The mission of the Criminal Justice Committee is to advocate for equitable treatment of minorities in the criminal justice system. The committee advocates for smarter, results-based criminal justice policies to keep our communities safe, including treatment for addiction and mental health problems, judicial discretion in sentencing, and an end to racial disparities at all levels of the system.
In keeping with this mission, The Fairfax County NAACP Criminal Justice Committee held a panel discussion on September 9
, which included several influential public officials and community advocates involved in shaping the county’s criminal justice policies. The panelists included:
, Fairfax County Supervisor (Braddock) and Chair of the County’s Public Safety Committee;
, Interfaith Partners for Justice and OAR supporter;
, Fairfax County Independent Police Auditor;
, Chairman, Independent Civilian Review Panel;
, Fairfax County Police Chief;
, Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department;
, Chair, Fairfax County Communities of Trust. A summary of the discussion can be found in the meeting minutes.
The Criminal Justice Committee also published a first ever County Criminal Justice Report Card in September. The Report Card graded each member of the Board of Supervisors, Police Chief, and Sheriff on their efforts to enhance equity, efficacy, oversight and diversity in Fairfax County’s Criminal Justice System. The report received praise and a fair amount of regional media coverage including
Fairfax County has made some great strides with regard to criminal justice reform in the past two years. Thanks in large part to the leadership of Chairman Sharon Bulova, the county created an Ad-Hoc Commission review county police practices on topics such as use of force, civilian oversight, treatment of 1 mentally ill, and diversity. Recognizing that Fairfax County was not immune from the factors that led to the riots in Baltimore, Maryland or Ferguson, Missouri, Chairman Bulova proactively initiated a process to examine the county’s shortcomings with regard to criminal justice. Two years later, we’re now only the second jurisdiction in the state with both a Civilian Review Panel and an Independent Police Auditor.