Social & Criminal Justice

Social & Criminal Justice

Mission Statement

Gavel - Social and Criminal JusticeThe 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.

Key Issues

We support:

  1. Expanding deflection/diversion programs (that provide services to at-risk people before and after arrest);
  2. 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
  3. 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 PDF icon 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

Get Involved

Any LWVAC member who would like a committee orientation should consult the chair, info [at] (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] (Bennett Brummer), to screen and plan for that project.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Committee Contact
Contact Name: 
Bennett Brummer, Chair
League to which this content belongs: 
Alachua County

All Posts Related to this Committee

Hot Topic Announcement with headshot of Speaker
Event Date: 
Jan 26 2023 06:30 pm
Event location: 

Lifesouth Community Blood Center

Join us for this exciting and timely, in-person Hot Topic where UF College of Law Professor Lyrissa Lidsky will discuss the U.S. Supreme Court, recent decisions, and predictions of future decisions on Thursday, January 26th at 6:30 PM in the LifeSouth Community Blood Center at 1221 NW 13th St, Gainesville, FL. Attendees should enter the parking lot on the north side of the building and proceed to the main entrance under the portico. Then take the elevator or stairs to the second floor. This event is free and open to the public.

Flames on black background with event details text to the right
Event Date: 
May 10 2022 06:00 pm

Due to technical difficulties, the April Hot Topic presentation was rescheduled to May 10 at 6:00 PM. If you were unable to attend in April, you now have another opportunity to join Dr.

Flyer with hand holding a smart voter sign
Event Date: 
Dec 14 2021 02:00 pm

On Tuesday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m., Community Coalition for Older Adults (CCOA) and LWVAC will host a virtual Civics Class featuring LWVAC's Bennett Brummer and Barbara Glass discussing "Deflection/Diversion Programs".