Image Credit: Fuse Washington Organize with ICPJ and others to build and distribute tools to protect voter rights! Non-Partisan Voter Tool Kit Videos for New Voters Ypsi Can I Share GOTV resources & videos for folks who donâ€™t typically vote. Non-partisan voter registration and access resources, including step-by-step information …
Month: September 2020
The Poor Peopleâ€™s Campaign Washtenaw County (PPC), and the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ), are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of the Graduate Employeesâ€™ Organization (GEO) in their strike and demands for a safe, equitable, and just work and community environment …
CREW Releases â€œRace to Justice: Citizens for Racial Equity in Washtenawâ€™s Report on Racial Disparities in the Washtenaw County Criminal Legal Systemâ€
Letter from Rev. Joe Summers
Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
ICPJ Board member
Washtenaw Poor Peopleâ€™s Campaign Steering Committee
Citizens for Racial Equity in Washtenaw (CREW) was formed to gather public data on the charging and sentencing of individuals in Washtenaw County and to assess whether the data reflected racial disparities and the impact of any disparity on members of our community. Though we have begun to have extensive discussions on problems with discriminatory policing practices in our county, we have had very little data or focus so far on discriminatory practices in our court system. We hope our report will be the beginning of such a conversation.
I was privileged to serve on this committee which was co-chaired by former state Senator Alma Wheeler Smith and Linda Rexer, who for 30 years was the Executive Director of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.
The report has just been released. The data shows clear patterns of the kinds of racial disparities that we find in our criminal justice system throughout our country. Our report is not an easy or quick read though there is an executive summary at the beginning with our key conclusions and recommendations.
My hope is that those of you who want to overcome these forms of discrimination in Washtenaw County will take the time to read through it so that we can come together as a community to determine how to transform our local justice system so that it might be more equitable and restorative in its practices.
Rev. Joe Summers
p.s. As I was writing this I learned that Chief Judge Carol Kuhnke, of the Washtenaw County Trial Court and Eli Savit–who is running unopposed for Washtenaw County Prosecutor–released a joint statement expressing “appreciation for the CREW report, and broad support for its recommendations.” Their joint statement can be found on Eli Savit’s twitter here.
Email, Call, Message Washtenaw elected officials
For years elected leaders have shrugged and claimed they lacked the data to do anything about the racial bias we know exists in the criminal legal system here in Washtenaw County. We donâ€™t lack the data anymore.
Citizens for Racial Equity in Washtenaw (CREW) spent months documenting felony case records from the Washtenaw County Court website. They analyzed thousands of charging decisions by prosecutors and sentencing decisions by judges and found harmful racial disparities. The data is discussed in CREWâ€™s just-issued report, â€œRace to Justice: Citizens for Racial Equity in Washtenawâ€™s Report on Racial Disparities in the Washtenaw County Criminal Legal Systemâ€. Download here.
ICPJ is supporting CREWâ€™s call to action. Please contact elected Washtenaw County officials and urge them to act immediately on the recommendations in â€œRace to Justiceâ€.
To easily send letters to elected officials in the legal system, go to the letter campaign page here, where we provide sample text (that you can modify as you see fit).
JOIN US: TOWN HALL on Prop CThursday, October 15 ~ 6-7:30pmRegistration Required: https://bit.ly/36iZzeaFlyer here ICPJ joined the Partners for Affordable Housing and we strongly advocate for passing Proposal C on November’s ballot — the millage would support construction, rehab, maintenance, and acquisition of affordable housing units, and provide …