Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 06:00 pm

The purpose of this discussion is to promote better understanding of the diverse impacts of Alachua County’s criminal justice system through an open dialogue among community groups.  Better awareness can reduce the unintended consequences of interactions between people and the legal system. We will begin the conversation with a forum that will be followed by round table discussions. The panel discussion will be on Wed., Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Pugh Hall Ocora. The event is free and open to the public.

Forum panelists will include: 

Eighth Circuit Public Defender: Stacy Scott, 

Gainesville Police Chief: Tony Jones

Board of Directors of Peace4Gainesville, COO, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.: Steve Pittman

The moderator will be Bennett Brummer, former Miami-Dade Public Defender, and Chair, LWVAC Social/Criminal Justice Committee.  

The panel will address the inevitable tensions between what the legal system is and could be in any community.  Topics include:

  • ​the school-to-prison pipeline;
  • the impact of citation vs. arrest,
  • bail and pretrial release,
  • juvenile sentencing,
  • incarceration for petty offenses,
  • sealing records,
  • and “reentry” challenges for released convicts (including collateral consequences of conviction and restoration of rights).

A Q&A will follow the presentations.

This event is sponsored by the Alachua County League of Women Voters, the UF Levin College of Law and the Bob Graham Center.