Social & Criminal Justice
Social & Criminal Justice
The SCJC focuses on improving the criminal justice system. We emphasize deflection and diversion from the criminal justice system through prevention and treatment consistent with accountability and justice. The committee is promoting implementation of a central receiving network, including co-responder units and improved dispatch. We have previously dealt with expanding the right to vote for felons who have completed their sentences, reforming money bail procedures, reducing drivers’ license suspensions, and reducing the transfer of juveniles to adult felony court.
- Expanding deflection/diversion programs (that provide services to at-risk people before and after arrest);
- Continuing to develop a central receiving network, a one-stop resource center that provides basic wraparound social and health services, including intake and referral (evaluation and services); and
- Redefining and expanding emergency dispatch. Increase the dispatch of clinicians, rather than law enforcement, to emergency calls except when circumstances require otherwise. Continuing to expand the number of police and clinician “co-responder” teams. Integrating the national suicide hotline (988) into local emergency dispatch.
We monitor and participate in meetings relating to the previously-mentioned topics, including those of the City of Gainesville and Alachua County commissions, and the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Oversight Sub-Committee of the Public Safety Coordinating Council.
Updates and Progress Reports
- For years SCJC has been promoting the development of co-responder teams (including clinicians on crisis 911 calls) and a central receiving network as an integral part of our deflection and diversion efforts.
- Local community mental health agency, Meridian Behavioral Health, partnered with Gainesville Police Department in 2018 and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office in 2020 to develop Co-Responder Teams. A summary of the program can be found here.
- Recently, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office released its Annual Report on Co-Responder Teams, which we thought would be of interest to our members and community.
- From a social and criminal justice standpoint, there is an enormous (and traditionally overlooked) overlap between public health and public safety.
- Barbara Glass and Bennett Brummer presented a civics class to the Community Coalition for Older Adults. Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe was our guest.
- 2020 Progress Report
Any LWVAC member who would like a committee orientation should consult the chair, info [at] lwv-alachua.org (Bennett Brummer).
Any member who would like to initiate a new committee project (and who is willing to do the work to carry that project forward) is also welcome to consult the chair, info [at] lwv-alachua.org (Bennett Brummer), to screen and plan for that project.
We look forward to hearing from you!