The Prosecutors Alliance of California (PAC) is an advocacy organization that promotes left-progressive reforms to criminal justice policies within the state of California and a project of Tides Advocacy. The group was formed in 2020 by L.A. District Attorney George Gascon as a “progressive alternative” to the California District Attorneys Association, and while the group describes itself as bipartisan, it almost exclusively supports left-wing legislation and policies.
PAC says that it is guided by the “21 Principles for the 21st Century Prosecutor,” a report written by Fair and Just Prosecution, The Justice Collaborative, and the Brennan Center for Justice. The report says progressive prosecutors should “make diversion the rule” by sending individuals to rehabilitative or mental health programs rather than advocate for prison sentences. The 21 Principles report also says that prosecutors should work to end the use of cash bail, and it encourages prosecutors to “support pretrial services that help people remember to return to court.” The report also encourages prosecutors to resist immigration enforcement by ICE in courthouses and probation offices and advocate for ending the death penalty.
PAC advocates for criminal justice reform through proposing legislation and providing resources for its members. While the Alliance claims to be bipartisan, the California Globe noted that all the group’s sponsored legislation in 2021 and 2022 was introduced by Democratic legislators in California. The group also conducted a survey on 711 crime victims to study how to best care for crime victims.
Prosecutors Alliance of California has an advisory board composed of four current and former district attorneys in California and four staff. The group notes on its website that “the Advisory Committee is not a governing board, and the advisory committee members are not members of Prosecutors Alliance of California.” The board members are the following:
George Gascon is the 43rd District Attorney of Los Angeles County who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as well as Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrissee Cullors. He is one of the most prominent district attorneys that has received funding from George Soros.
Chesa Boudin is a former District Attorney of San Francisco who was recently recalled by San Francisco.
Diana Becton served as a judge in Contra Costa County for 22 years before becoming District Attorney of Contra Costa County in 2017. She received $275,000 from Soros in 2018 and is the first woman and African American to be elected DA of Contra Costa County.
Tori Verber Salazar is the District Attorney of San Joaquin County. She was the first woman elected to the position in 2015. Verber Salazar lost her primary election in June 2022 to Ron Freitas.
According to its website, “PAC is a staff-run organization.” Cristine Soto DeBerry, who was a chief of staff to George Gascon and Chesa Boudin for a decade, is the Founder and Executive Director. DeBerry has called efforts to recall LA District Attorney George Gascon “a power grab fueled by the same political operatives and mega-donors that put Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell in office.”
The other staff include 2 former deputy district attorneys and a mental health professional.