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Dear White Women

Mar 21, 2023

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Law and Order, you’ll know Jack McCoy, who was the District Attorney (with a capital D and A) in that show. Together with his team, Jack McCoy made decisions about a lot of people’s guilt or innocence and argued that in court. Typically, when we think about a criminal trial, there are two phases: culpability, and sentencing. So in the first phase, either the judge or jury decides if the defendant is guilty or not, and then, if the defendant is found guilty, in that second phase, the judge or jury decides what that sentence should be. 

But aside from that, it’s true that a lot of us don’t know what DAs do, or what their role is with regard to mass incarceration. Let’s get a little more analytical than Law and Order, and by the end of this episode, we hope you not only know more about what your DAs do, but have some ideas of how to hold them accountable, just like they hold us accountable. 


What to listen for:

  • What the office of the DA actually does

  • The role of the DA in criminal prosecutions, from the crime being committed all the way to sentencing

  • Some typical situations that DAs might face and why some opt for incarceration

  • How we can hold our DAs accountable when it comes to mass incarceration vs. restorative justice, especially in non-election years