Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bureaucratic 'Culture of Entitlement' Hampers the Criminal Justice System

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bureaucratic 'Culture of Entitlement' Hampers the Criminal Justice System

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Hallett

Our current situation regarding violence, civic infrastructure and criminal justice is complex and there are several inter-related issues of which we need to keep track.

There is a tricky interplay between the issues that make them hard to follow or at least hard to keep all on one radar screen:

1. A commitment to fully fund law enforcement should not cloud our recognition of the false promise of a law enforcement solution to our violence problem.

2. Jacksonville's low millage rate should not cloud our dismay at the abolition of "home rule" and should be recognized as an opportunity for building unity and taking matters into our own hands. Unlike Orlando, Jacksonville cannot generate infrastructure revenue from tourism to near that scale.

We should fund a Safer Jacksonville Plan with a small, targeted increase in sales tax to fund officers and for growing the nonprofit sector, lest we have to cut services outright.

3. The irrationally high bond amounts in Duval County that cost the city millions in jail costs should be reined in through the establishment of a new bond schedule that will impose some order on local judges, judges being arguably the least accountable of all actors in the criminal justice system.

4. Look where crime is low. Communities with low crime rates have resources for building informal social control bonds between people that keep them engaged in positive activities.

The implementation phase of The Jacksonville Journey process should focus on expanding our assets for crime fighting beyond criminal justice, with the knowledge that strong social bonds between people who have purpose and connection are what define successful communities.

And these resources should be given over in partnership with Northside leaders and focus on public/private partnerships utilizing best practices. …

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