Citizens Advisory Committees
On Citizens Advisory Committees:
The work of the local public defender Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) under my leadership has included, for example, holding community forums to focus public attention on race and criminal justice issues and to advocate for increasing the number of ex-felons eligible for restoration of their voting rights. The CAC spearheaded a community effort to establish the Crisis Intervention Team program in the police departments of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia. CIT provides special training for police officers to help them manage crisis situations that threaten officer safety. CIT also provides an alternative to jail for people who need mental health treatment. Programs and services such as these are critical to building community trust and involvement in the justice system, and establishing more community engagement will be a priority of mine if elected.