State Task Force on Racial Equity in Criminal Justice delivers 2021 report

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – As the year approaches its end, North Carolina’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice is sharing its progress over the year.

The task force, which was established in June of 2020 in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a police officer, is co-chaired by Attorney General Josh Stein and Associate Justice Anita Earls.

A press release shared Friday detailed updates delivered to Governor Roy Cooper.

The news release details many of the recommendations made in 2021:

• Supporting the passage for the Dignity for Women Who are Incarcerated Act, which makes North Carolina part of the majority of states that restrict the shackling of pregnant women to protect their medical health and afford them dignity while incarcerated.

• Supporting the passage of legislation that raises the age of juvenile jurisdiction from six to 10 in most cases and gives prosecutors flexibility to charge 16- and 17-year-olds in juvenile courts instead of adult courts.

• Improving law enforcement recruitment, training, and accountability practices through SB 300, including establishing a duty for officers to intervene and report when they witness another officer use excessive force and requiring law enforcement agencies to have early warning systems to correct officer actions when needed.

• Conducting learning sessions and sharing funding opportunities to help local governments implement American Rescue Plan funds.

• Advocating for changes to funding priorities for the Governor’s Crime Commission, which will fund pilot programs on mental health diversion, co-responder models, crisis intervention training, and violence intervention programs in the FY 2022.

You can read the full 2021 report here.

The task force said its work will continue in 2022.

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