The Honorable Craig Watkins
Craig Watkins was elected District Attorney of Dallas County in November 2006, becoming the first African American District Attorney in Texas.
Under Watkins’ leadership, the Dallas County D.A.’s office has achieved a 99.4% conviction rate, and has focused on protecting the most vulnerable in our society by locking up sex offenders and child predators. Watkins’ internationally recognized conviction integrity program uses DNA technology to put the guilty in prison where they belong.
District Attorney Watkins has created safer communities for Dallas County families and businesses. He has implemented innovative programs, ranging from utilizing new DNA technology to catching repeat offenders to establishing gang prevention units, in order to help reduce the crime rate in Dallas.
During the past four years, Watkins’ steadfast commitment to the integrity of criminal justice in Dallas has garnered national and international attention. His Conviction Integrity Unit has reviewed more than 400 cases and helped free 33 wrongly convicted inmates. Watkins has received numerous awards for his Conviction Integrity Unit, most recently the Justice Policy Innovator award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. He was named Governing Magazine – Public Officials of the Year in 2008.
Educated in Dallas Public Schools, Watkins graduated from Prairie View A & M University and later earned his law degree from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth.
Watkins and his wife, Tanya, live in Desoto and have three children – Chad, Cale, and Taryn. Active members of their community, the family attends Friendship-West Baptist Church. Craig also serves on the Board of Directors for the Circle 10 Boy Scouts of America.