ELIMINATE CASH BAIL FOR LOW-LEVEL MISDEMEANORS (HB 210)
TAKE ACTION BY MAY 14th
To All Participants in the Friends Committee on North Carolina Legislation:
As Quakers, we promote criminal justice reform led by the Quaker testimonies of Peace and Equality and in support of our FCNCL minute on anti-racism.
North Carolina HB210 eliminates cash bail for Class 2 and 3 misdemeanors (larceny, shoplifting, trespassing, no violent offenses) unless a risk to themselves or destroyed property (recommendation from Governor’s Task Force). Current cash bail laws for low level crimes seriously impact people without ability to pay who can be held for 60 days, potentially losing their jobs, custody of their children, etc. HB 210 has been assigned to the House Rules Committee.
ACTION REQUESTED: Please contact the legislators shown below prior to May 14, to ask them to hear this bill and vote to move it out of committee.
- The Governor’s Task Force on Racial Equity in the Criminal Justice System recommends elimination of cash bail for low level misdemeanors (https://ncdoj.gov/north-carolina-task-force-for-racial-equity-in-criminal-justice-releases-final-report/).
- See FCNCL Fact Sheet: Eliminate Cash Bail for Low Level Misdemeanors.
- Even short pretrial jail stays in jail pretrial can have destabilizing effects on an individual’s employment, health, and recidivism (Christopher T. Lowkenkamp, et al., The Hidden Costs of Pretrial Detention (2013), https://university.pretrial.org/ HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=61863907-cf0d-3c0c-55a2-b8ee73f86829&forceDialog=0; Paul Heaton, et al., The Downstream Consequences of Misdemeanor Pretrial Detention, 69 Stanford Law Review 711,717–19, 737 (2017), https://www.stanfordlawreview.org/print/article/the-downstream-consequences-of-misdemeanor-pretrial-detention/.
➜ Letters to the editor: Consider penning a letter to the editor to the Raleigh News and Observer)
For a PDF version of this alert, click HERE.
RAISE THE AGE THRESHOLD FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM (HB 261)
TAKE ACTION BY MAY 14th
YOU MAY BE SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT NC CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS SIX YEARS OLD CAN BE TRIED FOR CRIMINAL OFFENSES.
READ OUR ALERT BELOW ON JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM. YOU’LL ALSO FIND A LINK TO OUR FACT SHEET AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON THIS TOPIC.
ACTION: Email (Tim.Moore@ncleg.gov) or call (919-733-3451) Speaker Tim Moore (Republican, House Speaker), and Sarah Stevens (Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.gov) or call (919-715-1883), co-chair of the House Judiciary Committee 2. Ask that House Bill 261 be heard and voted on by committee. Also ask that the Bill simply raise the currently unacceptable threshold age of children for entry into the juvenile criminal justice system and ask for guidance to be included in the bill for evaluating the capacity for criminal action among 10-11 year olds.To find your representatives, use this link.
Please email your representatives and ask that they urge their colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to move HB261 out of committee for consideration by the full House.
Members should contact the legislators prior to May 14, to ask them to hear this bill and vote to move it out of committee.
WHY? Read more here…
For a PDF version of this alert click here.
Next FCNCL Annual General Committee Meeting October 2, 2021
FCNCL Minute on Anti-Racism
(approved at FCNCL General Committee Meeting October 5, 2019)
Responding to and inspired by Friends General Conference’s report (1) on racism, Friends Committee on North Carolina Legislation (FCNCL) commits to becoming an anti-racist faith organization. In making this decision we are acknowledging that systemic racism is a long standing and continuing problem in American society. As part of that society, we recognize that as individuals and Quakers we have too often been blind to our own failings and to the part we play in perpetuating structural and institutional racism.
REVIEW FCNCL’s 2021 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
FCNCL uses a corporate discernment process to set our lobbying agenda for North Carolina General Assembly deliberations. These excerpts are from the full statement on 2021 Priorities approved in October 2020, and they are consistent with our Quaker testimonies of Equality & Social Justice, Peace, and Integrity, and with our FCNCL Minute on Antiracism:
- ELECTORAL REFORM – We support:
- Creating an independent non-partisan commission to redraw fair maps
- Legislation that ensures fair and free elections and upholds voting rights.
- Measures promoting strong government ethics
- ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTHCARE – We support:
- Medicaid Expansion
- Reproductive Rights
- ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MEASURES – We support:
- Preserving natural areas, air and water quality
- Environmental justice
- Preventing coal ash and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) pollution
- Mitigating climate change, especially through clean energy and ceasing environmental policy rollbacks
- CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS – We support:
- Ending Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids
- Abolishing the death penalty
FCNCL is grateful to Jane Ashley of Flower of Life Press for our logo design