March 7, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Mark Hughes
Organization: Justice For All
Number: (401) 480-8222
Justice For All Announces Introduction of Racial Oversight Committee Bills
Montpelier, March 7, 2017 – Today Justice For All announced the introduction of two bills aimed at creating a racial justice oversight committee. H.492, sponsored by Rep. Ruqaiyah Morris (D-Bennington), Rep. Kevin Christie (D-White River Junction), and Rep. Diana Gonzalez (D-Winooski) was introduced on February 24, and referred to the House Committee on Judiciary. On Friday, a bill that mirrors H.492 was introduced to the Senate and referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary. S.116 is sponsored by Sen. Anthony Pollina, (P/D-Washington) Sen. Francis Brooks (D-Washington) Sen. Debbie Ingram (D-Chittenden) and Sen. Jeanette White (D-Windham).
The bills propose to establish a twelve member board under the office of the Attorney General to address institutionalized racism in the criminal justice system.
“In light of the challenges that we face in Vermont with racial disparities in the criminal justice system, we must make a commitment to do the right thing,” said Justice For All’s co-founder Mark Hughes.
The bills state that “The Board shall conduct management and oversight of the implementation of racial justice reform across the State, including within the criminal justice system, by managing and overseeing the collection of race- based data, ensuring such data are publicly available, and developing policies and trainings to address systemic implicit bias.”
Justice For All will hold a press briefing next week to answer questions regarding both bills. Details to follow.
About Justice For All
Justice For All is a Vermont-based, racial justice non-profit organization that identifies and dismantles institutionalized racism and facilitates healing and empowerment in Vermont communities. They ensure justice for all through community organizing, research, education, community policing, legislative reform and judicial monitoring. To this end they address systemic issues such as racially biased policing and racial disparities in the criminal justice system.