Criminal Justice Successes in a Whirlwind Year
Restoration of Voting Rights: Legislative progress on criminal justice often requires persistence and patience. Full restoration of voting rights upon release from prison was finally approved in 2021, ten years after partial rights were restored. Finally, a clearly stated act HB 1078 will restore this most sacred citizen right of democracy to all persons not under incarceration. Quaker Voice has been a constant player in this effort, beginning several years before the original bill in 2009 through final passage in 2021 of complete and immediate restoration after release.
Police Accountability: When national events and frustration boil over into protests and a climate of change, progress can come fast. Many bills addressing police accountability and racial equity, which were priorities for Quaker Voice, were introduced and successfully passed in 2021. These included HB 1054, providing prohibitions on the use of force such as neck restraints and the use of certain military equipment, restrictions on the use of tear gas; SB 5051, with provisions for the decertification of police officers guilty of wrongdoing, and HB 1267, independent investigation of police actions involving deadly force.