WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan today announced the hiring of Antonia Soares Thompson as the newly created Director of Racial Justice Initiatives in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. In this role, Soares Thompson will deepen and expand the Office’s commitment to racial justice and the fairness of its prosecutorial work, create and implement trainings and education initiatives and develop policies related to racial equity across communities in Middlesex County.
“With this new role, we will continue to put addressing issues of race in our communities at the forefront of our work, leading the way in reimagining how a prosecutor’s office addresses issues of racial justice. Antonia has a rich and deep reservoir of experience working on the issues about which the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office cares deeply. Antonia is a recognized leader and we are thrilled to welcome her,” said District Attorney Ryan.
Soares Thompson will be an integral part of the Office’s work in engaging staff and other law enforcement partners through training. Soares Thompson’s duties will include: ensuring that the Office’s prosecutors are meaningfully conversant in issues of racial justice; leading conversations around policies and practices that can improve relations between the County’s police departments and the communities that they serve; and, providing a critically important voice in District Attorney Ryan’s ongoing efforts to identify and eliminate racial bias within the Office’s administration of criminal justice in Middlesex County. Thompson will also serve as a member of the Office’s Anti-Hate, Anti-Bias Task Force - which addresses the increase of hateful, biased and racist incidents -in our local communities.
“I am excited to join the team of Middlesex County District Attorney’s office. I look forward to the transformative work of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on the County’s Criminal Justice System. The work of racial justice within our county must be approached with context, courage, compassion and community if we want honest and impactful progress. I know DA Ryan is committed to asking tough questions, having difficult conversations and creating equity as well as justice for all the residents in Middlesex County,” Soares Thompson continued.
Previously Soares Thompson worked as the Restorative Justice Project Coordinator at the Stamford Mayor’s Youth Services Bureau promoting restorative justice practices and engaging stakeholders in meaningful conversations to promote change within the juvenile justice system.
Soares Thompson also brings to the role experience helping individuals, families and communities achieve positive outcomes. She has worked as a public defender and an educator at both the Suffolk University Juvenile Justice Center and Brooklyn College. Soares Thompson received her law degree from Boston College.
Creating this role is a meaningful piece of District Attorney Ryan’s commitment to addressing issues of systemic racism and bias across the County. The office has already taken steps to reform past policies that disproportionately impacted communities of color including eliminating cash bail to prevent incarceration solely due to a lack of financial resources and supporting the elimination of mandatory minimums for certain non-violent, low-level drug offenses.