For Immediate Release: May 5, 2016
Contact: Dionne Calhoun, 202-297-0152, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, DC) – Today, the Committee on the Judiciary chaired by Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5), unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 2017) budget. The Committee’s budget was developed after months of public and stakeholder engagement and research. At its core, the budget reflects a community- and victim-centered public health approach to the provision of public safety and social services. It supports evidence-based programs for District residents, and, importantly, it maintains or enhances current funding for our core public safety agencies and programs.
The Committee’s recommended budget includes the following:
Improves Public Safety and Justice Adds 60 new sworn officers and 16 new civilianized positions to the Metropolitan Police Department, utilizing savings from vacant civilian positions to:
- For the second year in a row, restore more than $400,000 in deep cuts to grants to local victim services and justice social and legal services providers;
- Restore a cut of $500,000 in funding for the Crisis Continuum, an innovative program at MedStar Washington Health Center that provides medical and social services to victims of violent crimes that enter the emergency department;
- For the second year in a row, restore a cut of $300,000 to Safe Shores, the District’s advocacy center for abused and neglected children; and
- Enhance juvenile justice youth diversion programming by increasing the leveled funding of the successful Alternatives to the Court Experience Diversion Program by $150,000, as supported by the Office of the Attorney General and the Public Defender Service;
Funds several provisions of the “Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results Amendment Act of 2016”, including:
- Felony crime data collection in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice;
- Stop and frisk and use of force data collection at the Metropolitan Police Department;
- Revives the defunct Comprehensive Homicide Elimination Strategy Task Force at the Metropolitan Police Department;
- An analysis of officers’ use of force and body-worn camera operations by the Office of Police Complaints;
- A public health information campaign on the impacts of violent crime at the Department of Health’s new Office of Violence Prevention and Health Equity
- Supports the Department of Corrections’ efforts to assume control of the Central Treatment Facility and provide transitional services to returning citizens;
- Requires enhanced oversight of special police officers and increased officer training on de-escalation procedures, recognizing and preventing biased-based policing, police interactions with individuals with disabilities and behavioral or mental health issues, community policing, and linguistic and cultural competency;
- Funds a new Victim Witness Specialist at the Office of the Attorney General to support restorative justice programming at Ballou High School;
- Requires the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services to study and report on the establishment of a single network of service providers for District youth;
- Creates a new Criminal Code Reform Commission to finalize recommendations for the District of Columbia’s Criminal Code;
- Creates a new Maternal Mortality Review Commission to review maternal deaths and make recommendations for improving women’s health; and
- Funds necessary repairs at the District of Columbia National Guard’s Oak Hill facility for youth that were removed in the proposed budget.
Reforms Fire and Emergency Medical Services Enacts significant fire and emergency medical services reforms by:
- Working with the Committee on Transportation and Environment and the Committee of the Whole to fund cancer treatment costs for FEMS personnel;
- Creating a pilot program for training ambulance maintenance technicians at the University of the District of Columbia – Community College;
- Requiring AEDs at all District schools and AED and CPR training for government employees, residents, and DCPS and DCPCS students, teachers and athletic directors;
- Creating a CPR and AED-locating mobile application to allow trained District residents to provide CPR for those in need;
- Requiring stringent reporting on the privatization of ambulance transports by the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department for basic life support;
- Creating a new task force to analyze gaps in EMS delivery, 911-call volume and diversion, and community-based paramedicine strategies;
- Requiring regular certification of all fire and EMS apparatus according to national standards; and
- Requiring training for all 911 and 311 calltakers and dispatchers
Safeguards Human Rights Supports the Office of Human Rights by increasing staffing to handle the case backlog for the Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014, or “Ban the Box”.
Investment in New DC Correctional Facility CM McDuffie has allocated $5 million in 2022 to fund the design phase of a new correctional facility. This facility will be designed to not only replace the Central Detention Facility (CDF) and the Central Treatment Facility (CTF), but it is proposed to have the capacity to house all individuals convicted under the D.C. Code who currently get transferred to Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities across the country. CDF and CTF are outdated and underutilized due to the steadily decreasing inmate population. In addition, there is a severe lack of proper programmatic space. Moreover, individuals transferred to BOP may be in facilities as distant as California, creating detachment from the community, resources, and network to which they will eventually return. This new facility will promote successful reentry for all incarcerated DC residents and as a result our returning citizens will be in the best position possible to maintain productive citizenship and avoid recidivating.