Defending Democracy with Informed Community Action in WNC

To give victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary.

— Abraham Lincoln

Criminal Justice Action Team

The mission and vision of the Criminal Justice Action Team is liberty and justice for all.  We seek to maintain safe and secure communities; ensure justice; and protect individual rights in all aspects of our criminal justice system (law enforcement, courts and correctional agencies).

If you're interested in joining our team or would like more info, please email us at criminaljustice@indivisibleavl.org.

FOCUS GROUPS

  • Law Enforcement and Gun Control
  • Court System
  • Corrections System and Facilities

ACTIONS WE TAKE

See details below

Show Up & Speak Out: Rep. Mark Meadows Coming to Asheville 4/20

Rep. Mark Meadows, representing WNC’s 11th Congressional District (Candler, Fletcher, Hendersonville, Fletcher, Woodfin, Weaverville), is making a quiet stop in Asheville on Thursday, April 20. If you’d like to send him a message, show up and bring your signs in peaceful protest to remind him of the issues that are important to his constituents! WHO:      Rep. Mark…
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ERA Postcard & Women’s Reproductive Rights Poster Party

Drop in any time between 5:00 and 8:00- we will have postcards to support the ERA in NC, and we'll make posters for our upcoming trip to Charlotte to advocate for reproductive rights at Senator Tillis's office! Donations for supplies and postage welcome but totally optional.
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Equal Rights Amendment Calls to Rules Committee

The ERA bill is currently sitting in the Rules Committee and for it to move forward, it must be put on the agenda. These 4 calls are to the House and Senate leaders who have the power to put it on the agenda.
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Support NC Senate Bill 554 – Fair Redistricting

Tuesday April 4 is the final day that North Carolina Senators can co-sponsor Senate Bill 554, the fair redistricting bill. Call or email your Senator now and ask them to sponsor Senate Bill 554. Ask your red county friends to call and email, too! Why is Senate Bill 554 so important? We all know that North…
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NC Senate Alert: Oppose SB 325

NC Senate Bill 325 proposes a $1 billion tax cut that primarily benefits the wealthy and corporations. This bill is expected to go to the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, April 4th. Please call your state senator on Monday and ask them to vote NO on this bill to preserve revenue for the programs needed to serve all…
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Supreme Court Alert: Tell Sen. Tillis by April 2 to Stop the Confirmation of Neil Gorsuch

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary will vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court on Monday, April 3rd at 10:00 am.  Senator Thom Tillis is a member of this committee. If he is confirmed by the Committee, his nomination will go to the full Senate for a final vote (date TBD). Call…
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Communication within your Focus Group

Use a "Secret" Facebook group to create a private communication platform for your group. This way you can share ideas, actions and events easily.

Criminal Justice Focus Groups

1. LAW ENFORCEMENT and GUN CONTROL

VISION:   Improve gun safety
MISSION: Passage of new laws or regulations to reduce gun violence

STRATEGIES and ACTION PLANS:

  1. Assist with the efforts of Moms Demand Action
  2. Support the efforts of Americans for Responsible Solutions
  3. Work towards the ban of assault weapons
  4. Support legislation that allows the CDC, once again, to collect data on gun fatalities
  5. In conjunction with other gun control organizations, support or oppose legislation that works towards improving reasonable gun control and safety
  6. Work towards closing gun loopholes
  7. Revoke recent Executive Order that makes it easier for people with mental illness to buy guns.

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VISION: Well-trained and accountable police forces (city, county and State)
MISSION: Assure everyone equal protection under the law, and ensure police are properly equipped to do their jobs

STRATEGIES and ACTION PLANS

  1.  Citizens review process
  2.  Use of body cameras (determine what agencies have, if they’re interested in using, if resources are available for a trial period).  Cameras help protect both citizens and the police.
  3.  External review of police misconduct
  4.  Urge citizens to call and email mayor and city council members to demand they make fair policing and an equitable criminal justice system a priority.
  5.  In cases of fatalities involving the police, utilize Special Prosecutors Officers instead of local prosecutors or use a prosecutor outside the jurisdiction.
  6.  Demand the collection of data on cases of fatalities involving police. The Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 would mandate such reporting by states, or risk a reduction in federal law-enforcing funding to that state.
  7.  Increase Federal Government oversight of police misconduct.
  8. Mental health training, to include training related to opioid/alcohol addictions.  Determine what in-service training the police /Sherriff departments currently receive.  Support increased training as necessary.

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VISION: Maintain positive relationships between the policy and the community
MISSION: Network for communication

STRATEGIES and ACTION PLANS:

  1. Monitor the DOJ Community policing program for effectiveness. The program was set up under the 1994 the VCC&LE act. $14 billion spent to date. Most police forces have a COP program.
  2. Monitor local COP programs. The main issue based on many COP programs is direct and equal community input and the attitude of the police and community to each other.
  3. Attend local COP meetings.
  4. Monitor city, county, and state legislative proposals.

2. COURT SYSTEM

VISION:   Access and fair representation
MISSION: Assure that those needing lawyers can afford qualified representation

STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS

  1. Research state and local budgeting for pro bono legal services
  2. Research/determine who the relevant legislators are re. criminal justice legislation (state and federal)
  3. Research pros and cons of elected/appointed judges and apply to current NCGA debate over shift from appointment to election
  4. Identify private non-profit sources of help such as Pisgah Legal Foundation and ACLU.

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VISION: Reasonable and compassionate sentencing
MISSION: Promote criminal code revisions to keep non-violent offenders out of prison

STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS

1 Research current initiatives in progress at state and national level, including revisions of mandatory minimum sentencing laws

  1. Promote appropriate/compassionate sentencing reform for non-violent offenders (in conjunction with other such initiatives, e.g. Equal Justice Initiative
  2. Promote the decriminalization of marijuana
  3. Research extent to which fees and fines are penalizing the poor and restricting their access to courts and justice
  4. Raise age for sentencing of offenders as adults

3.CORRECTIONS SYSTEM AND FACILITIES

VISION: Humane incarceration
MISSION: Remove commercial incentives for lockup

STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS

  1. Resist apparent moves to bring back private prisons, especially for undocumented detainees/deportees

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VISION: Probation and parole focus on rehabilitation

STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS

  1. Consider shifting burden of proof on parole