August 200 9 CCJAI Up date: What We’ve Lea rned So Fa r Only Rai ses More Q uestions
- August 2009 CCJAI Update: What We’ve Learned So Far Only Raises More Questions
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Community Criminal Justice Accountability Initiative (CCJAI) is a partnership between public officials and private citizens to promote greater community involvement in criminal cases. This is the third in a series of monthly communications about the CCJAI one-year pilot program that started April 1, 2009 to track criminal cases in Columbia Heights. CCJAI enables community members to gain a better understanding of the criminal justice system and to become more meaningful partners in addressing public safety issues. CCJAI Partners include, among others:
Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)
Pretrial Services Agency (PSA)
Office of Attorney General (OAG)
United States Attorney's Office (USAO)
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA)
Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC)
DC Council – Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham
Progress this month:
· Tracked 144 papered cases for 2009 (up from 109 last month)
· Identified 16 cases that are Pending Sentencing
· Identified 14 cases where there are outstanding Bench Warrants
Case Tracking Statistics
Of the 144 papered cases for 2009 that CCJAI Volunteers have tracked:
· 98 are OPEN
· 46 are CLOSED
Of the 98 OPEN cases that are currently being tracked:
· 53 are drug distribution
· 15 are assaults
· 8 are prostitution/brothel-related
· 7 are robberies
· 6 are murder/manslaughter
(the remaining 9 are other crimes, including contempt and gun offenses)
For the 46 CLOSED cases that were tracked:
· About 19 were dismissed and about 16 went to sentencing
· CCJAI submitted 9 Community Impact Statements
Repeat Offenses – Very Troubling
Through tracking cases, The CCJAI volunteers found repeat offenders with long criminal histories. This information raises many fair questions:
· In cases of repeat offenders with violent histories, why are they not held?
· When repeat offenses occur, what additional measures are taken to ensure public safety?
· If additional measures were taken, how do the defendants commit another serious crime, such as Murder 1?
· Is there any type of case review for such cases?
Further study and analysis will surely promote public dialog on these topics and others, as a natural outcome of the CCJAI pilot. A CCJAI report will be compiled at the end of the pilot period. The report will include findings, along with recommendations for the coming year. Community residents will be strongly encouraged to become more aware and proactive in advancing the cause of public safety in their own neighborhoods through greater awareness of pending cases, and more familiarity with DC’s criminal justice system.
CCJAI Panel Discussion Meeting – Early 2010
Our next public CCJAI panel discussion meeting is planned for early next year. This will be a great opportunity for all of our CCJAI Partner Agencies and concerned community members to once again meet face-to-face. More information will be available in the coming months. Please look for our monthly announcements. If you'd like to get involved or provide community impact statement input, please e-mail nwchca@....
Volunteer Coordinator, Community Criminal Justice Accountability Initiative (CCJAI) and
President, Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association (NWCHCA)
"Apathy is the Partner of Crime"
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