Arroyo and Hayden say they are both in the running for Suffolk County DA

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So far, the race for Suffolk County District Attorney will be between a candidate who supports many of the reforms of former DA Rachael Rollin and another who is more moderate and was appointed acting DA by the Republican Governor. Charlie Baker.

Last week, Boston’s Hyde Park alderman announced his candidacy for the DA seat, which was followed a few days later by acting DA Kevin Hayden.

At a press conference in Hyde Park last week, Arroyo pledged to continue the reforms started by Rollins.

Arroyo, the son of former city councilman Felix Arroyo, served as a public defender before being elected to city council in 2019, said he would: “Build a justice system that protects the safety and dignity of all… A system that will maintain the success of reforms that have proven to make Suffolk County communities safer.

It was his work as a public defender that Arroyo says gave him perspective on the justice system’s inequities. As a public defender, Arroyo said he saw firsthand how the lack of opportunity, inequality and marginalization of individuals ravaged lives.

“Former District Attorney Rachael Rollins led the way in bringing much-needed reforms to the office,” Arroyo said at the press conference. “We cannot afford to back down or stagnate. We must continue with these proven reforms and continue to move Suffolk County forward. »

Before leaving the district attorney’s office to serve as U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts, Rollin focused on progressive criminal justice reform in Suffolk County and developed a controversial policy of not prosecuting certain nonviolent crimes. low level.

Arroyo attended Boston public schools, has a BA in history from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and a JD from Loyola University Chicago.

Hayden, a Roslindale resident who was nominated by Governor Baker to complete Rollins’ term, announced his candidacy days after Arroyo’s press conference.

During his announcement outside the Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester, Hayden pledged a commitment to public safety, reform of the criminal justice system and accountability to the communities of Boston, Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop.

Hayden, who was appointed to the office in January, outlined many areas of focus for the future, including gun crime, community collaboration and engagement, diversion and response programs , human trafficking and domestic violence.

“I pledge today to reform the way the District Attorney approaches his full mission to serve the community and ensure public safety,” Hayden said. “Our focus on reform is vital, but results that produce real transformation are what really matter. We have seen in recent years a national demand for reform of the criminal justice system. As a black man, I welcome this focus because it is long overdue. I know very well that this is long overdue because I have practiced these concepts and approaches to reform throughout my career. »

Hayden added that his experience as a prosecutor, attorney in private practice and head of the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board has given him the perspective needed to ensure public safety while seeking alternatives to prosecution in cases. appropriate.

“I’ve never been a traditional prosecutor,” he said. “As leader of the Safe Neighborhood Initiative, I have embraced intensive community engagement and extended crime intervention and prevention to new limits. I have dedicated myself to support services and ministry to citizens back from incarceration more than any ADA before me. As a Juvenile Attorney, I have led efforts focused on innovative methods of diversion and prevention. In brief, I will address the task of reform with a proven track record of dedication to it. I have worked long and hard in this vineyard. I am convinced that we can change our approach to criminal justice. But public safety and full fairness in our system are not s “not mutually exclusive. We must always be mindful of public safety as we strive for a better and fairer system. All of our communities demand our dedication to both .

Prior to his appointment, Hayden headed the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board. Previously, he spent five years in private practice, specializing in criminal defense. He began his career in the Suffolk DA office, serving in the Anti-Gang and Juvenile Units and the Homicide Response Team. He led the bureau’s Safe Neighborhood Initiative, a community-focused public safety program.

Hayden is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Boston University School of Law and serves as a deacon at Jubilee Christian Church in Mattapan.

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