Reimagining Public Safety Progress Report-April-July 2021 Austin Texas

The report can be accessed HERE.

In the report there are several different topics and links with supporting material such as:

-Taskforce reform recommendations
-An analysis and report of the APD Training Academy
-The Office of Police Oversight (OPO) released the “Redefining Resistance and Considering Alternatives” report
-Use of Force Policy

***Make sure to check out the “links” to the various reports

NYC Mental-Health Responders Can’t Replace Police | City Journal

A few short years ago the mantra for a successful Mental Health community safety net was the Police AND the those from Mental Heath community because they understood the value of having the police at Mental Health emergency calls. Now with abolish the police the community will loose the services that are need from the police. This can be extremely dangerous to the community and the person in crisis. Ignoring this will not make the necessity for the police disappear. This article illustrates this fact.

An early report on New York’s mental-health first responders earns media cheerleading, but the data are skewed for their success.
— Read on

Targeted Fines and Fees Against Low-Income Communities of Color: Civil Rights and Constitutional Implications

The excessive imposition of fines and fees can damage judicial credibility and the relationships between law enforcement and residents. In the effort to raise revenue through fines and fees, municipalities in effect discount concerns about the judicial system’s role in our “country’s commitment to the principles of fundamental fairness and to ensuring that the scales of our legal system measure justice, not wealth.’” Chief among these concerns are the harms to due process and judicial ethics issues that arise when states depend too heavily on court fees, potentially conflicting with judicial independence, and diverting attention from courts’ essential functions. Additionally, some state legislatures throughout the country are not properly funding local courts, which leaves local courts to bring in revenue to support their operating budgets, undermining the public’s faith in the justice system. The reliance on revenue from fines and fees distorts incentives and can lead to the misallocation of public safety resources. The recent increase in using private companies to collect fines and fees further exacerbates these issues.

Seattle OIG – Office of Inspector General

Make sure to explore the various different webpages or tabs at the OIG site. The “Sentinel Event Review” is a report on the response to the Floyd Protests/Riots. The Reports page has various topical reports and memorandum. The audits page contains performance audits that examine critical systems, practices, and policies within the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and the Office of Police Accountability (OPA).

Check it out HERE

Court Fees Called ‘Another Layer of Punishment’ for Rural Poor

NOTE: “The Crime Report” Offers 5 free reads.

This article is another example that discusses fees used as criminal punishments. Not to long ago it was perfectly fine for Courts to use monetary fees as part of vehicle and traffic violations and low-level criminal sentencing. Fines were an option instead of jail/prison time. Fines were a acceptable form of punishment. Then in 2015 because of the Ferguson incident and DOJ investigation it was reported that court fees were a mechanism to supplement the City budget. This translated to a debtors prison and now the use of fines by courts are being criticized.

Nationwide, research over the last decade has documented how skyrocketing court fines and fees cause harm to those least able to pay them, and make future justice involvement more likely.

In the most recent study, Idaho was singled out as relying almost entirely on penalties and fines to fund its judicial system, even as the state confronts more than $195 million in uncollected court debt.

The study, published by the Idaho Law Review, exposed what its authors call an unhealthy conflict between using fines and fees as both a source of revenue and punishment, and said they  imposed an inequitable burden on the rural poor and communities of color.

“For people caught up in the criminal system, fees simply operate as another layer of punishment on top of fines,” the study said. “Enforcing monetary sanctions with the threat of additional fines, fees, and jail time merely recriminalizes financially precarious people, without any legitimate policy goal or discernible benefit to the state.

Court Fees Called ‘Another Layer of Punishment’ for Rural Poor

Access the article here:

Blood from a Turnip: Money as Punishment in Idaho

The fines, fees, costs, or other financial obligations are staggeringly high. On a weekly basis, in criminal cases, I order people who make $9/hour to pay over $250 in court costs alone. That is without restitution, without a fine, without a civil penalty, without restitution [for] the victim, without public defender reimbursement, without the costs of probation supervision, with the pre-sentence investigation fee, etc. There is no way to get blood from a turnip. The greatest single challenge is the blood from a turnip problem. Often, the cost for collections [is more] than the order to pay. …Right now, the costs just defeat the person from the very beginning.–Anonymous Idaho Judge (2019)1


On October 28, 2019, Peace Officer Kyle Rawlins cited Roxana Beck for a parking violation in Mountain Home, Idaho.2After further questioning and investigation, Officer Rawlins arrested Ms. Beck for alleged possession of drug paraphernalia and transported her to the Elmore County Detention Center where she was booked into jail.3 At the time of her arrest, Ms. Beck was employed part-time at Burger King earning $12an hour, so the Elmore County Court determined that she was indigent and appointed a public defender to represent her.4

Blood from a Turnip: Money as Punishment in Idaho

Get the article HERE


Eight States Enact Anti-Protest Laws

Eight states have passed laws cracking down on protest activity since Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the United States last summer, according to the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law, which tracks such legislation. Similar bills are pending in 21 states, according to the Washington, D.C.-based center.

New laws enacted in Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma and Tennessee this year increase penalties for blocking traffic, tearing down monuments and other unlawful behavior during a protest or riot. The bills typically define “riot” as a gathering of three or more people that threatens public safety.

See more HERE

Republicans Respond to Black Lives Matter with Anti-Protest Bills

This story has been updated to clarify changes to penalties for drivers under state legislation.

Genee Tinsley helped organize rallies and marches in Palm Beach County, Florida, last summer to protest police brutality, demand racial justice and call for redirecting some police funding to social services.

Now she’s organizing an online forum to teach people about a Florida bill that would increase penalties for unlawful activity during a protest. The bill could give law enforcement broad discretion to declare a gathering a “riot” and charge participants with a felony crime.

See more HERE

Interactive Map – US Protest Law Tracker

Scroll down for information on Legislation and executive orders

The MAP and LAW and be found HERE

The Glenn Show: Glenn Loury and Mark Kleiman


Glenn Loury (Watson Institute for International and Public AffairsBrown University) and Mark Kleiman (The Reality-Based CommunityNYUWhen Brute Force Fails)

Mark and Glenn start off by recalling Harvard’s Kennedy School in 1980s, where they both came to know James Q. Wilson. Mark says liberals got the crime question wrong, while Glenn urges that “crime” be placed in broad political perspective. Glenn asks why the US imprisons so many—could the answer be American democracy? Glenn and Mark argue the merits of the new parole supervision policy reflected in Project HOPE. They close with a heated debate on crime, human nature, and Wilson’s legacy

You can get the show HERE

My favorite theory from Dr. Kleiman as a police strategy is Enforcement Swamping. In a nut shell Swamping occurs, lets say in a parking lot when police give extra enforcement at the entrances so persons using the parking lots might believe that this “extra enforcement” is throughout the parking area and the “bad people” believe that it is risky to use the parking lot and either go somewhere else or stop there bad activities.

Crime, Justice, and Reform (Glenn Loury & Peter Moskos) on The Glenn Show


Glenn Loury (Watson Institute for International and Public AffairsBrown University) and Peter Moskos (John Jay

·         Peter explains how stop-and-frisk went too far  2:36
·         Who or what deserves credit for NYC’s massive murder decline?  10:48
·         Peter: Reducing poverty is not the way to reduce crime  18:31
·         Are cops reaping the whirlwind?  20:48
·         The aftermath of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and Laquan McDonald in Chicago  29:38
·         Criminal justice reform and the potential backlash  37:09

This is another terrific podcast by Glenn Loury. Peter Moskos is a very interesting guest. Dr. Moskos has an interesting insight into police work. You should also check out the stuff that Moskos posts on his websites.