Criminal justice won this year's mid-term

Dear Friends and Supporters, 
Leading up to Election Day, LEAP speakers played a major role in criminal justice and drug policy reform efforts across the country, and yesterday, our hard work paid off! 
Five key state campaigns successfully spoke out for more rational and effective policies with LEAP’s help:

• Florida: Amendment 4 passed, meaning more than one million people who have served their time for felony convictions will have their right to vote restored.

• Louisiana: Amendment 2 passed, ending non-unanimous juries in felony trials, a practice established under Jim Crow to maintain white supremacy in the state.

• Michigan: Prop 1 passed, legalizing and regulating adult use of marijuana. 

• Oregon: Measure 105 was successfully defeated, blocking a repeal of laws protecting local police from being compelled to enforce federal immigration policies.

• Washington: Initiative 940 passed, requiring law enforcement to receive de-escalation, mental-health, and first-aid training; and to chang…

As a Police Officer, I Know Issue 1 Will Prevent Crime

The opioid crisis is ripping communities apart all across this country, including here in Ohio. Every year, thousands of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones lose their lives to overdose because of inadequate treatment and because of policies designed to punish instead of to break the cycle of addiction. Locking up people addicted to drugs doesn’t address their addiction or their underlying mental and physical health problems, homelessness, or unemployment.

But the Safe & Healthy Ohio Amendment, Issue One on November’s ballot, will begin a new approach—reducing unnecessary incarceration for addiction or minor parole or probation violations, and investing over $70 million in savings into rehabilitation and treatment programs. Having served many years as a police lieutenant and deputy sheriff in southern and central Ohio, I know this approach will improve public safety for all of us.

Shifting the focus from incarceration to treatment keeps communities safer because it will allow pol…

Why a Retired Police Chief Supports Amendment 4

I served as an officer in the Tampa Police Department for 30 years, so I believe in the rule of law. I believe there are consequences for our actions. People understand that incarceration plays a role in carrying out those consequences, but we rarely think about what happens after inmates have done their time. Should the consequences of their crime follow them even after they’ve paid their debt, when there’s no negative impact on public safety or crime victims? My experience tells me no, which is why I’m voting yes on Amendment 4, which would restore voting eligibility to people who have completed their sentence, including probation and parole. The amendment doesn’t apply to those convicted of murder or sex crimes.

Florida is one of four states that permanently bars the formerly incarcerated from voting for life. This has resulted in 1.4 million - or roughly 10% - of Floridians not being able to vote. An estimated 27% of all disenfranchised formerly incarcerated people nationwide resid…

LEAP Endorses Washington's Initiative 940

For Immediate Release: 11.2.2018
Contact: Mikayla Hellwich

POLICE GROUP ENDORSES I-940 Law Enforcement Says De-Escalation Training, Accountability Critical to Public Safety
Today, the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) would like to announce our endorsement of Washington’s Initiative 940, which would mandate de-escalation and mental health training for police and create a fair, independent process to investigate deadly use-of-force incidents. The proposed law is intended to reduce violent and deadly interactions between civilians and police, protect those with mental illnesses, and improve the accountability process in law enforcement.

“In many situations, de-escalation protects officers and the communities they serve better than a gun ever could. I-940 provides such training. It builds trust. It saves lives.” - Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper (Ret.), advisory board member of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership.

"More training for …

LEAP Endorses North Dakota Measure 3

For Immediate Release: 10.31.18
Contact: Mikayla Hellwich

LAW ENFORCEMENT GROUP ENDORSES MEASURE THREE Police, Criminal Justice Pros Say Measure Will Improve Public Safety, Save Police Resources 
Today, the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), would like to announce our endorsement of North Dakota Measure 3, a law that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older.

“As someone who arrested and put away marijuana users, I’ve seen how the drug’s prohibition tears apart families and communities. I’m especially supportive of the expungement portion of the measure – fixing a broken law and letting those who were erroneously punished for it in the past is a great way for the justice system to build better relations with communities. People need to trust the police to feel comfortable reporting crimes, and marijuana prohibition has long been a major barrier. It is my sincere opinion as a former police administrator that legalizing marijuana can …

LEAP Endorses Florida's Amendment 4

For Immediate Release: 10.30.18 Contact: Mikayla Hellwich

LAW ENFORCEMENT GROUP ENDORSES AMENDMENT FOUR Police, Corrections Officials Say Measure Will Help Convicted Felons Rejoin Society
Today, the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) would like to announce our endorsement of Florida’s Amendment 4, a law that would restore voting rights to most convicted felons who have completed their sentences. The law is designed to improve the reintegration process for formerly incarcerated people.

"When you run a jail system for 27 years like I did, you understand the mission is to keep people from returning once they leave. There are a lot of ways to prevent recidivism, but research tells us one of the simplest and most cost-effective methods is to restore voting rights for those who have served their time because it removes the final barrier preventing them from fully reintegrating into their communities." – Col. David Parrish (Ret.), retire…

LEAP Endorses Ohio's Issue 1

For Immediate Release: 10.30.18
Contact: Mikayla Hellwich

Police, Prosecutors Say Law Could Reduce Overdoses, Crime, Prison Costs

Today, the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) would like to announce our endorsement of Ohio's Issue 1, a ballot measure that would reclassify many drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and divert cost savings into drug treatment, rehabilitation, probation services, and victim support programs. The law is designed to reduce the number of people in state jails and prisons for low-level drug offenses and non-criminal probation violations.

"The justice system can't function as intended and keep people safe when such a high volume of drug cases overwhelms the dockets. I think anyone working in courtrooms or corrections facilities would agree that we need to focus our energy on the most serious crimes. People who use drugs – and many who sell them – need treatment, so…