2014 SF TechTable: Attorney General Kamala Harris

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[staff name=”Kamala Harris” position=”California Attorney General” img=”https://www.t4a.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/kamala-harris.jpg”]Kamala Harris currently serves as the 32nd Attorney General of the State of California. She was sworn in on January 3, 2011 and became the first woman, African American, and South Asian to hold the office. While in office, A.G. Harris has focused primarily on combating transnational gangs and has worked to “increase the adoption of technology and data driven policing to assist law enforcement in the efficient investigation and prosecution of crime.”  She has also worked closely with the technology industry to improve and fight for consumer privacy rights. Prior to taking office as California Attorney General, Harris served two terms as the District Attorney of San Francisco and headed the city’s Attorney’s Division on Children and Families before that. A San Francisco native, Attorney General Harris is a graduate of Howard University and received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Connect with the Attorney General here: [v_icon color=”#1bb2e9″ size=”21px” hover=”show-color” name=”moon-twitter” url=”https://twitter.com/KamalaHarris” target=”_blank”][/staff][/column]

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[quote author=”Attorney General Kamala Harris”]We don’t have the time for government on its own to figure out how to adapt.[/quote]

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[heading]Key Takeaways[/heading]
[v_icon color=”#1B75BB” style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-graduation”]Truancy is a growing problem in the State of California. Statistics from the Attorney General’s Office show that, in California, 90% of homicide victims under the age of 25 were high school dropouts and that 40% of high school dropouts were habitually and chronically truant in elementary school. Not only does an increase in truancy lead to an increase in crime and cause an obvious detriment to a student’s education, it also costs districts and the state billions of dollars. To combat this problem and reduce truancy, the Attorney General seeks the help of the technology industry for innovative ways to track and gather data on truancy so that the state can begin to develop solutions to decrease it.

[v_icon color=”#FBAD1D” style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-balance”]We currently put billions of dollars into our criminal justice system, yet close to 70% of offenders end up back in jail. Attorney General Harris believes that partnerships between the state government and the technology sector can offer solutions to reduce this high recidivism rate. In particular, she believes that technology can be used to better our education and training programs in prisons and jails. Drawing off the success of her San Francisco “Back on Track” program, the Attorney General suggested training programs focused on job skills, parenting, and credit program. She also encourages the tech community to begin developing and teaching our own training programs in county jails.

[v_icon color=”#F37320″ style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-chart”]The Attorney General also believes that it’s important to infuse metrics into our systems so that the state government understands which policies work. This is crucial not only for criminal justice and education reforms, but for all active and proposed policies. For example, we are currently pumping billions of dollars into the criminal justice system yet close to 70% of offenders end up back in jail. This is a clear indication that this system is failing. If we are able to discern these types of metrics for all of our systems, the State of California will have a much better idea what needs to change and how to budget funds appropriately.

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[heading]Executive Briefing[/heading]

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