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Justice for our Children - GCC November 9th Press Conference

Written by Greater Cleveland Congregations

Last Thursday, GCC held a press conference at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. Our leaders called on the Cuyahoga County Council to do better for our kids by making sure the $650,000 budget allocation that GCC and County Executive Chris Ronayne requested for the Juvenile Public Defender's Office is allocated correctly and remains in the budget.

The Public Defender's Office has a stellar track record in representing our children who face discretionary and mandatory bindovers. The Public Defender's Office deserves more resources to continue doing better by our kids!Mandatory bindover is bad enough, but Discretionary Youth Bindover is both cruel and unusually common in Cuyahoga County. We’re going to keep quoting these shocking statistics until we don’t have to anymore:

  • Less than 30% of Cuyahoga County residents are people of color, yet 91% of youth bound over to the adult system are Black or Brown
  • Kids in adult prison are 36 times more likely to die by suicide
  • They’re at greater risk for sexual abuse, including rape

Public safety is important, but when it comes to our kids, research shows getting “tough on crime” doesn’t make our community any safer. It only leads to more poverty, trauma, desperation, crime, broken homes and broken lives. 

Let the Cuyahoga County Council know where you stand. 

We must do better by our kids, and the Juvenile Public Defender’s Office needs and deserves these resources.