NAACP Task Force Calls for Increased Budget for CCRB
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NAACP Task Force Calls for Increased Budget for CCRB


March 31, 2000

The Honorable Harold Brazil, Chair
Committee on the Judiciary
Council of the District of Columbia
Washington, DC 20001

By Facsimile

Re: Funding of the CCRB

Dear Chairman Brazil:

The undersigned organizations urge you and the members of the Council to support adequate and flexible funding of the CCRB, especially as it begins its work. The Chair of the Board, Mai Fernandez, has testified that an additional $350,000 be allocated to the CCRB's start-up budget. We strongly support her request.

All of us want the CCRB to succeed. This is not the time to be parsimonious and short-change the new system. We are confident that the members of the CCRB will exercise their oversight responsibilities with great diligence and ensure that public funds are used appropriately and not wasted. If there are economies to be realized, they will be apparent to the Board as it acquires experience. Most importantly, the Board will have a better sense of the number of cases after it gets underway. It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared at the outset. The CCRB process will be discredited almost overnight if it is not able to resolve complaints expeditiously. Our common objective is to make citizen review an alternative to the far more costly option of litigation, but this will not happen if the CCRB is under-funded.

All of us are grateful to Mai Fernandez and the other members of the CCRB who have volunteered their time and talents. The Council should acknowledge what they are doing by being fully responsive to Ms. Fernandez's funding request.

The CCRB is the District of Columbia's second attempt to get the process of citizen review right. While minor adjustments may have to be made to the current statute, we believe that the enacted structure and review process are sound. All of us should do what is necessary to ensure the CCRB is successful. We do not expect another chance. Please support the CCRB's request for additional funding.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Mark Thompson, Chair
Criminal Justice Task Force, NAACP/DC and
on behalf of the following organizations

Roberto Javier Frisancho, President
Latino Civil Rights Center
William Harrell
National Lawyers Guild

Ron Hampton, Executive Director
National Black Police Association

Quentin Driskell
Nat'l. Conference of Black Lawyers
Eric Lotke, Executive Director
D.C. Prisoners' Legal Services Project
Craig Howell, Secretary
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance

Mary Jane DeFrank, Executive Director
ACLU of the National Capital Area

cc: Members of the Council


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