What Makes a Good Sheriff?
A good sheriff remembers that individuals who are incarcerated are human beings.
Sheriffs oversee our local jails, and can make decisions to honor the humanity of individuals who are incarcerated. Good sheriffs have taken steps like ensuring in-person visits for families, ending solitary confinement, and providing life-saving, quality healthcare.
A good sheriff follows best practices to fight addiction.
How a community responds to addiction is substantially affected by law enforcement’s approach. A good sheriff supports best practices such as harm reduction in their department’s approach to addiction.
A good sheriff accounts for mental health.
Taking a punitive approach to mental health concerns gets us nowhere. A good sheriff trains their department in best practices for working with those experiencing mental health concerns, watches out for mental health risks in their jail, and reduces the number of people incarcerated.
A good sheriff doesn’t tolerate racist policing.
Laws and internal policies banning racial profiling can decrease racist patterns of policing that make communities less safe. Good sheriffs can bring those policies to their departments.
A good sheriff does not target members of the immigrant community.
Local law enforcement cooperation with ICE is not legally required – and some methods of cooperation have been ruled unconstitutional. Good sheriffs across the country have been setting policies to resist ICE’s cruel and unjust detention of immigrants – including family separation.