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To: County Commissioners of Leon County and City Commissioners of Tallahassee

Stand Up for Restorative Justice

Stand Up for Restorative Justice

Let's work together to reduce crime and increase safety. Connection First has developed a restorative justice (RJ) plan for Leon County and Tallahassee. The data are clear; RJ is effective in promoting accountability and healing, in increasing safety, and in reducing costs of justice. We have a concrete RJ plan; we have the personnel and expertise to execute this plan; we have the support of law enforcement, the state attorney, and public defender; most importantly, we have the support of the public. All we need is modest funding. We request that Leon County and Tallahassee stand up for restorative justice and invest in an evidence-based program that will promote healing and reduce crime that is more effective and less expensive than incarceration.

Why is this important?

Our nation, our state, and our city have a crime and incarceration problem. The US incarcerates a higher fraction of our population than any other country of the world. Yet, this incarceration practice is expensive, traumatizing, and ineffective. For example, the re-arrest and re-incarceration rate (recidivism rate) is extremely high at 70 to 80 %. The underlying cause of this cycle of crime is the epidemic of trauma. More than 2/3 of us have experienced trauma, and research shows that trauma heightens our fight, flight, and freeze responses, leading to more crime and trauma. We need trauma-informed justice. This is why Connection First has developed the Connection First Restorative Justice Program (Plan).

What is RJ? It is an evidence-based framework that helps to heal the societal wounds of trauma.
RJ brings together those that caused the harm with those who received the harm to ask: What happened? Who was impacted? What needs were not being met during the harm? How can the harm be repaired? How can we avoid future harm?

Connection First has partnered with law enforcement, the public defender, and state attorney to develop an RJ program for Leon County and Tallahassee. For more information, visit our website at https://www.connectionfirst.org, or watch this youtube video: https://youtu.be/c2UcW9fzac4

Along with law enforcement and the judicial system, citizens share in the responsibility of maintaining safety and peace. To this end, Connection First proposes to split the funding in three ways: 1/3 from the county, 1/3 from the city, and 1/3 raised by citizens. This division will ensure that no one entity has sole power over the RJ process.

How it will be delivered

Along with a letter from Sheriff Walt McNeil, Police Chief Lawrence Revell, State Attorney Jack Campbell, and Public Defender Jessica Yeary, we will deliver this petition to our County and City commissioners via email and in person at the County and City meetings.

Updates

2022-04-20 10:39:46 -0400

100 signatures reached

2022-04-11 12:39:53 -0400

50 signatures reached

2022-04-10 09:31:27 -0400

25 signatures reached

2022-04-09 17:25:48 -0400

10 signatures reached