Defending Democracy with Informed Community Action in WNC

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

— 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

Tell the FCC not to kill Net Neutrality

FCC Chair Ajit Pai - a former Verizon lawyer - is about to let his corporate Internet pals roll out "fast lanes" for sites & apps that pay, and slow everything else to a crawl. Giant monopolies could control the Internet, forever. To stop him, we have to flood the FCC with comments.
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Keep Calling Against New Version of Healthcare Bill

Despite overwhelming opposition and a failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), House Republicans are now working to get enough votes to pass Trumpcare with an amendment – the MacArthur/Meadows Amendment, co-sponsored by our own District 11 Representative Mark Meadows – that makes a bad bill even worse. If passed, the MacArthur/Meadows version…
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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