As one of the most powerful players in the system, prosecutors hold incredible responsibility in reforming a set of practices that have led to record-breaking levels of incarceration. This new wave of prosecutors is redefining their role, with a commitment to confronting the over-incarceration of people of color.
Jean Peters Baker is only the second woman elected to lead the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. Baker was appointed prosecutor in May 2011 and elected to the position in November 2012. Since coming into the office, she has cemented a reputation as a fearless and compassionate advocate for the victims of crime, especially the young and most vulnerable.
Wesley Bell recently became the first African American prosecutor for St. Louis County, ending his predecessor’s 28-year run. The former Ferguson councilman was a public defender, a lawyer in private practice, former municipal prosecutor, former municipal judge, and has been a leader in criminal justice reform.
Adam Foss, former Assistant District Attorney in Boston, MA is founder of Prosecutor Impact. Foss is a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Foss believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for reinvention requiring better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won.”
Kim Gardner is the City of St. Louis’ first African-American circuit attorney. Gardner is a former state representative who worked as a prosecutor in the circuit attorney’s office for five years and is a registered nurse. She is committed to inspiring confidence and repairing damaged trust in the criminal justice system.
Sponsored by WashULaw, Clark-Fox Policy Institute, the Assembly Series, and St. Louis University School of Law.