Black Men in Crisis
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About FDRC

The Criminal Justice Committee Report
Challenge
The criminal justice system in Philadelphia is failing from fairness for black men to providing safety for community residents to consuming over one-third of the City’s $3-billion annual budget with few positive results. Changes required in all facets of Philadelphia’s criminal justice system can begin with policy/programmatic changes in the $249-million prison system. Savings from changes in prison policy/programs must be invested in initiatives for black men and communities citywide. Reinvest one-third of the projected budget for the local prison system in projects to reduce reliance on pre- and post-trial detention; to create neighborhood-based partnerships to establish economic opportunities for ex-offenders and to restore neighborhoods; and, to increase efficiency and fairness of the courts, the District Attorney’s Office, the behavioral health system and the City of Philadelphia’s police department. With judges being a critical component in all phases of the criminal justice system the creation of community review committee for candidates seeking election to the judiciary or judges seeking retention is essential.

Mission
In a word, Criminal Justice Reinvestment. Reinvest one-third of the projected budget for the local prison system in projects to reduce reliance on pre- and post-trial detention; to create neighborhood-based partnerships to establish economic opportunities for ex-offenders and to restore neighborhoods; and, to increase efficiency and fairness of the courts, the District Attorney’s Office the behavioral health system and the City of Philadelphia’s police department.

Recommendations
Recommendation No 1: Short Term
Action Step No. 1:
Establish a mechanism to educate the public concerning the rehabilitative nature of incarceration and related issues; the struggles and issues faced by the police department in fighting crime; and the function of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board.

Action Step No .2:
Establish a Community Juridical Review Committee - for the purpose of providing objective evaluations for individuals seeking Judicial positions or retention (Judges); the Committee would establish benchmarks and provide a review of the candidate’s positions as they resonate with the Agenda.

Recommendation No. 2: Medium Term
Action Step No. 1: Implement community-based roundtables to coordinate employment, treatment, and education for ex-offenders, complete with review protocols.

Recommendation No. 3: Long Term
Action Step No. 1:Institutionalize a system-wide analysis and planning function within city and country government to formulate accurate, long range and budgetary criminal justice goals, and monitor, measure and modify programs and strategies as needed.

 

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