For Immediate Release:
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Contact: Nazneen Ahmed
(RALEIGH) The North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice delivered its 2022 report to Gov. Roy Cooper. The report is available here. An overview of progress made in implementing the task force’s 2020 recommendations is available here. The task force is co-chaired by Attorney General Josh Stein and Supreme Court Associate Justice Anita Earls.
“The work to make our criminal justice system fair to everyone is ongoing,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “But the progress we have made is significant, and I am so grateful to the members of the task force and our partners for their commitment to this work. It’s been an honor to co-chair this task force alongside Justice Earls. I’m pleased to be able to continue to serve on the task force and excited to see the insights and leadership Secretary Buffaloe will bring as our new co-chair.”
“As reflected in this report, the distinguishing hallmarks of our task force have been our careful examination of racial disparities and our commitment to implementing evidence-based systemic changes,” said Justice Earls. “Our efforts have involved working with leaders from all impacted communities and incorporating public input. We are excited to continue this work in the new year to make our communities safer and enhance public trust in the justice system.”
In its third year, the task force has focused on working with local governments and community organizations to implement programs that promote public safety while minimizing racially inequitable practices and reducing the burden on law enforcement. In the past few years, Pitt County, Greensboro, and Charlotte have all begun co-responder programs to support people in crisis. In New Hanover County, local leaders created Port City United to put in place solutions that interrupt the cycles of violence.
The task force has also continued to facilitate collaboration among local and state leaders and experts and developed sample policies and information guides for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to consider in their day-to-day criminal justice duties. The task force created advisory groups of prosecutors, law enforcement, and victims and survivors to inform these efforts.
While the task force was initially slated to conclude in December 2022, Gov. Cooper extended the task force’s operation and announced that North Carolina Department of Public Safety Secretary Eddie Buffaloe will serve as co-chair of the task force alongside Justice Earls beginning in January 2023. Attorney General Stein will continue to serve as a member of the task force.
The Task Force is comprised of a diverse group of North Carolinians, including advocates for criminal justice reform, law enforcement officers, victims’ and disability rights, police chiefs, people with first-hand experience in the justice system, sheriffs, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, and elected officials. A full list of members is available here.
More information on the Task Force’s work is available at https://ncdoj.gov/trec/.