Memphis Council Candidate Questionnaire: Deanielle Jones’ Answers

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Deanielle Jones1. If elected or re-elected to the city council, will you propose programs and/or initiatives to limit the number of arrests for minor offenses in the city?

Jones:

Yes

The vast majority of criminal cases are misdemeanors, minor offenses and they normally do not require time to be served behind bars.

I will propose a program to:
-No detainment while waiting the final disposition of the case
-Effectively re-routing a number of low-level violations from criminal to civil court
-Reduce court fees if the misdemeanant can provide documentation of a financial hardship
-Pre-Court Diversion: Where police and prosecutors, with the help of other nonprofits, can offer individuals arrested for selected misdemeanors, including shoplifting and trespassing, a chance to avoid going to court altogether. Participants who successfully complete a restorative-justice class with a local social service organization leave the process without a criminal record.

2. If elected or re-elected to the city council, will you support a pre-booking diversion program for drug-related offenses and for those suffering from mental health issues?

Jones:

Yes

I will support Pre-booking diversion programs consist of both a law enforcement and social services component for low level drug related offenses. The Pre-booking programs must involve specialized training for police officers, and a crisis drop-off center with a no-refusal policy for persons brought in by the police with suspicions and/or suffering from mental health issues.

3. If elected or re-elected to the city council, will you support a policy to require transparency and democratic accountability before city agencies acquire new surveillance tools?

Jones:

Yes

4. If elected or re-elected to the city council will you work to make stop and arrest data, including race and ethnicity data, available to the public quarterly?

Jones:

Yes

5. If elected or re-elected to the city council what will you do to ensure a timely, transparent and independent investigation whenever an officer uses deadly force?

Jones:

I would advocate for investigations of deadly force to be reviewed and investigated by CLERB, an independent body that’s not associated with the MPD and the District Attorney’s office. CLERB would be better able to proceed and reach judgements that are impartial, fair, and equitable for all involved parties.

6. Name 3 steps you would take as a council member to make the Community Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) more effective.

Jones:

Step 1: Power to issue subpoenas
Step 2: Binding decision making power
Step 3: Providing more resources/funding to allow 2-3 cases to be reviewed per month

7. Would you support policies, programs or initiatives to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline?

Jones:

Yes

I would support the creation of a specialized diverse task force of public officials, school educators/administrators, law enforcement, clergy, parents, local restorative justice non-profit organizations and the community.

The task force role/responsibilities:
To educate the public on the evolution of the School to Prison Pipeline
Review the statewide school discipline trends and discuss best practices
Consider the impact of disciplinary actions and move to create a continuum of positive supports for all students
Problem solve to create an action plan to support all students

8. What does criminal justice reform mean to you?

Jones:

Criminal justice reform is an effort to change existing errors and disparities in the current criminal justice system, so they operate fairly and equitably.

2019-09-12T16:36:57+00:00 September 12th, 2019|Categories: General News|