Editor: We as Arlington residents strongly encourage voters to support Parisa Tafti for commonwealth’s attorney in the upcoming June Democratic primary.

Tafti promises to stop prosecuting people in Arlington for marijuana possession, and promises to divert mentally-ill people to treatment rather than our jail. She wants to end the current cash-bail system that keeps lower-income, non-violent people in jail awaiting trial.

Our current commonwealth’s attorney prosecutes hundreds of people for marijuana; the majority of Arlington jail inmates today have mental illness.  

Arlington residents support ending senseless prosecution of marijuana possession and jailing of people with mental illness who should be treated in a mental-health program. People with mental illness and addiction should be treated by mental-health professionals and medical doctors, not be kept in a jail cell by a guard.

It’s time for a progressive prosecutor who understands that our criminal-justice system jails too many people, many of whom are people of color, low-income people who cannot post bail, and people with addictions and/or with mental illness. Reform begins with a new commonwealth’s attorney.

John Reeder, Sandra Hernandez, Justine Schoville, Arlington

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