For Immediate Release

DA’s Failure in Leadership Rips Apart Family of Autistic Man

Poughkeepsie, NY – Former Senior Assistant Dutchess County District Attorney, and now candidate for District Attorney, Richard Berube, has called out his former Boss, DA William Grady, for imprisoning an autistic man. Grady claimed “jail was the only option.”

“District Attorney Grady’s decision is leading to worsening mental health and long-term involvement in the criminal justice system for autistic Vinnie Carozza,” Berube said. “At the time of Vinnie’s indictment and remand to jail he had been safely living at home with his family, had secured a job as a landscaper, and it was known to the DA that Vinnie was not able to stand trial according to Government doctors. Sending an autistic man to jail is not justice – it’s a failure of leadership that ripped a family apart.”

The story about Vinnie Carozza rose to national prominence when his father took him to court for what he believed was an appearance over an incident in a group home. Instead Carozza was placed in jail. “DA Grady should not needlessly incarcerate individuals with mental health conditions. This has enormous fiscal, health and human costs,” Berube said. “I intend to change protocol at the DA’s office.”

Second Chances: Producing Productive Citizens Instead of Criminals

Berube plans to institute a Second Chances Initiative. According to Berube our justice system should focus on providing second chances and a pathway to productive citizenship instead of incarceration and a life of crime.

“Giving someone a second chance gives them the opportunity to turn their life around,” Berube said. “A young woman, Aliana,could have stayed stuck in the criminal justice system but instead we evaluated her situation and gave her a second chance. She worked hard and has now been employed for 4 years as a healthcare professional helping others. I want our justice system to produce productive citizens, not criminals.”