Juneteenth is a Holiday About What We Didn’t Know

 

Did you know that Governor Douglas signed a Proclamation in in 2008, announcing Juneteenth as an official holiday in Vermont (third Saturday of June). Most people don’t. Ironically (you’ll understand soon) the message never made it to us this year.

Juneteenth is one of the oldest African American holidays and commemorates the celebration that happened the day that the slaves of Texas were notified of their freedom. This announcement came about two and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. There are numerous theories and stories as to why it would have taken so long for for the word of freedom to be delivered to the slaves of Texas.  They range from the murder of a messenger to the nefarious intents of the slave owners. Whatever the reason, it is clear that some benefitted while others suffered because incredibly critical information never made it to those who needed and it most.  Vermont Juneteenth Day came and went on June 16th, with no governmental acknowledgement. No message, no press release, no blog. Nothing.  Do you see the irony yet?

Did you know that Vermont was actually NOT the first state to abolish slavery and the language permitting slavery still exists in the first Article of the Vermont Constitution? Did you know that the Senate refused to consider a resolution, urging the 2019 Senate to initiate an amendment to remove slavery from the Constitution? The Senate did however take up a similar resolution, urging the 2019 Senate to take up an ERA Constitutional Amendment.  Did you know that this past session, for the first time in history the Vermont House of Representatives introduced a resolution urging the 2019 Senate to remove all language authorizing slavery or indentured servitude from the Vermont Constitution? The House Government Operations Committee never took it up.  Constitutionalized slavery undergirds the exploitation of inmates for the purposes of political or economic gain.  Did you know that Vermont is currently exploiting inmates through the use of a program called Vermont Correctional Industries?

Did you know that the Governor vetoed the Systemic Racism Mitigation Bill (S.281) because of his concerns that he would not be able to unilaterally dismiss the Director?  Did you know that the attorneys in our nonpartisan Legislative Council produced a decision that S.281 was indeed constitutional? Did you know that the Executive Order (18-04) that the Governor released in lieu of the bill actually undermines any ability to address systemic racism? Did you know that S.5, a second version on the Systemic Racism Mitigation bill (omitting termination language) passed both chambers of the legislature and it is headed to the Governor? Systemic racism creates racial disparities in the criminal justice system, education, housing, employment, health services and economic development. In fact systemic racism is at the root of the immigration policy that is separating children from their parents at the borders of this nation today!

Just as the message failed to make it to Texas, so too is the message failing to make it to us, here is Vermont. The same truth exists today that for whatever the reason, it is clear that some benefit while others sufferer because incredibly critical information is not making it to those who need it most.

 

Mark Hughes
Ed, Justice For All

Systemic Racism Mitigation Bill (S.5) Headed Back to the Governor

All,

The Governor vetoed S.281, a Systemic Racism Mitigation bill at the end of the General Session this year.  He stated that the reason that he vetoed the bill was that the “exercise of executive authority by an inter-branch entity over a Governor violates the separation of powers dictated by the Constitution.” S.281l required the Governor to gain a majority approval from the Panel to terminate the Director.

Instead, the Governor issued Executive Order 18-04 (which falls woefully short of fulfilling the original intent of addressing systemic racism in Vermont Government).  The Governor stated that Executive Order “goes even further in our effort to ensure racial, ethnic and cultural diversity, equity and equality.” This statement alone is evidence that he misses the point of the need to address systemic racism entirely.  The executive order is riddled with flaws that cause it to be nothing more than whitewash and offers us more more of the same.  Here are some of the many ways that Executive falls short of addressing systemic racism.

  • The name of the function has been changed.
  • The Executive Order does not fund the position but requests the Secretary of Administration to review the vacancy pool to find a position.
  • There is no time line for implementation.
  • Executive Applies only to identifying and working to eradicate systemic racism in the Executive Branch.
  • The Executive Order enables the Governor to appoint all 5 members to the Panel
  • The Executive Order calls for a sole report to the Governor alone (legislative reporting is upon request and will calls only for information on the process for developing a comprehensive organizational review.
  • The Executive Order gives no oversight authority to the panel but defines its duties only as 1) help develop the job description, 2) nominate candidates, 3) meet with the Governor.
  • The Executive Order requires ONLY governor appointees to attend training on racial equity and diversity.

It is our hope that the Governor will rescind Executive Order 18-04 in that it was never designed to truly address systemic racism in Vermont.  In spite of the legislative Council taking exception to the unconstitutionality of the termination clause in S.281, the legislature just passed S.5, an identical bill (absent the language that he was opposed to).  We implore the Governor to sign S.5, a bill to address systemic racism in Vermont.  This is the second bipartisan attempt of this legislature to place this incredibly important, unprecedented bill before him.

Join us as we call on the the Governor to rescind Executive Order 18-04 and sign the Systemic Racism Mitigation bill, S.5.  It is important that we act now on this in that the duration of the special session is uncertain.
  1. Please pass this to your network and ask them to take action
  2. Call the Governor’s office and express your support for S.5 (802.828.3333)
  3. Write the Governor’s office and ask him to rescind Executive Order 18-04 and sign S.5 
  4. Write an Op Ed or Opinion piece for your local papers (nobody is covering it)
  5. Post this and updates on social media


Donate to Justice For All here.

Justice For All pursues racial justice within Vermont’s criminal justice system through advocacy, education, and relationship-building.

Here are options to become a member, provide organizational support or simply provide a contribution.

Thank you for your support!

Mark Hughes
Justice For All
Racial Justice Reform Coalition

S.281, Systemic Racism Mitigation Bill Veto Outrage

We are Outraged at the Governor’s Veto of S.281, the Systemic Racism Mitigation Bill!

Folks,

We are outraged at the Governor’s Veto of S.281, Racism the Systemic racism Mitigation bill.  The fact that he would replace the bill with an executive order speaks of his unwillingness to truly seek to address mitigating systemic racism in Vermont in any real and sustainable manner.  Of all concerns, the Governor vetoed this bill because he would not have the ability to terminate this person unilaterally, without the majority vote of an associated panel.  Legislative Council has stated that his claims that a termination process requiring a majority panel vote are simply wrong.

Addressing systemic racism by executive order leaves the fate of the entire systemic racism mitigation apparatus in the hands of the Governor who has been (with one exception) an affluent white man throughout all Vermont history.   Further, the Governor has no authority to appropriate funds for the creation of a position or the funding of panel.

We demand that the legislature immediately take action on this very important issue and immediately override this incredulous overreach of Executive power.  We cannot allow this Governor to derail the hard fought efforts placed into addressing systemic racism in Vermont.  His plan is clearly intended to wield and protect his political power, not implement a sustainable approach to mitigating systemic racism.  Please help us move a swift and decisive veto override.  Here is how you can help:

  1. Send this message to all of you friends ASAP
  2. Call you legislators, the Senate Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House and tell them to override the veto 802.828.2228
  3. Send a note to your legislators, the Senate Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House and ask them to override the veto
  4. Share this on your social media

Justice For All pursues racial justice within Vermont’s criminal justice system through advocacy, education, and relationship-building.
As you consider where you are investing in social justice issues, remember the racial referendum that we just experienced in our national election. Consider donating to Justice For All, an organically grown, Vermont-based racial justice organization that has been here doing the work over the past couple of years  Please help us with your membership, provide organizational support or simply provide a contribution. Help us continue this work in Vermont.

Over the past number of years we have worked to successfully deliver the Vermont Fair and Impartial Policing Policy for all law enforcement agencies in the state. We are the founding organization of the Racial Justice reform Coalition, which put forward what became Act 54, the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel.  Our latest legislative win is S.281, the Systemic Racism Mitigation legislation is headed to the Governor’s desk at the time of this update.  Our work continues with numerous community outreach activities, Vermont Justice Coalition, Coalition on Racial Justice Reform, the Law Enforcement Professional Regulation Committee and much more but we need your help to continue.Respectfully,

Mark A. Hughes, ED, Justice For All

Racial Justice Reform Coalition

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival – Breaks Silence and Launches a 40 Day Season to Initiate an Effort to “Save the Heart of The Nation”

On Monday, May 14th, the Vermont Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will launch a season of nonviolent moral fusion direct action in Vermont, and we need you to join us. In communities across America—black, white, brown and Native—we have built a Poor People’s Campaign to become what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.” 

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will force a serious national examination of the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and our distorted moral narrative.  Through these highly publicized, non-violent moral fusion direct actions, the Campaign will begin the process of changing a badly distorted national moral narrative while forcing a serious conversation about poverty and a national examination of the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation and the war economy.

Listed below are the upcoming events, activities and training leading up to the 40 day season of Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action (NVMFDA). Please keep in mind that EVERYONE actively participating in any civil disobedience associated with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival MUST attend a Sunday NVMFDA (Part II), at a minimum.

NVMFDA Training on May 12th in St. Johnsbury
NVMFDA (Part II) Training at Episcopal Church in Barre on May 13th at 5:00 PM
Grounding and Staging at Christ Church in Montpelier on May 14th at 10:00 AM
Rally (Somebody’s Hurting Our People) Statehouse on May 14th at 2:00 PM
Direct Action at the Statehouse on May 14th at 3:00 PM

Each week in Washington, DC there will be events live streamed across the nation. All events will be live streamed from the PPC: NCMR Facebook Page. 

Here are the recurring weekly activities that will be happening throughout the 40 days of Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action:
Sundays:             5:00 PM Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action Training at Church of the Good Shepherd, Barre
Mass Meeting Livestream – 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EDT
Mondays:            10:00 am centering and logistics, Christ Church, Montpelier
2:00 PM Rally at the Statehouse
3:00 Action at Statehouse
Tuesdays:           Truthful Tuesday Teach-Ins Livestream – 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT
Further exploration by thought leaders, moral leaders and impacted leaders in a nationally broadcast teach-in.
Thursdays:          Thursday Justice Jam Nights Livestream – 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EDT
Power-packed hour of justice music and spoken word!

Weekly Themes: 

  • Week One (May 13-19) – SOMEBODY’S HURTING OUR PEOPLE: Children, Women, and People with Disabilities in Poverty
  •  Week Two (May 20-26) – LINKING SYSTEMIC RACISM AND POVERTY: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities
  • Week Three (May 27-June 2) – THE WAR ECONOMY: Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence (Action will take place on Tuesday rather than on Memorial day)
  • Week Four (June 3-9) – THE RIGHT TO HEALTH AND A HEALTHY PLANET: Ecological Devastation and Health Care
  • Week Five (June 10-16) – EVERYBODY’S GOT THE RIGHT TO LIVE: Education, Living Wage Jobs, Income, Housing
  •  Week Six (June 17-22) – A NEW AND UNSETTLING FORCE: Confronting the Distorted Moral Narrative

Don’t forget our monthly General Meeting (every third Thursday) at the Unitarian Church, in Montpelier.

As you consider where you are investing in social justice issues, remember the racial referendum that we just experienced in our national election. Consider donating to Justice For All, an organically grown, Vermont-based racial justice organization that has been here doing the work over the past four of years.

Please help us with your membership, provide organizational support or simply provide a contribution. Help us continue this work in Vermont.

Respectfully,

 

Mark Hughes,
ED, Justice For All

Open Letter to House Government Operations in Response to Proposed Amendment to S.281

Madam Chair and members of the Committee,

I am shocked at the sweeping changes that have essentially rendered the Systemic Racism Mitigation Bill as pointless.  Much attention has been given to the removal of the independent nature and subpoena authority of the Director.  Though these actions concern me personally, there are other decisions that you have proposed that further threaten hopes that this legislation will create a true chance to affect positive change.

Defunding the Director and Panel (HRS Internal Service Surcharge approved by Senate Appropriations) and removing the required administrative  and technical support makes this entire endeavor a nonstarter.  Another critical judgement error is placing the Director as a liaison between the Executive branch and the Human Rights Council.  By their very nature, the HRC should NEVER by required to do their work through a liaison to any agency.

Finally, it deserves clarification that the intention of this role has always primarily been data collection to identify data points to measure progress, not to “point out to state agencies what they are doing wrong”.  It is disappointing to communities of color to see representatives of the political and economic power structure pushing back on this plan to address systemic racism with a narrative of an explicit racism which hunt.  The direction that this legislation is headed is sideways and I hope that the committee can demonstrate the leadership and political and moral will to get it right.

Respectfully,

Mark A. Hughes,

ED, Justice For All

 

House Gov Ops Proposed Strike All Amendment:  

  1. Eliminates the independent nature of the role (reports to Governor).
  2. Insulates the Governor’s Cabinet from the Vermont Human Rights Commission by mandating that the Director as a liaison between them.
  3. Removes responsibility of collection and oversight of statewide race data.
  4. Eliminates legal, administrative or technical support for the Director
  5. Eliminates the Subpoena Authority of the Director
  6. Defunds the Racial Equity Advisory Panel and Director by eliminating the HRS Internal Service Surcharge approved by Senate Appropriations.
  7. Creates a second redundant Panel (Racial Justice Advisory Panel) with NO appointment criteria to create the job description and submission of short list candidate list to the Governor.
  8. Calls for Panel submission of candidate recommendations to Governor at the same time as the deadline for Panel seating

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival Enters Week Two, Linking Systemic Racism to Poverty

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival Enters Week Two, Linking Systemic Racism to Poverty

On Monday, you may have joined the Vermont Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to launch the largest wave of nonviolent in civil disobedience in US history. This action kicked off our our six-week season of nonviolent direct action in Vermont!

For the first week, we focused on child poverty, women in poverty and people with disabilities. Monday’s actions come as the Trump administration pushes work requirements for SNAP recipients and seeks to cut $7 billion from a child healthcare program.

If you missed week one, you can catch some of the fantastic local and national news coverage!

MyNBC5

WCAX

Huffington Post

We’ve stepped out across the nation, and we are just getting started.

Our theme next week (May 20-26) is Linking Systemic Racism and Poverty: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities. RSVP here.

This is an important issue for anyone who cares that almost half—23 states—have adopted some form of voter suppression law since 2010; that deportations have increased tenfold between 1976 and 2015; or that Native Americans and Alaska Natives have the highest poverty rate of any racial group.

If you RSVP to Week Two’s rally, we’ll send you a reminder email ahead of time and give you instructions on when and where to show up.

Here are some important links for this week activities:

May 20th Training Facebook Event

May 20th Training Registration

May 21st Rally Facebook Event

May21st Action Registration

Please connect with and share these links out with your network, we need your help to take the good news of this campaign to every corner of the state! Keep up the amazing work.


Each week in Washington, DC there will be events live streamed across the nation. All events will be live streamed from the PPC: NCMR Facebook Page. We will also be hosting them locally and encourage you to do the same. 

Here are the recurring weekly activities that will be happening throughout the 40 days of Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action:

Sunday Evenings     –    Mass Meeting
Tuesday  Evenings   –   Truthful Tuesday  – Having broken into the national consciousness on Monday, the theme of each week will be further explored by thought leaders, moral leaders and impacted leaders in a nationally broadcast teach-in. Local viewing events and discussion is encouraged.
Thursday Evenings  –    Justice Jam Night –  Justice Jam Night will be a power-packed hour of justice music and spoken word! (starts May 17th)

Find the Vermont Poor People’s Campaign on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  Register here to receive email directly from the campaign www.poorpeoplescampaignvt.org.  You can email them as well:  vermont@poorpeoplescampaign.org

Weekly Themes: 

  • Week One (May 13-19) – SOMEBODY’S HURTING OUR PEOPLE: Children, Women, and People with Disabilities in Poverty
  •  Week Two (May 20-26) – LINKING SYSTEMIC RACISM AND POVERTY: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities
  • Week Three (May 27-June 2) – THE WAR ECONOMY: Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence (Action will take place on Tuesday rather than on Memorial day)
  • Week Four (June 3-9) – THE RIGHT TO HEALTH AND A HEALTHY PLANET: Ecological Devastation and Health Care
  • Week Five (June 10-16) – EVERYBODY’S GOT THE RIGHT TO LIVE: Education, Living Wage Jobs, Income, Housing
  •  Week Six (June 17-22) – A NEW AND UNSETTLING FORCE: Confronting the Distorted Moral Narrative

About Justice For All
Justice For All pursues racial justice within Vermont’s criminal justice system through advocacy, education, and relationship-building.

As you consider where you are investing in social justice issues, remember the racial referendum that we just experienced in our national election. Consider donating to Justice For All, an organically grown, Vermont-based racial justice organization that has been here doing the work over the past couple of years  Please help us with your membership, provide organizational support or simply provide a contribution. Help us continue this work in Vermont.

Over the past number of years we have worked to successfully deliver the Vermont Fair and Impartial Policing Policy for all law enforcement agencies in the state. We are the founding organization of the Racial Justice reform Coalition, which put forward what became Act 54, the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel.  Our latest legislative win is S.281, the Systemic Racism Mitigation legislation is headed to the Governor’s desk at the time of this update.  Our work continues with numerous community outreach activities, Vermont Justice Coalition, Coalition on Racial Justice Reform, the Law Enforcement Professional Regulation Committee and much more but we need your help to continue.

Respectfully,

Mark A. Hughes, ED, Justice For All

Open Letter to the Senate Pro Tempore and Senators White, Sears, Pollina, Cummings, Brooks and Ingram Regarding a Resolution Proposing the 2019 Senate Amend the Constitution to Remove Slavery

April 17, 2018

Mr President Pro Tempe, Peter, et. all,This inquiry went out over a month ago and I have not received a direct response, though I’ve been told that it is now “late in the session” and there a too many other things on your plates. I asked Senator Ingram to look into this and among other reasons she is  telling me that this resolution would not be taken up this session. Some indirect responses seem to suggest the assumption that we don’t understand the constitutional amendment process. We understand the constitutional amendment process. Other Senators have avoided this discussion by speaking about the 2019 Biennium as if somehow they have little chance of being a part of it (unlikely). Not to be overly critical but it seems that someone ought to be asking why there has NEVER been a proposal of a constitutional amendment, removing slavery (though there has been an ERA proposal which was not ratified because it was voted down when it reached the state ballot.). I think we all understand that you all take an oath to the constitution every time they are sworn in.

I am hearing (also indirectly) that the reason why some senators think that this is a bad idea is that “it won’t bind the 2019 senate”. We have no intention on binding a future senate. We do however want the existing seated senate to go on record on this issue, given the fact that in all likelihood most all of them will return. It is for this reason that I disagree with some senators comments that this will “bring nothing to the discussion”. In fact, I believe that it WILL START THE DISCUSSION in the midst of our continued false narrative that Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery!

Senator White represents Windsor, the home of Stephen Jacobs who was on the Council of Censors, States Attorney, County Judge, United States District Attorney, Member of Governors Council and State Supreme Court Judge while owning at least one slave in Vermont (Dinah White). They don’t teach that in school here. Let’s not compartmentalize this because then we’ll forget the importance of S.281, a bill to mitigate systemic racism in Vermont. To not understand the history of Dinah also distracts us form the conversations of patriarchy, poverty and disability.

I am having a hard time with the fact that 1) language stating the position of intent to clarify reference to slavery in the constitution has been in the VDP Platform since 2016 (before the election), and 2) you have already passed a resolution requesting an action of the 2019 Senate [ERA Amendment]. With something as important as this, It troubles me that in a time like THIS, that our VDP senate majority would not take up a resolution to urge the 2019 senate to amend the constitution to eliminate slavery.

Are we really waiting for another election cycle to pass?

 

Mark Hughes,
ED, Justice For All

 

New Report Released: A Deeper Dive Into Racial Disparities in Policing In Vermont

Download the report here:
Download Now

A reported, released 26 March, 2018 revisited the “Driving While Black” report released by Professors Seguino and Brooks last year.  This report provided further analysis including regression testing to address concerns expressed by law enforcement over the past year.  The conclusion of this report is provided below:

“Vermont has embarked on a long-term project of using data to expand awareness of traffic policing and race. Because traffic stops are the most frequent interaction people have with the police, combined with the large number of traffic stops in any given year, data on stops can be a useful tool for understanding the extent of racial disparities in these interactions. They are, in other words, a way of holding up a mirror to ourselves.

Though data often and usually are imperfect, that does not preclude their usefulness. In this report, we have discussed an array of concerns with traffic stop data quality, many of which have been shared with us by police. Efforts to improve data quality are important and should continue to be pursued. It is clear that there are a number of agencies pursuing that goal. In the interim, however, the data we do have are useful at gauging racial disparities in policing and give no evidence of being so systematically flawed that they are unusable.

In this report, we provide details on a statistical analysis that controls for other factors that may influence the probability of being searched or of contraband being found during a search. Those results demonstrate that while other factors also contribute to the likelihood of either of those outcomes, racial disparities continue to exist when those factors are controlled for. In particular, Black and Hispanic drivers in Vermont are substantially more likely to be searched than White or Asian drivers, and are less likely to be found with contraband. The levels of disparity indicated by the logistic regressions are very similar to the search and hit rate ratios in our original 2017 study. The use of more rigorous statistical techniques therefore does not alter the nature of our 2017 findings.

These disparities should be of great concern to law enforcement agencies, communities, and legislators. While the disparities in no way suggest that agencies are intentionally profiling people of color, they do indicate the necessity for law enforcement to be selfreflective about their policing practices and to interrogate the role of implicit bias in decision-making. Research shows that implicit racial bias is evident in numerous domains, not just policing. As its name suggests, it is often unconscious rather than intentional. Several agencies have planned or are planning implicit bias trainings, a positive step to work toward fair and unbiased policing in Vermont. The Vermont State 24 Police has gone beyond this to rigorously examine a wide array of practices, procedures, and policies to ensure fair and impartial policing at every level.

Finally, with regard to the descriptive analysis of 2016 VSP contraband, it is instructive that for searches turning up heroin, cocaine, and opioids, drugs that are so much in the Vermont news of late, only White drivers were found with such contraband. There may be other aspects of drug trafficking in Vermont not reflected in these data. But the data tell us that in terms of discretionary searches in the course of traffic policing, the stereotype, held by society as a whole, that people of color are more likely to be drug traffickers is erroneous.”

Download the report here:
Download Now

We have 48 Hours to Make History – Please Ask Senate Appropriations to Fund S.281 and PASS it  out of Committee NOW!

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy. And this is where I choose to cast my lot today.

― Martin Luther King Jr., To Charter our Course for Our Future”

 

All,

If there is any hope that the systemic racism mitigation bill (S.281) passes this year, it MUST come out of Senate Appropriations funded NOW.
Appropriations cross-over is on Friday, 16 March. Here is how YOU CAN HELP:

  1. Please pass this call to action to EVERYONE on your mailing list.
  2. Call the Statehouse and leave a message for Senators, Kitchel, Nitka, Sears, Starr, McCormack, Ashe, Westman and Balint with S.281 in the subject line, asking that the committee to “immediately fund and pass S.281 out of Senate Appropriations Committee.” Also ask YOUR Senator to vote S.281 out of the Full Senate by Friday, 16 March.  Call 828.2228
  3. Please send an email to this address vermont-senate-appropriations@googlegroups.com, requesting that they “immediately fund and pass S.281 out of Senate Appropriations Committee.” Make sure that S.281 is in the subject line.
  4. Email your Senator and Ask them to Vote S.281 Out of the full Senate by Friday, 16 March.  Find your Senator’s email address here:  https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/all/2018/Senate

Here is the bill as voted out of senate Senate Government Operations. Here is the Coalition systemic racism research document and again the  Q&A to verse you in the bill background and details

Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel Report Released

Download the Report here:

Download Now

A report was released by the Chair and Vice Chair of the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel last week.  The report, as outlined in ACT 54, 2017 provides updates on:

  1. A review of data collected pursuant to 20 V.S.A. §2366, to measure State progress toward a fair and impartial system of law enforcement; and
  2. Progress on educating and engaging with communities, businesses, educational institutions, State and local governments, and the general public about the nature and scope of racial discrimination in the criminal and juvenile justice system; and
  3. Progress on the recommendations from the 2016 report of the Attorney General’s Working Group on Law Enforcement Community Interactions.

This report provides recommendations to the Criminal Justice Training Council and the Vermont Bar Association on data collection and model trainings and policies for law enforcement, judges, correctional officers and attorneys, including prosecutors, to recognize and address implicit bias.  Also recommendations on data collection and a model training and policy on de-escalation and the use of force in the criminal and juvenile justice system are provided to the Criminal Justice Training Council.  Finally the report, includes various specific recommendations on addressing systemic implicit bias in Vermont’s criminal and juvenile justice system, including:

  1. How to institute a public complaint process to address perceived implicit bias across all systems of State government; and
  2. Whether and how to prohibit racial profiling, including implementing any associated penalties; and
  3. Whether to expand law enforcement race data collection practices to include data on non-traffic stops by law enforcement.

The Panel’s next meeting is on 13 March, 2018 at the Waterbury State Office Complex. Sally Fox Conference Center, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

The first of a number community discussions throughout the state are listed below:

March 11th and 18th at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier – 6:00 – 8:00 PM
March 12th and 27th at the CCTV Burlington (294 Winooski Avenue) – 6:00 – 8:00 PM

https://www.facebook.com/events/1750472371640285/ (Montpelier)
https://www.facebook.com/events/2082017761825295/ (Burlington)

3 V.S.A. § 168 established the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel in the Office of the Attorney General.  This report was provided to the Attorney General, the Human Rights Commission Executive Director, the House Speaker and the President Pro Tempe.  You can download the report, released 2 March, 2018 here.

Download Now