The way we treat those who are accused of a crime must change. This includes all adults and our children. The federal government has stepped in and said that Shelby County gets criminal justice wrong. I intend to make things right.
What You Get From JB Smiley, Jr:
Our money bail system ignores that every person arrested is “innocent until proven guilty.” It also disenfranchises people of color and those from low-income areas. Still, in Shelby County, we lock up thousands of individuals every year and hold them until they can pay multi-thousand dollar bails – only to later drop charges or label them “not guilty.” These individuals often lose jobs, fall behind on bills, and even lose their children while trapped behind bars and unable to pay high-dollar bails. As County Commissioner, I will fight to use more appropriate tactics for having the accused show up for their day in court.
Additionally, I will stand with the various organizations to request our future mayor’s office and sheriff’s department welcome the accountability and support offered by our Federal Government for our Juvenile Justice System. A lot of resources are spent to identify the problems in Shelby County but not enough resources are given to create the needed solutions. While we’ve addressed a couple of the glaring concerns brought forth during the Federal Government’s audit, we still have work to do to ensure that children in our juvenile justice system are treated humanely, given proper counsel before their cases are considered, and receive fair and appropriate punishments.