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The BOLD Justice (Broward Organized Leaders Doing Justice) recently held its Justice Ministry Celebration at Little Flower Catholic Church. Community activists and faith group leaders representing a wide variety of religious organizations joined together to celebrate their accomplishments and discuss their goals for the upcoming year. Throughout the night people shouted out, “We are Bold.”
One goal BOLD Justice is working on is to give juvenile offenders who have committed minor offenses civil citations rather than permanent records. The young person is given the opportunity to complete education courses and community service.
“I know of a young man who was arrested for skipping school. He has a record and is having difficulty because of it,” said Marie Turner, a speaker at the celebration.
Rev. Michael Anderson of New Jerusalem Baptist Church and a leader of BOLD Justice said that good progress is being made but that more effort needs to be made to help young people. “Many young people get a criminal record and they have a hard time getting into college, joining the military or finding a job,” Anderson said.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has supported Civil Citations along with the Hollywood Police Department. There is pending legislation that would mandate civil citations for first-time, non-violent offenses by juveniles.
BOLD Justice is also working to help seniors by providing Green Houses for senior citizens. Many older people face difficulties in nursing homes. A Green House is a self-contained nursing home for ten to twelve people similar to a regular home in the surrounding community. It is a state licensed assisted living or skilled nursing home. Each person who lives in a Green House is treated as an individual with the ability to make decisions about their care and life.
Another project is to ensure that all BSO officers receive training to deal with people suffering mental illnesses. They would receive Crisis Intervention Team training. It is a 40 hour training that officers go through that provides them with the skills they need when dealing with an individual suffering from a mental illness.
Rev. Anderson said he is pleased with the progress that BOLD Justice is making. Anderson and other faith group leaders discussed the efforts being made to help people in the community.