In response to the recent deaths related to police brutality and the underserved state of many urban communities in general, the AND Campaign presented two platform issues at Heirs of Action: A Strategy for Redemptive Justice on August 10, 2016. We believe improving our criminal justice system and providing better educational opportunities in our community are two objectives that believers should commit time and resources towards.
The AND Campaign suggests four policy prescriptions aimed at improving our criminal justice system and an educational solution called Full-Service Community Schools. We’ll work to strategically galvanize church community support around these two issues. This will involve engaging and organizing Christian community and meeting with a bipartisan group of Georgia lawmakers to discuss both platform issues.
1. Criminal Justice
a) Require Independent Investigations into Police-Involved Deaths – Every state should have automatic mechanisms to provide an outside investigation of such incidents.
b) End For-Profit Policing - The connection between minor citation, quotas and funding police departments is a dangerous one. Furthermore, for-profit policing not only increases the chance of potential conflict between officers and the community, it also puts an unnecessary financial burden on communities that are already in tough socioeconomic positions.
c) Train Officers to be Members of the Community - Police officers shouldn’t be seen as outsiders in the communities they patrol. Police officer training should include methods and tactics to develop authentic relationships between officers and the community.
d) Participate in Criminal Justice Elections - Recruit candidates and vote in local and state races for prosecutors and judges. These candidates should be well-qualified and have a proven record of social awareness and community engagement. It’s important believers participate on the front end of the process.
AND Campaign will also be partnering with other national organizations to urge our federal lawmakers to strengthen and pass the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that is now in the U.S. House of Representatives Judicial Committee. These reforms would apply to all fifty states and could have a major impact nationally.
2. Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS)
Full-Service Community Schools cover education, health, family and community reinvestment. FSCS encourage coordination between schools, families and the community. According to the U.S. Department of Education, they provide comprehensive academic, social and health services for students, students’ family members and community members that result in improved education outcomes for children. The services may include the following programs and services: high-quality early learning, remedial education, comprehensive academic, family engagement, family literacy, job training, counseling, nutrition, primary health and dental health. These services are especially important in low-income areas.
We place emphasis on pre-natal care as a component to the health portion of the FSCS model. This is a pro-flourishing initiative that seeks to offer high-quality, affordable, and accessible prenatal care to ensure access and opportunities for children and families from cradle to grave.