5 questions for Lisa Arin

– The Garden Island is asking the same five questions of each of the candidates for prosecuting attorney, to help residents decide who to vote for on Nov. 8.

If elected, Lisa Arin promises to tackle the island’s methamphetamine problem, beginning by making sure children are safe in their homes.

TGI: What strengths will you bring to the prosecutor’s office?

Arin: Experience, leadership, commitment and dedication.

As a criminal trial attorney for more than 20 years, I have completed over 60 jury trials, including murder cases. I have a lead by example approach, and will provide hands on guidance and support to our deputies. I have the willingness to be present in the courtroom and the office.

I am proud to have successfully lead, mentored and supervised deputies who have developed into motivated and successful trial attorneys. I am committed to making the Prosecutor’s Office a strong, effective and stable office ensuring that we are protected now and in the future.

TGI: What do you see as the top two priorities facing the prosecutor’s office?

Arin: Priority No. 1 is to institute much stronger prosecution of repeat, serious and violent offenders. Hawaii has sentencing enhancement laws that I have used and should be used with these types of offenders to ensure that appropriate incarceration occurs to keep our community safe.

Priority No. 2 is to make sure domestic violence cases are handled properly. Domestic violence is hurting our children and families. The offender should be held accountable for a felony in a majority of cases charged as felony domestic violence. In cases of first-time offenders (non-felonies), appropriate treatment and intervention should occur to help resolve the problem.

TGI: How would you work to ensure the prosecutor’s office and the Kauai Police Department have a strong working relationship?

Arin: Being an effective prosecutor requires strong working relationships with law enforcement and partner agencies, which I have built and maintained over the past seven years.

That is why SHOPO (State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers) has endorsed me. I also have the overwhelming support of individual law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders, partner agency members, and treatment providers as citizens in our community. They know they can count on me to always keep the lines of communication open, even when we disagree. I will ensure that our deputy prosecutors and staff develop these same positive working relationships.

TGI: What are your plans to fight methamphetamine on the island?

Arin: Drug dealers will be dealt with seriously and incarcerated to protect our kids and our community. I will support expanded treatment options for those drug users who are trying to keep/get clean.

I will work with community members and law enforcement to ensure we are doing all we can to arrest and hold accountable those who are ruining our neighborhoods, because consequences for crimes and treatment are the only chance we have at solving the meth problem. The use of nuisance abatement law has been around for over a decade and only moves the problem from one neighborhood to another.

TGI: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the prosecutor’s office?

Arin: Maintaining the prosecutor’s office as a strong office that can successfully prosecute cases is the biggest challenge.

Unfortunately as it currently stands, there has been a 100 percent deputy turnover rate (the current administration started with 13 deputy prosecutors, and a total of 13 deputy prosecutors have left the office, eight since May 2015 alone). This has resulted in the office being filled mostly with deputies who are inexperienced attorneys and/or lack trial experience, and have no connection built to our community.

I believe that I can turn the turnover problem around because of my strengths as described in answer No. 1.

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