lfbanner3a summer
The Faith in Indiana St. Joseph County meeting last Sunday, March 24, was a huge success. There was not an empty seat at the Sinai Synagogue and a lot of people standing. Even more impressive was the commitments that were received from the Sheriff, County Commission President, the Common Council President, and from mayoral candidates and Common Council candidates, State Representatives, and the mayor’s Chief of Staff. Most impressive was the agenda.

Last Sunday’s meeting emphasized the Families First agenda, particularly treatment not incarceration. Several speakers pointed out that our prisons have become a replacement for our mental health and addiction facilities. There was a commitment to provide funding for police to deal with the mentally challenged, recognizing that 40% of those incarcerated have been diagnosed with mental illness, and 85% dealing with substance abuse.

The complete agenda of the Families First city and county agenda includes implementing no bail for low-risk offenders, supporting group violence intervention outreach to counter the school to prison pipeline, no to illegal ICE detainers, and adequate funding to fight lead poisoning.