MADISON, WI — Mark Pocan, congressman for Wisconsin’s 2nd district, today endorsed Sheriff Kalvin Barrett, who is running for Dane County Sheriff. Barrett was appointed by Governor Tony Evers in April 2021, and is running for a full term in this fall’s election.


“Sheriff Kalvin Barrett has already made some great changes since he’s been in office, and he is working to make us all safer and our system more just,” said Rep. Pocan. “Kalvin is compassionate and exactly what Dane County needs.”


“I’m both proud and humbled to be endorsed by Congressman Pocan,” said Sheriff Barrett. “He’s working on the larger justice issues at the state and national levels, so having his support is especially meaningful to me.”


Both Pocan and Barrett support legalization of cannabis. Pocan, after the House passed the MORE Act in December 2020, said, “It decriminalizes marijuana, expunges marijuana convictions & invests in communities disproportionately harmed by punitive & racist drug laws.”


“Right now, I’m focused on public safety and community engagement,” Barrett said.


In April 2022, Sheriff Barrett announced a program to use Subutex in the Dane County Jail to treat residents with opioid addictions who were already being treated with it. “Helping our residents maintain sobriety during their stay decreases recidivism and increases public safety.”


Barrett has supported jail diversionary programs to keep some offenders out of jail in the first place. “Jail is not the most appropriate option for all offenders. Sometimes restorative justice programs, drug treatment or mental health evaluations are more effective for public safety. We should seek out those options and use them whenever it makes sense to do so.”


Barrett has also been committed to increasing diversity in the Sheriff’s Office. “We need peace officers and staff that reflect the community they serve,” said Barrett. “This helps build trust with the community. Representation matters.”

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