No other candidate in this race understands our criminal justice system like John does -- or has fought as long or as effective as John has to address the problems in that system. John has a long history of public service as a federal prosecutor and first joined the United States Attorney’s Office in 1987. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed John to serve as the United States Attorney for Colorado—the state’s chief federal law enforcement officer—where he worked for six years all over Colorado and became one of the longest-serving United States Attorneys in Colorado’s history. As the United States Attorney for Colorado, John worked tirelessly to build strong relationships between federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as between law enforcement and the community.
Based on his deep experience as a federal government prosecutor, John believes that maintaining a criminal justice system rooted in fairness and proportionality is critical. That system should not only be consistent in the application of the law, but should treat all people fairly regardless of their race or class.
John has already spent years working on solutions to effectively implement meaningful criminal justice reform, both in Colorado and across the country, and will continue his efforts to effect meaningful change as a United States Senator. During the Obama Administration, John served as a leading voice in President Barack Obama’s criminal justice reform efforts. As part of this initiative, he also headed a national group of United States attorneys selected to advise Attorney General Loretta Lynch on criminal justice reform.
There is still much we can do to reform our criminal justice system with policies that make it smarter and more effective at responding to crimes, while also ensuring that Coloradans remain safe. Those reforms should include:
- Protecting public safety by focusing the toughest sentences for the most severe, dangerous, and violent offenders—an approach which helps to reduce rates of incarceration by avoiding the incarceration of low-level non-violent offenders in the federal system, while also ensuring that violent and predatory criminals are not let off the hook.
- Using incarceration where needed, but as one of many tools to reduce violence and keep communities safe, and implementing effective drug diversion and treatment programs as alternatives to lengthy incarceration where appropriate.
- Empowering federal law enforcement as well as local police departments and sheriffs’ offices to engage in community-oriented policing that builds trust in the community, takes community concerns into account, and helps to prevent crime in the first instance.
- Developing and implementing effective reentry programs to help afford the more than 600,000 ex-offenders that are released from prison every year a fair chance to reintegrate into society and simultaneously reduce re-offense rates.
As Colorado’s next United States Senator, John will leverage his vast experience with federal law enforcement to effectuate meaningful change and ensure that we have a fair criminal justice system that serves every American, protects public safety.