Tompkins Lauds McAuliffe as True Reformer, Life-Long Criminal Justice Advocate

BOSTON, March 22, 2018 – Suffolk County District Attorney candidate Shannon McAuliffe is kicking off her campaign today with a rally at Vintage Lounge and immediately collected the endorsement of Sheriff Steve Tompkins, who called McAuliffe “a life-long fighter for criminal justice reform.”

“Shannon has spent her entire career fighting for people’s rights and for a fair and equitable justice system,” said Tompkins. “She wants to put an end to mandatory minimums, high bails and other predatory laws that trap people in the system for far too long. She sees the district attorney’s office the way I see the Sheriff’s Office – as not just a vehicle for punishment but one for creating second chances as well.”

McAuliffe has been a criminal defense lawyer for more than 15 years and most recently ran the Boston and Chelsea sites of ROCA, a nationally recognized organization that helps high risk individuals transform their lives through education, life skills training, and employment opportunities. She is a graduate of Suffolk Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

“At ROCA, we didn’t take a traditional approach – it’s about how we stick with them through mistakes, so they can grow and learn instead of throwing the book at them so hard that they never get up,” McAuliffe said. “I learned that when we do the hard, intense, and intentional work to keep people on the right track, we have less crime and less victims. Now I want to take that approach to the D.A.’s office."

“Traditional prosecutions will certainly not end,” said McAuliffe. “Be assured, we will have a team of experience prosecutors who are experts at putting violent criminals in jail. Real justice is about the right people going to jail for the right reasons and for the right amount of time.”

Tompkins said he and McAuliffe have been friends and allies for several years after they began to work on ways to develop comprehensive approaches to help inmates re-enter and prosper in society.

“We call them wrap-around services – ways to help the whole person get ready for going back into day-to-day life on the outside and prospering,” he said. “Shannon could have stayed a lawyer or an academic but, as head of ROCA for the area, she walked the walk when it came to helping people at risk. She’s the real deal.”

McAuliffe decided to devote her efforts to justice reform after her husband, a famous Boston Attorney, Richard Egbert, died at 61 in 2008.

“Richie’s passing gave me the impetus to do something even more meaningful with my life to help change our criminal justice system,” she said. “Delivering justice means valuing all victims equally, where your skin color, income, or zip code do not affect how we protect and serve you.”


Hannah Zack