protecting victims and holding criminals accountable. It also includes pioneering innovative specialty and treatment court programs and engaging all members of our diverse community. I am proud of the work I have accomplished as your District Attorney and I look forward to continuing to serve our community."
- Kevin Barton
As your District Attorney, my first responsibility is to seek justice. I have dedicated my office to protecting to keeping Washington County safe from those who threaten our community. We 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.
We also pursue 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 Treatment 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)
Rapid Fitness to Proceed Program (reduces amount of time persons with mental health issues must spend in the criminal system prior to a determination regarding mental fitness to proceed)
PROTECTING VULNERABLE VICTIMS
Crimes committed against vulnerable victims require special care and attention. As District Attorney I have prioritized our response to these crimes, especially in the areas of child abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse.
In 2019 I established a dedicated DA's Office Domestic Violence Unit. This specialized unit works with a broad coalition of law enforcement and social service organizations to ensure a robust response to domestic violence.
For the past several years I have led an effort to establish the Family Peace Center of Washington County. This innovative, state-of-the-art facility will offer support for victims of child abuse, neglect and domestic violence throughout Washington County. In June 2021 we learned that the legislature allocated $6.65 million to support the purchase of a new building for this effort. I look forward to moving forward with this important project to support our most vulnerable victims.
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 have worked 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.
Crime victims have constitutional and statutory rights that are provided by Oregon law. I have worked to 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.
RESPONSIBLE TO COMMUNITY
The District Attorney serves the public. I have engaged our 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. As District Attorney I have spoken with thousands of our community members over the years.
I am also 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.
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 Washington County Digital Forensics Laboratory.