WHEREAS, the NAACP reiterates its commitment for NAACP units to establish subcommittees to solve problems in the community; and
WHEREAS, in 2008 there were an estimated 2.4 million people in United States jails or prisons; and
WHEREAS, African-Americans constitute about 12% of the non-incarcerated residential population, but in 2007 black males comprised 30% and black females 27.8% of the incarcerated population; and
WHEREAS, 1 in 3 African-American males born in 2001 run the risk of serving time in prison or being dead before their 34th birthday; and
WHEREAS, the United States spends $70 billion/year incarcerating people, 6 times more than on higher education; and
WHEREAS, Criminal Justice Committees at the unit level will strengthen families and communities through advocating for a decrease in violence, advancing voter and employment rights of the formerly incarcerated and to downscale prisons while shifting dollars/resources from prisons to schools; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of the Criminal Justice Committee is to advance the Smart and Safe Campaign at the state and local levels by promoting alliances, research, legislation and initiatives that will reform criminal justice policies and advocate for public safety as a civil right.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Board of the NAACP calls on each State Conference and unit to establish Criminal Justice Committees, and to develop Criminal Justice Action Plans that will advance Criminal Justice Strategies at the state and local levels.