Jessica Blain-Lewis works for the Albany County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney. She has been a prosecutor for over ten years, and is currently working in the Financial Crimes Unit, where she focuses on elder abuse. She attended Plattsburgh State University, where she graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Speech Communication; she was then admitted into the Albany Law School of Union University. There, Jessica interned at the school’s Civil Rights and Disabilities Law Clinic, and was the Executive Editor for the Center for Judicial Capacity. She received her Juris Doctor in 2005, and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2006.
Immediately after graduation, Jessica was offered a position at the Albany District Attorney’s office. She had always wanted to be a prosecutor, and knew that working at a D.A.’s office was her ideal, so she didn’t apply for anything else. Jessica started out in the Street Crimes Unit, where she worked for five years, handling felony drug cases including controlled buy operations and search warrant executions. Here, she started and ran the Safe Home–Safe Streets initiative, which consisted in training landlords on their right as property owners to evict tenants for selling or possessing drugs. Police officers or landlords would report the drug abuses, and the state lawyers would handle the evictions on the landlord’s behalf, under the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law. In 2010, Jessica moved to the Major Offenses Unit. There, she continued to handle the Safe Home initiative, as well as robberies, burglaries, kidnappings, and strong-arming.
One year later, in 2011, Jessica occupied her current position in the Financial Crimes Unit. Her new responsibilities included handling all aspects of white collar crimes, with a focus on crimes against seniors–she works closely with Seniors And Law Enforcement Together (SALT). Jessica has led a number of training sessions aiming to educate various agencies and organizations on elder abuse, a blanket term which refers to any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person.
Jessica finds all aspects of her work incredibly rewarding. She has wanted to be a prosecutor since she was a child, and truly feels that she is now in a position in which she belongs. Her work on elder abuse has been particularly gratifying: she recalls a trial involving a woman with dementia, in which the assailant was found guilty; after the verdict was given, the jury gave her a round of applause. This small moment is representative to Jessica of a recognition and appreciation of her resolve to always defend and protect the victims of abuse and injustice.
In December 2016, ADA Blain-Lewis became the Bureau Chief of the Street Crimes Unit, which oversees the prosecution of illegal narcotics cases in Albany County.