22 BBUUC members and friends attended the Community Problems Assembly and the BBUUC Justice Ministry Caucus on November 9 (on Zoom). The 300+ assembled ICARE Network Members heard updates on the three issues that gained the most traction in House Meetings in all of the ICARE Congregations this past fall. Those issues were: Housing & Homelessness; Crime, Drugs & Enforcement; and Health & Mental Health Care. You can see the three-minute presentations we saw on each of these issues before we voted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PllsIl9-D-Y.
The issue of Crime, Drugs & Enforcement was selected as the new issue to research. Existing Research Committees will continue to 1) work with our sister organizations in 10 other Florida cities to pursue the creation of an Adult Civil Citation Program to reduce unnecessary arrests; and 2) follow up on the commitments Sheriff Williams made regarding Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement.
Other actions at the Community Problems Assembly included:
- States Attorney Nelson agreed to work with ICARE to develop an Adult Civil Citations program. This would direct many persons with mental conditions or other victimless issues toward appropriate help rather than jail.
- Sheriff Williams agreed to develop a plan for Crisis Intervention Team training for 25% or more of in-field officers based on a 40-hour nationally accredited model with training also for dispatchers.
- Superintendent Green described an extensive Restorative Justice program than has been adopted by Duval County Public Schools with the collaboration of ICARE.
The next citywide ICARE event is the Research Kickoff on December 1. All ICARE Network Members are invited to join a Research Committee. These committees do very thorough work, interviewing local stakeholders and public officials as well as representatives of organizations in other cities that have solved the same problems we have. For more information, call Ken Christiansen or email ICARE@bbuuc.org.
When we all work together, GREAT THINGS HAPPEN!