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Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice to be Extended by Gov. Cooper

Source: The Pulse

Gov. Roy Cooper recently announced that he would be signing an Executive Order next month that will extend the work of the Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice, according to The Pulse. Over the past two and a half years, the group has been working to make the criminal justice system more equitable. 

The group’s 2020 report included a list of recommendations for legislators to craft into law and some have become a reality; the minimum age of juvenile jurisdiction has been raised from six to ten, the use of restraints on pregnant incarcerated women who are in their second or third trimester is now prohibited, and police are now required to intervene when one of their colleagues uses excessive force.

“The bottom line is to reduce crime and keep our communities safe while making sure our system operates fairly and without prejudice,” Cooper told the task force members.

While the task force has been making significant progress, both Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein pointed to the racist comments that were made by Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene during a phone call in 2019 as evidence of the issues that NC’s justice system is still facing.

The next phase of work for the task force will be focused on four areas including violence prevention including youth crime reduction and restorative justice, local law enforcement practices and accountability, judicial system policies and practices that result in equitable outcomes, and collection, analysis and dissemination of criminal justice system data.

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