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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

County judicial race: Davis ready for challenges

Wendy Davis, a prosecuting attorney, says she would match some offenders with community-based programs for rehabilitation.
Wendy Davis, a prosecuting attorney, says she would match some offenders with community-based programs for rehabilitation.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:10 am
As a deputy prosecutor with the Allen County Prosecutor's Office, Wendy Davis is aware of a possible perception of her candidacy for Allen County's Criminal Division Superior Court: hanging judge. Constantly tough on criminals. Individuals on trial in any court of hers would be in for a hard, hard time.Davis, 44, is proud of her work as a prosecuting attorney, in which she attempts to ensure dangerous criminals are punished for their actions. However, she said recently, she is very aware a judge needs to be more, to offer more, to a community than just tough prison sentences, and she feels she is prepared to do that.

“I feel like I know my community, that I have a really good idea of the challenges that are there,” Davis said.

“There is an onslaught of kids growing up on the streets – actually, they're not really growing up, being mentored. A lot of the things we see today (stem) from the lack of mentoring.”

Davis says that, if elected, she would use the authority of the court to attempt to match certain kinds of offenders with community-based programs to maximize their opportunities to rehabilitate themselves and be productive adults.

“There are so many facilities that are aching for court-ordered programs to come in and ask for help,” Davis said. “We are blessed because we have so many, but they are fighting for the same dollars (for funding). Judges are the ones who need to collaborate with the community and help facilitate change.”

Change is a concept that Davis speaks about passionately. She has 20 years of experience practicing law – she is also a partner at local law firm Beckman Lawson – and she has more than 15 years of experience as a prosecuting attorney, including an extended stint in Texas, where she served on a task force that addressed drugs and violent crime.

Davis said the types of crimes committed, many based on narcotics and addictions, have evolved over time and have led to an increasingly high number of individuals being incarcerated – and that isn't always the answer for nonviolent offenders.

“As crime changes, our court system has to change … we have to evaluate new programs, be willing to utilize our connections to the community,” Davis said, explaining that her involvement in programs such as SCAN, United Way and Youth for Christ, among others, gives her insight into what connections can be made.

Davis is a Fort Wayne native and a graduate of Homestead High School and Wheaton College in Illinois. She received her law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.

Davis said, if elected, she would spend her first year attempting “to be the best judge I can possibly be.”

She is proud of her service to the state of Indiana, and hopes her record will lead to community support.

“I feel like this is the next step. This is a long time coming, and my heart is in this,” she said.

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