Defending Democracy with Informed Community Action in WNC

Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.

— Dolores Huerta

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


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


Call as if your life depended on it! It does.

The Senate is voting on their awful health care bill tomorrow – and this could be our best chance to stop it once and for all. If this vote passes, Congress will be on its way to stripping away coverage and severely hiking costs for older Americans. We must do everything in our power to stop it today. Even if you’ve called before, Sen. Burr and Sen. Tillis need to hear from you today, before they vote. Call (202) 224-3121 right now, and tell them to stand up for you and kill this higher-cost, less-coverage bill, once and for all.
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VIDEO: They're Coming for Your Internet!


Working to Improve Gun safety through legislation

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

Assure everyone equal protection under the law, and ensure police are properly equipped to do their jobs

  • Citizens review process
  • 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.
  • External review of police misconduct
  • 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.
  • In cases of fatalities involving the police, utilize Special Prosecutors Officers instead of local prosecutors or use a prosecutor outside the jurisdiction.
  • 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.
  • Increase Federal Government oversight of police misconduct.
  • Mental health training, to include training related to opioid/alcohol addictions.  Determine what in-service training the police /Sheriff departments currently receive.  Support increased training as necessary.

Build positive relationships between Law Enforcement and the community

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Attend local COP meetings.
  • Monitor city, county, and state legislative proposals.



Assure that those needing lawyers can afford qualified representation.

  • State and local budgeting for pro bono legal services
  • Develop list of key legislators dealing with criminal justice, on the state and federal levels.
  • Pros and cons of elected/appointed judges in relations to current NCGA debate over shift from appointment to election
  • Private non-profit sources of help such as Pisgah Legal Foundation and ACLU.

Promote criminal code revisions for reasonable and compassionate sentencing to keep non-violent offenders out of prison

  • Current initiatives in progress at state and national level, including revisions of mandatory minimum sentencing laws
  • Support Equal Justice Initiative
  • Promote the decriminalization of marijuana
  • Question fees and fines penalizing the poor and restricting their access to courts and justice
  • Raise age for sentencing of offenders as adults


Remove commercial incentives for lockup and assure humane conditions in jails and prisons.

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

Probation and parole focus on rehabilitation

  • Consider shifting burden of proof on parole