To the editor:

So many races will be decided this Election Day, the shiny object of the presidency seems to render all other offices almost invisible. But there are many voter choices down-ballot that very much affect everyone’s lives.

We have a race for Rockingham County attorney, and it’s about time. The huge problems in the ossified criminal justice system will never get better until change is made.

Perhaps you’ve seen signs for county attorney candidate Steven Briden. I will enthusiastically vote for him.

Briden is a supporter of the recent bail reforms in New Hampshire because he believes that decision to release someone pre-trial should not be based on the amount of money in their bank account.

He also believes that it's the duty of prosecutors and law enforcement to make sure that they do not have any implicit biases that are impacting how they exercise their duties.

He also stresses the importance of transparency and accessibility in public servants.

Briden believes that we should follow the research and data that show that we too often just rely on incarceration as the only resolution to criminal behavior. Individuals who struggle with substance misuse and mental health issues should be directed toward treatment and rehabilitation programs, as opposed to housing them at jails that cannot meet their needs.

This is the approach we so desperately need to ensure our public safety.

I hope your readers will join me in voting for change and Steven Briden for county attorney.

Burt Cohen

New Castle

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