During a virtual ceremony attended by leaders from across Suffolk County, District Attorney Rachael Rollins last week administered the oath of office to a diverse and accomplished class of 22 new Assistant District Attorneys who will serve the people of Suffolk County.
“I am deeply committed to prioritizing policy as a pillar of reform. Policy begins with people; not just the people in the communities we serve but also with the people on our team and the people we welcome to our team today,” District Attorney Rollins told attendees of the ceremony, which was held Thursday over Zoom. “I am so honored to have such a talented and compassionate team.”
The new ADAs will represent the Commonwealth in Chelsea District Court and the eight divisions of the Boston Municipal Court. Of the new ADAs joining the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, six speak a second or third language, increasing the Office’s capacity to communicate with victims, witnesses and community members in their primary language. In addition, a quarter of the new staff members are people of color, 13 live in Suffolk County as part of communities they serve, and one identifies as LGBTQI. We are also incredibly proud to have an ADA in this class that served our country’s armed forces with distinction and was awarded a Purple Heart medal. This ADA will have a vital role in the Veteran’s Specialty Court in BMC Central. This new class brings with them a wide range of professional backgrounds and lived experiences that will help inform their work in court and in the community.
In addition, District Attorney Rollins administered the oath of office to a Special Assistant District Attorney, Ying Wang, who joined the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office as a fellow through a partnership with the Public Rights Project. Special ADA Wang will work with DA Rollins’ Integrity Review Bureau (IRB). In this role, ADA Wang will work within an innovative unit that proactively evaluates the substantive and procedural realities of prosecutions during seminal events, and of convictions when there are claims of actual innocence, wrongful conviction, prosecutorial misconduct, police misconduct, and unjust sentences or outcomes.
As part of this office’s extensive training program, the new prosecutors heard from panels of community service providers, survivors of violent crimes and returning citizens to ensure their understanding of the impact of their work on the individuals who come in contact with the criminal legal system and the community as a whole. In addition, they took a virtual tour of the Nashua Street Jail and heard from panels of defense attorneys and District and Municipal Court judges. All of this is to work on cultural competence and to have a better understanding of our role in the community and the criminal legal system.
In taking the oath of office as prosecutors, each of the new ADAs committed to serving the communities of Suffolk County with integrity, dignity and fairness.
“You came here because you didn’t just want to be a prosecutor. You wanted to be a SCDAO prosecutor,” District Attorney Rollins told the new ADAs during the ceremony. “That means you weren’t okay with simply ensuring just prosecution. You wanted to be a part of a trauma-informed, public-health-focused, data-driven effort to make people’s lives better.
“This job is hard. Embrace the challenge. It’s what the people of Suffolk County deserve.”
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office serves the communities of Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, Mass. The office handles over 25,000 cases a year. More than 160 attorneys in the office practice in nine district and municipal courts, Suffolk Superior Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court, and the Boston Juvenile Courts. The office employs some 300 people and offers a wide range of services and programs to serve anyone who comes in contact with the criminal justice system. This office is committed to educating the public about the services we provide, our commitment to crime prevention, and our dedication to keeping the residents of Suffolk County safe.