Saturday, August 19, 2017

Action Alert: Email Today & Council Meeting Tuesday: Tell City Council To Save The Juvenile Assessment Center

The Corpus Christi Crime Control and Prevention District has voted to adopt a budget that completely eliminates funding for the Juvenile Assessment Center.

Please contact the Mayor and your Council Members and tell them to vote no on the Corpus Christi Crime Control and Prevention District's budget until it restores funding for the Juvenile Assessment Center. The Board should either use its reserve fund for the JAC or make across the board cuts that do not eliminate the program.

Please attend Tuesday's Council meeting if you can and speak during public comment telling Council to vote no on the Crime Control and Prevention District budget unless it restores funding for the JAC.  It is item 14 on the regular agenda, which could occur at any time,  Generally public comment can also be made during the public comment period at noon but not then and when the the item comes up.

The sales tax the District levies has not produced enough funding to continue funding all of the District's projects at current levels, so the District decided to cut all projects except for the 60+ police officer positions it funds instead of making cuts across the Board, to police positions and youth prevention funding, and instead of dipping into its reserve funds as all other city programs must do when things are tight.

The Crime Control and Prevention District was primarily created to fund the Juvenile Assessment Center, which a wide coalition of social service agencies across Corpus Christi supported.  The program was wildly successful, decreasing juvenile delinquency rates in the city, assessing youth in trouble and connecting them to all of the services they needed, providing case management to make sure that services became a national model of prevention that was used in creating countless programs in other communities.

Its effectiveness has been hampered over recent years by continued cuts to its funding so that the courts and police could have more funding. Now the District plans to eliminate it altogether so they can protect all of the police positions for a few more years.

I think the citizens would rather have 50 police positions funded (as was the original plan - the JAC plus 50 officers)  and keep youth prevention services.  There will never be enough police officers to bring down the crime rate if the city does not prioritize its youth.  We know that prevention works.


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