Sunday, December 21, 2014

IVI-IPO questionnaire: criminal justice

Criminal Justice

87. Is 911 response time adequate?
Possible answer:

There are multiple issues that go into this question.

Should 911 response times be relatively equal around the City of Chicago? Yes.

Amendment XIV of US Constitution says: "No State shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The City of Chicago has an affirmative obligation to provide the same quality of police services in Calumet, Grand Crossing and South Chicago as it does Downtown and in Rogers Park & Albany Park.

But, I'm skeptical that 911 response times should be one of the top metrics for measuring performance of Chicago Police Department.

88. Are there inequities in 911 service in your ward?
Possible answer:

I would rather reduce crime rates and police misconduct than bring down average 911 response times.

Carl Bialik's piece in Wall Street Journal has a number of law enforcement researchers who disagree with using 911 response time as a measure of police effectiveness.

Chicago uses saturation patrols, which have reduced crime some. Other police departments have used "Broken Windows" theory policing (which can be abused in ways that infringe on civil liberties).

While it's not a popular thing to say, there are better metrics for measuring police performance than 911 response times.

I would like Chicago to develop measurements of police performance that are independent of the police department, based on surveying people who live in the police districts and people who interact with the Chicago Police Department.

89. Do you support re-allocating police services from low-crime to high-crime neighborhoods?
Possible answer:

Yes. Chicago is using saturation policing. Until someone comes up with a strategy that works better, that's what Chicago uses.

Saturation policing requires more police to areas where there has historically been more criminal activity.

In the best of all worlds, this would be partnered with various other things to uplift the community. Crime is a social problem driven by other social problems, not by imperfect policing strategies.

90. What changes, if any, would you suggest for the CAPS program?
Possible answer:

I believe that communities taking ownership of themselves is an important part of creative a reinforcing spiral that causes things to get better. "Everybody does better when everybody does better." But things aren't going to get better without resources. Communities need jobs and investment that meets the needs and expectations of the people who live in them.

Improving CAPS can be part of making communities better. I would like Chicago to innovate, but I want the innovation driven by the members of the community not Chicago Police Department HQ or outside consultants trying to climb some political or corporate ladder.

91. Will you vote for more funding for alternative crime prevention programs such as Cease Fire?
Possible answer:

I'm willing to shift Chicago Police Department resources to programs that work. I think there should be more social workers helping people with their lives to avoid crime and less focus on cops enforcing order.

I'm not sold on Cease Fire specifically. Tracy Siska of Chicago Justice Project wrote, "If you have been keeping up with my series you know that little in the way of true evidence has been brought forward to validate the assumptions made by CeaseFire administrators and other program..."

92. What measures will you support to stop the schools to prison pipeline?
Possible answer:

This question could justify a whole section of books at the library.

1. Jobs.
2. Better mental health services.
3. Shift drugs from a criminal issue to a health issue.
4. Reduce firearms in circulation.
5. Decrease racism.
6. Restorative justice.
7. Block prison privatization.
8. Professionalize policing.
9. Provide resources to allow people to develop their own communities.

93. Do you support gun control?
Possible answer:

If you read both halves of the Second Amendment, there are some important ideas in the first half. It is the only amendment to the US Constitution which explains it's purpose. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to foster a society that is free and secure. It also says that firearm ownership and possession is supposed to be regulated.

The Scalia block of the US Supreme Court has created rulings that are good for firearms industry profits (sales), but not for providing a society that is free and secure. We all have to live with a certain amount of trepidation that someone with poor judgment will shoot us or people that we love and depend on.

Reducing the firearms in circulation reduces firearms crimes and firearms homicides.

One thing I would like Chicago to do is to list the chain of ownership of every firearm used in a crime in Chicago. Put it on a website and let people see where the guns for crimes come from.

I would also like Chicago to start an institution for studying gun violence as a public health issue. The NRA has got its toadies in Congress to prevent the CDC from studying gun violence as a public health issue. Chicago should take the lead by using tax money, donations and grant funding to create the world's premier institution to study gun violence.

94. What measures, if any, should the City Council adopt in response to recent court decisions striking down Chicago's handgun ban?
Possible answer:

Chicago should set high expectations for people who do carry firearms and other weapons.

I would like Illinois General Assembly to revoke the right to own firearms for people who use poor judgment with their firearms. Eg people who allow minors unsupervised access to firearms, people who accidentally discharge firearms in public, people who bring firearms into restricted areas, people who fail to properly secure (lock-up) their firearms, people who fail to report firearms stolen in a timely manner, etc.

95. Will you vote to order the City to stop paying legal fees and attempt to recover past legal costs of city employees implicated in the Police Board findings of misconduct related to the Burge case?
Possible answer:

The way the City of Chicago handled the Burge torture allegations was a horrible miscarriage of justice.

I believe the victims and the public deserve the truth. I would like Mayor Daley, the ASAs and the police officers to be required to tell the truth for the record of historical accuracy. But I doubt the torturers and their enablers will tell the truth even if granted immunity.

Chicago should settle with the victims. This should be the first priority. Let's remember there are real people who were gravely harmed.

If there is a legal theory that allows City of Chicago to recover money from the perpetrators and their enablers, I would support it. But if it's not a rock solid case, I suspect the courts will frustrate the effort. I don't have much confidence in the courts not being corrupt on the matter of police torture.

96. Please share your views regarding the functioning of the Independent Police Review Authority and whether it should operate more independently of the Police Department.
Possible answer:

Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority exists to create the appearance of a system of accountability. It's not independent.

I have heard a little about an idea to create the equivalent of Local School Councils for the individual police districts. I think there's more promise in creating systems of local accountability than in trying to create a citywide system or relying on Cook County States Attorney or US Department of Justice.

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