Frequently Asked Questions About DAs

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Frequently Asked Questions About DAs 2021-09-07T16:13:31-05:00


When is the next district attorney election?

The next DA election will be in August 2022.

What is prosecutorial reform?

Prosecutorial reform includes educating people about the importance of district attorneys, making DA offices more transparent, empowering Tennesseans to hold their DAs accountable, highlighting the good work that some district attorneys are doing to reform our legal system, and shining a light on problems within the system.

Why focus on district attorneys?

District attorneys have tremendous power and, traditionally, very little oversight, transparency, or accountability. District attorneys have the power to impact the lives of millions of people and entire communities. If someone is accused of committing a crime, it is not the police but the district attorney who has the sole power to decide if criminal charges are filed and how severe those charges will be. District attorneys get to decide whether to hold police officers accountable for misconduct, who they will recommend for pretrial detention, who will be routed into a diversion program to help rebuild their life, and who will have charges dismissed. District attorneys have the power to reform our legal system — or to keep maintaining the ineffective policies and practices that have created the mass incarceration problem in the U.S.

Who is behind this campaign?

“DAs Report to You: A Campaign for District Attorney Transparency” is a criminal legal reform campaign led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN). The campaign includes raising public awareness about the tremendous power prosecutors wield, research and reporting on prosecutorial activity, legislative lobbying, and voter education.

You can participate by sharing your DA story, spreading the word about this website, signing up for emails to learn about ACLU-TN’s latest work, or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.