Criminal Justice Press Release

06.28.17

ACLU Urges Cities to Reconsider Partnership with DOJ

Police Car

TOLEDO, OH—The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the creation of the National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) – a program aimed to aid 12 cities in fighting crime, drug trafficking, and gang violence. Toledo and Cincinnati are two of the 12 cities that have been selected to “receive significant assistance.”

“Under this administration, the DOJ has initiated a number of alarming changes that are damaging and counter-productive for the public’s well-being,” said Mike Brickner, senior policy director with the ACLU of Ohio. “Harsh penalties for drug possession, investment in private prisons, and local enforcement of immigration policies are all tactics which do more harm than good,” added Brickner.

The PSP was established in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on a Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, which emphasizes the role of the DOJ in combating violent crime.

“Violence in our communities is an issue that deserves thoughtful and compassionate solutions. However, reliance on failed mass incarceration strategies to combat violent crime has not helped our communities in the past and it will not work this time either. We need to adopt strategies that hold perpetrators of violence accountable without further damaging families and neighborhoods through mass incarceration,” added Brickner.

“The DOJ’s policies are just a rehashing of failed tactics like the ‘War on Crime,’ the ‘War on Drugs’ and ‘Broken Windows’ policing,” said Brickner. “We need a DOJ which implements initiatives that do not use dragnet style policing, aggressive enforcement of drug laws, and targeting of vulnerable communities.”

The ACLU of Ohio has sent letters to Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson of Toledo and Mayor John Cranley of Cincinnati, urging them to reconsider their partnerships with the DOJ.

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Read the letters to Toledo and Cincinnati.