After just 14 intensive months full of innovative reforms to the Utah County Attorney’s Office, David Leavitt will seek to unite Utah’s 29 counties to become a model of criminal justice reform.
“In a nation that incarcerates more people than anywhere in the world, we have work to do,” Leavitt said. He continues, “Most of those are non-violent offenders. We have done a poor job at trying to help these offenders come back into society.”
Leavitt believes that he can help unite counties, some urban and some rural, in some of the innovations that created change in Utah County. Some of those changes include an innovative pre-filing diversion program designed to not make criminals out of nonviolent personal use drug offenders, providing them an opportunity to restart their lives.
“90 percent of offenders are not violent people. While some just need to be locked up, the vast majority of offenders need different options for punishment and rehabilitation.” Leavitt is one of six elected American prosecutors identified by the American Bar Association who is changing the paradigms in criminal justice). Leavitt is passionate about working to reduce the system’s revolving door of recidivism by finding different solutions. “You can’t prosecute your way out of addiction. You can’t jail your way out of addiction.”