Attorney Swanigan is focused on making Milwaukee one of the safest large cities in America by working to implement a modern justice system that focuses on crime prevention, victims, and violent offenders. Throughout her career in the justice system, she has successfully developed programs to lower crime by taking a surgical approach to crime and offenders, and by seeking the right amount of intervention to change behavior and improve public safety. Despite a traditional prosecutor’s interaction with crime being largely reactive, Attorney Swanigan intends to put significant emphasis and resources into crime prevention. One less crime means one less tragedy - and one less victim.
Upon taking office, Attorney Swanigan shall focus staff resources on more serious and violent offenders. In fact, Attorney Swanigan intends to seek grants to handle minor drug possession prosecutions allowing more resources to be focused on serious and violent crime. This will result in a higher rate of convictions for assault, domestic violence, and robbery cases. Additionally, homicides (which are at an all-time high in Milwaukee under current leadership) felony assault, gun, and robbery prosecutions and investigations by the 22 District Attorney Investigators shall significantly increase and result in crime decreasing in Milwaukee. Attorney Swanigan intends to work with the Milwaukee Police Department to have a heavy hand on violent offenders and DUI cases, and shall focus significant resources on seeking the toughest penalty for homicide cases and reckless endangerment cases. The revolving door to violent offenders will stop here!
Looking to find alternatives to incarceration for low-level offenders, as District Attorney, Swanigan shall create Alternative Sentencing Program to support prosecutors in assessing risk and determining the most appropriate course of action for each case. The goal is to protect victims and the broader community by addressing offenders’ risk factors in order to break the cycle of crime and reduce recidivism.
In addition, as District Attorney, Swanigan hopes to launch the Neighborhood Courts and Neighborhood Prosecution Program as a way to keep low-level offenders from entering the criminal justice system. This program will be aimed at offenders between the ages of 15 to 20, and will focus on crimes such as petty theft, possession of marijuana, and disorderly conduct. The program takes non-serious cases away from overcrowded courtrooms and into the community where trained neighborhood stakeholders can ensure law breakers are accountable to victims and the community without criminalizing first-time low-level offenders. The neighborhood stakeholders will include professionals who work in the community regularly with this community such as High School Administrator, social workers, AODA counselors, Probation Officers, etc. The program's goal will be to punish crime and to prevent crime at a crucial point in a person's life.
Attorney Swanigan also plans to work as District Attorney to address the under reporting of crime by breaking down cultural and language barriers that prevent victims and witnesses from engaging with law enforcement. She plans to expand the office’s multilingual Victims Services Unit beyond the Hall of Justice and into community centers in Walker’s Point, the South Side, and the Hmong community.
In the position of District Attorney, Attorney Swanigan shall be an innovator for the use of technology to prevent and predict crime. Attorney Swanigan plans to utilize programs such as the COMPSTAT system used by multiple police departments and district attorney’s offices across the nation and adapt the system for Milwaukee County’s needs to be used in collaboration with the Milwaukee Police Department. Attorney Swanigan believes in using well-developed metrics and technology to drive organizational performance and improve public safety. To that end she shall launch a District Attorney Statistics Analysis to improve prosecutors' performance and community safety.