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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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Sacramento CountyCandidate for District Attorney

Photo of Alana Mathews

Alana Mathews

Attorney/Nonprofit Director
126,676 votes (42.68%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Reducing gun violence by removing guns from those who should not have them–including domestic violence abusers and tackling the problem of ghost guns, supporting violence prevention programs, and utilizing red flag laws
  • Addressing increased violence against women, specifically domestic violence and sexual assaults with more rigorous prosecution, prioritizing early intervention and victims services, and community run working groups
  • Implementing new strategies to address mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness with targeted solutions instead of just cycling more people through the jail.



Profession:Former Prosecutor, Law Professor, Mother
Director of Training, Membership and Policy Resources, The Prosecutors Alliance of California (2021–current)
Adjunct Professor, McGeorge School of Law (2020–current)
Chair, Girl Scouts Heart of Central California — Appointed position (2011–current)
Chief Consultant, Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change 2019-2021 — Appointed position (2019–2021)
Vice Chair, Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation - CA State Bar — Appointed position (2019–2021)
Public Adviser, California Energy Commission — Appointed position (2013–2019)
Deputy District Attorney, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office (2004–2012)
Deputy District Attorney, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office — Appointed position (2004–2012)


University of the Pacific, McGeorge Master of Laws (2004)
University of the Pacific, McGeorge Juris Doctor (2003)
Spelman College Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy (1995)

Community Activities

Founder and Director, Community Justice Collaborative Free Educational Legal Clinics (2020–current)
Advisory Board Chair, Florin High School Law Academy- (2010–current)
Senior Fellow (Class XXIII), American Leadership Forum (2021–current)
Life Member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (1994–current)
Founder and Director, McGeorge School of Law Racial Equity and Justice Summer Practicum (2021–current)


Alana graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, becoming the first person in her family to earn a college degree. She went on to receive her law degree from McGeorge School of Law while raising her three children. While serving as a Deputy District Attorney in Sacramento County, she worked her way up from misdemeanor jury trials to prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, general felony, and prison crime cases. Alana has worked to protect victims in the courtroom while also focusing on reducing crime in the community. A pioneer in the legal field, Alana mentored women on parole while leading the Florin Law Academy program to build legal career pathways for at-risk youth in South Sacramento.

After eight years as a Deputy District Attorney, Alana Mathews was recruited to help start the enforcement unit for the California Energy Commission and was later appointed Public Adviser for the agency by Governor Jerry Brown. In this position, Mathews launched the agency’s equity initiative to ensure California’s most vulnerable communities were protected under the state’s clean energy policies, programs, and investments. Alana expanded on this work as the Chief Consultant for Climate Change for the California Legislature, continuing to address disparities in policy and practice to protect vulnerable populations.

Alana Mathews now works for the Prosecutors Alliance of California, a coalition of reform-minded prosecutors working to promote criminal justice reform statewide and teaches at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

In 2020 Mathews founded the Community Justice Collaborative to empower and educate underserved communities throughout Sacramento by hosting free educational legal clinics.

Alana and her husband, retired Army First Sergeant Eugene Arcurio live in Elk Grove, California. She has lived in Sacramento County for 25 years.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Sacramento Bee Editorial Board
  • Sacramento Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Democratic Party of Sacramento County

Organizations (7)

  • Folsom Area Democratic Club
  • Latino Democratic Club
  • Los Rios College Federation of Teachers, Local 2279
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte
  • Prosecutors Alliance of California
  • Democracy For America
  • California Nurses Association

Elected Officials (6)

  • City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
  • Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna
  • California State Assemblymember Kevin McCarty
  • California State Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins
  • California State Treasurer, Fiona Ma CPA
  • California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber

Individuals (2)

  • Former Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo
  • Former Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

What will you do to hold police accountable for excessive use of force and other misconduct?
Answer from Alana Mathews:

When a lack of trust exists between the community and law enforcement, safety is compromised for all. If the public does not trust police, they will not report crimes, and that has implications for our entire community’s public safety.  As District Attorney, I will support and stand up for officers who engage in constitutional policing and will prioritize building trust between the community and law enforcement.  I will also ensure that officers who break the law are fully held accountable, as the failure to do so has broader implications for the integrity of law enforcement and our system of justice. What’s more, to ensure prosecutorial independence, I will not accept any financial contributions from police unions. 

I will establish an Independent Investigations Bureau (IIB) that works autonomously and independently of every other unit within the District Attorney’s Office.  This bureau will exclusively handle police use of force, in-custody deaths, and other police misconduct cases.  This unit will thoroughly investigate and  make decisions regarding officer misconduct  as quickly as possible and with as much transparency as possible  instead of letting cases languish indefinitely without any decisions.  They will be required to prepare reports of each  investigation, submit to the California Department of Justice and  make each report  publicly available on the office’s website.

I will ensure compliance and cooperation with the California Department of Justice in all cases within the scope of AB 1506.

How will you address racial inequality in the criminal legal system?
Answer from Alana Mathews:

I plan to have mandatory trainings for all staff dealing with bias, prejudice and discrimination.  This will include ongoing training on the California Racial Justice Act and AB 3070 Eliminating Racial Bias in Jury Selection.  I also plan to offer training to officers and have a clear policy on pretextual stops which often perpetuate racial injustice.   I plan to institute blind charging practices, data collection for a public facing dashboard, detailing the demographic and charging information of all filings, and I plan to have a diversity policy for recruitment, retention and promotion.

What is your position on the death penalty?
Answer from Alana Mathews:

As District Attorney, I will punish the most heinous capital murders with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. I will not pursue the death penalty due to the Governor’s moratorium, as it currently cannnot be imposed. 

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As a former prosecutor, law professor, community leader, and mother, I am running for District Attorney to modernize our criminal justice system and promote new strategies to increase public safety. My focus is on serious crimes and ending gun violence. Those who break the law must be held accountable, but we need to find alternative solutions to address less serious crimes. 


As a survivor of domestic abuse, I know what victims face and getting guns out of the hands of abusers will be a priority. 


I am running because our systems, like how we address homelessness, are failing. We need targeted solutions  that prioritize the safety and stability of those experiencing homelessness.  This includes working with the courts to get treatment for those with substance abuse issues and mental illness, and working with the community to help homeless abuse victims, youth, veterans, elderly and disabled-instead of cycling them through jail. 


I am running as an independent, experienced voice with fresh ideas about how to reform our justice system and improve our community safety. I appreciate your consideration when you vote for District Attorney.

Position Papers



Alana Mathews is a former prosecutor, executive leader, public policy expert, mentor and mom.  She has the broad and diverse experience to bring the change our region needs to hold violent and serious criminals accountable while working with local leaders on real solutions to address homeless crime, the growing mental health crisis and the substance abuse epidemic. She will prioritize getting guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, protecting women from increased violence, and getting treatment and services for low-level offenders experiencing homelessness, addiction and mental health problems. A champion for transparency and prevention, Alana will work hard to rebuild trust and partner with the community to ensure that all residents of Sacramento County feel safe.

Ending Gun Violence

Gun violence is a public health crisis. Far too many lives have been taken as a result of gun violence and here in Sacramento County–it’s on the rise. We must do more to address gun violence if we expect our communities and neighborhoods to feel safe. As District Attorney, I will: 

  1. Prioritize removing guns from those who should not have them–including domestic violence abusers.  

  2. Tackle the problem of ghost gun violence, distribution, and illegal manufacturing in partnership with law enforcement officers, the California Attorney General and state legislators.

  3. Support violence intervention programs that apply a community-centered approach to addressing gun violence in neighborhoods with particularly high rates of gun violence. 

  4. Educate and empower community members to utilize California’s red flag law which helps deescalate gun violence during dangerous situations & improves safety when clear warning signs exist. 

Protecting Survivors of Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault

As a survivor of domestic abuse, I understand the unique complexities and challenges presented by these cases.  Ensuring victims are offered the resources necessary to remain safe from their abusers is at the core of my beliefs. As District Attorney, I will:  

  1. Prioritize early intervention and victim services as a key to reducing domestic violence and sexual assaults by working with community agencies, schools, youth organizations and faith-based organizations.

  2. Assign a team of attorneys to work with community agencies to review and assess cases appropriate for gun violence restraining orders against abusers who pose a high threat and work to remove guns from abusers as quickly as possible. 

  3. Ensure high lethality protocols are standardized and signs that a domestic violence situation could turn deadly are well known. Identification of high-risk cases provides the opportunity to ensure safety for the victim and accountability for those who engage in violence. 

  4. Create a community-run working group to promote public education and intervention strategies to ensure victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault are aware that there is help available.

Addressing the Homeless Crisis with Targeted Solutions for Safety 

Sacramento County’s homeless population has sharply increased and continues to grow.  The band-aid approach of incarcerating everyone in this population is costly and ineffective, while looking the other way just leads to more harm in the community. Moreover, the collateral consequences of criminalizing homelessness can create barriers to housing. We need an approach that prioritizes safety and stability with targeted solutions that meet the unique needs of those experiencing homelessness. As District Attorney. I will: 

  1. Prioritize crime against and support unhoused victims. People experiencing homelessness are much more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. I will develop rapid response teams that will work with unhoused and transitional communities to identify and target violent and serious offenders.  They can no longer violate in the shadows with no accountability. I will also work to enhance victim services and resources to prevent victims of crime from becoming homeless or help them get off the street and into housing. Women, children, elderly and other vulnerable unhoused populations deserve safety too.

  1. Stop the one size fits all approach.  Those experiencing homelessness are not a monolith.  While those who engage in violent behavior that harm lives or property will be held accountable through the criminal justice system, this is not the appropriate response for everyone experiencing homelessness. I will support programs and policies that meet the unique needs domestic violence survivors, veterans, the working poor, foster and trans youth and the formerly incarcerated experiencing homelessness, as well as those with mental health and substance abuse issues.  

  1. Connect People with Resources and Supports – We will establish Homeless Justice Centers to divert low-level, non-violent offenders away from the criminal justice system and connect them to resources to assist their unique needs. Social services providers, including housing support specialists, mental health providers, and substance abuse counselors will be embedded within the Homeless Justice Centers to provide targeted, evidence-based supports that help people obtain and maintain housing. With housing and wrap-around services, people are significantly less likely to commit additional crimes in the future. 

  1. Eliminate Barriers to Housing – We must ensure the criminal justice system does not create barriers to housing.  Criminal records commonly prevent unhoused people from getting into housing and securing employment. Where appropriate, my office will cease the current practice of opposing expungement applications filed by unhoused people that are designed to promote access to housing and employment.   

Videos (4)

Alana Mathews for DA on Homelessness — May 21, 2022 Candidate website
Alana Mathews for DA on Public Safety — May 21, 2022 Candidates website



Alana Mathews for DA on Diversion Programs — May 21, 2022 candidates website
Alana Mathews Sac Bee District Attorney Debate — May 21, 2022 candidates website

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