Red states support crime victims by enacting criminal justice reform

Saturday, May 21, 2022
author picture Arthur Petit
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Alliance For Safety and Justice

The Alliance for Safety and Justice is a coalition of advocates for legislation to protect crime victims and to provide the services they need to survive a violent incident. The group advocates for legislation to protect gun owners‚ lessen the requirements for probation‚ and provide rehabilitation and employment opportunities for crime survivors. Its campaign work has led to several legislative victories‚ including in states where Republicans hold sway.

Aswad Thomas was a Detroit native and a NCAA Division III basketball star. He was only three weeks from being able to play professionally in Europe‚ when he was nearly killed by gun violence. He said that he had been shot in the back twice. This incident was a turning point in my life. Thomas said that he had heard from doctors and therapy about the physical problems he would face after suffering dislocated shoulders and collapsed lungs. However‚ he didn't know of any psychological difficulties he could be facing. Thomas and his four closest family members have been victims to gun violence. He said that none of them received support after these incidents. Thomas was able to learn about other victims of crime who did not have the financial resources necessary for recovery. This included the gunman‚ an 18-year old‚ who killed Thomas. Thomas was a victim to gun violence four years before his shooter. Thomas stated that I believe strongly that safety‚ which includes well-being‚ healing and security‚ would have provided support for the young boy who was wounded at age 14 and prevented me from being shot years later. Aswad Thomas (second from left) with other advocates for public safety at an event held in California in 2018. (Via Alliance for Safety and Justice). Thomas joined Alliance for Safety and Justice‚ a multi-state organization advocating legislation for crime victims. It advocates for rehabilitation‚ life skills and job opportunities for ex-incarcerated people. ASJ was founded in 2016 and has since won over 50 campaigns that directly support crime victims. Historically resistant to criminal justice reform. In Michigan‚ for instance‚ GOP legislators were elected last month

the safer michigan act this law allows victims who are financially disadvantaged to receive compensation. This law raises the amount of compensation available to victims from $500 to $45‚000 According to Bronna Kahle (the bill's Republican sponsor)‚ victims have difficulty getting the help they need. Bridge Michigan The state's only non-profit news agency‚ the. They have all the support they require‚ but they must navigate through a lot of bureaucratic red tape to obtain it. Lansing's Michigan Capitol. (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Florida crime victims lobbied the GOP Attorney General Ashley Moody in April 2021 to help fund Florida's first trauma rehabilitation center. This facility provided support and counseling for young victims of violent attack. Moody stated in an interview that it is always heartbreaking when a child is the victim of criminal behavior. Press release. A former judge‚ I've seen promising young people victimized repeatedly and in some cases‚ even turn to crime. Jay Jordan‚ the ASJ CEO‚ has been incredibly successful. He spent 8 years in prison for an armed robbery that he had committed as a teenager. Jordan now grimaces when he mentions criminal justice reform. Instead of calling it "public safety"‚ a distinction that Jordan says has attracted bipartisan support over the years. Jordan explained to Yahoo News that people often say "Let's get tough about crime." "Let's get tough about safety‚" we say....We don't view [states] either as Republican or Democratic. They are places where people can live in safety. It is still far lower than it was in the 1970s and 1990s but crime has increased across the country recently. FBI data The U.S. saw its highest-ever annual increase in homicides between 2019 and 2020. In 2020‚ the U.S. saw a nearly 3%% increase in homicides compared to 2019. It will rise again by 5% for 2021. There are 70 million americans with a criminal history -- equal to New York‚ Texas‚ and California's combined populations. Brocton Corrections Facility‚ N.Y. Prisoners (Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images). The main providers prisons are the main provider of mental healthcare in the United States. This is something even Republican legislators have considered. Jail diversion programs This would allow many people with mental illness to avoid prison and receive the treatment they need. According to the Michigan Department of Corrections‚ Michigan's average prisoner with mental illnesses is one in four. It costs $95‚000 to keep a mentally ill person in jail for a year‚ while it costs $35‚000 to hold someone without. The Detroit News. The state senators. Late last year‚ Rick Outman (a Republican) and Stephanie Chang (a Democrat)‚ introduced a bill that was quickly passed into law.

crime victims aswad thomas public safety gun violence getty images michigan red states support by enacting criminal justice reform

It aimed to expand statewide crisis management programs in order to lessen harm when there are mental health emergencies. Former Michigan House Speaker Tom Leonard (a Republican) said that we should look into earlier intervention for people who have some form of mental illness. This is not only right but also important for public safety. It can save money if it continues. Memorial to a Staten Island victim of gun violence (Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis‚ via Getty Images). Other Republican-governed States have passed several reforms to criminal justice at the request of victims of crime. India Brown was a victim of murder in Ohio. Initially blocked A previous teenage felony prevented Brown from accessing victim's compensation funds. Brown convinced Gov. Two Republicans Mike DeWine‚ Attorney General Dave Yost and Brown persuaded Gov. Families would have financial security and emotional support. Brown shared his struggle with unimaginable grief in an opinion piece for The Associated Press columbus dispatch Last summer in Texas‚ Melvin Halsey‚ a veteran‚ and other victims of crime helped to advocate reform for the state's probation program. As a result‚ tens of thousands more Texans won't be sent back into prison for technical violations. In Texas‚ black people account for 13% percent of the total population. However‚ 33% are the state's prisoners‚ Halsey stated in an opinion piece. Austin American-Statesman Last year. It is safer for Texas and more cost-effective to have a system that helps people not punish them with harsh sentences‚ but it's the best thing. At a Florida event‚ Alliance for Safety and Justice volunteers assisted. (Alliance for Safety and Justice). These wins are what give Thomas and Jordan hope for the future support of crime victims in Republican- or Democratic-led States. Jordan stated that being able to seek support and heal is not an issue of politics. These public safety reforms‚ regardless of whether they are a Republican or Democratic state or purple state is common sense. _____ Illustration of the cover thumbnail: Yahoo News. Photos: Getty Images. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images