Citizens of Action work with local Law Enforcement to Improve Criminal Justice System

Vigo County law enforcement, court officials, and citizens of action members are working toward criminal justice system reform.

Posted: Jan 27, 2020 6:35 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2020 11:31 AM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Vigo County law enforcement, court officials, and citizens of Action members are working toward criminal justice system reform. They held a working session, their second, on Monday morning. This included Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse and Prosecutor Terry Modesitt.

The first time this group of individuals met was November of 2019. They wanted to continue their conversations about improving Vigo County's criminal justice system. 

Citizens of Action member Dwayne Malone described the meetings as a time to discuss things that aren't always easy to talk about. It's a time to express and understand issues in Vigo County and then work together to find solutions.

Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt told me it's important that the citizens of our community and the different law enforcement agencies work to better understand each other. 

Both Malone and Modesitt agree that this was, again, a positive and productive meeting. "It's nice coming together to understand each other and to have a personal relationship to be able to discuss things civilly," Modesitt said.

"It's great having a heartfelt dialogue on criminal justice reform on ways just to make our community a better community," Malone agreed.

Policing, incarceration, and prosecution were topics during today's meeting. Better communication--that's the goal of Vigo County's citizens of action meeting with local law enforcement. "Hearing from the public and their ideas and input from them on what they see is key," Modesitt said, "Then we can also explain our processes and how we look at things."

Malone brought up many topics on Monday, specifically, he made points about incarceration. He feels the system could be better. He stressed what he racial disparity as far as incarceration goes. Something he'd like to see addressed by everyone.

"We just need dialogue to find solutions and this has been a great opportunity," Malone said, "we are working with the prosecutor and the sheriff because really it's kind of unknown--why do we have these situations and these numbers like this? But in communicating, we are able to find them and talk about them and come out with solutions that are positive for our community."

The next meeting will be open to the public and will happen at the beginning of April.

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