STOCKTON- Video has emerged of San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar bizarrely accuse a citizen who lost a loved one to violent crime in 2011 of being a “political operative” and “bully” as she ferociously defends her and Assemblymember Susan Collette Eggman’s “restorative justice” program. The proposal has drawn criticism from many in law enforcement and victim advocates such as the woman, Kathleen Gapusan, speaking at the Board of Supervisors meeting during public comments. The biggest issues with the program are examples such as allowing “serious and violent” criminals to avoid jail and have their criminal history erased by facing their accuser in therapy while receiving housing, education and employment services. All attempts to receive the “supporting data” Tori says she has that “prove” her claims the program has reduced recidivism from 70% to 5% have so far been ignored.
“…In the last 3 1/2 years, through federal funding, I have run a program that is the most successful program in the sense that we have gone from a 70% recidivism rate to a 5% recidivism rate. As leaders in this community it’s easy to sit in the audience and take cheap shots for political gain or for political operatives or for whatever the agenda maybe. But what has to be spoken in this room is the truth…”, Verber exclaims in the video.
The comments by the district Attorney were in response to Gapusan’s concerns and speech saying she doesn’t believe her program is in the best interest of victims. This program mirrors SB-678, which was co authored by Susan Eggman and read as such:
“A defendant shall not be denied participation in the program based on the accusation that the defendant has committed a serious or violent felony or the defendant’s past criminal record. A defendant is ineligible for the program if charged with any of the following offenses:
(A) Murder or voluntary manslaughter.
(B) A lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 years of age.
(C) Assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy, or oral copulation, in violation of Section 220.
(D) Commission of rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person, in violation of Section 264.1.
(E) Continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5.
(F) A violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11418.
(G) A sex offense for which registration is required pursuant to Section 290 that is classified as a Tier 2 or Tier 3 offense.”