Category Archives: Other News

Tom Wine appointed to serve on Fight Crime: Invest in Kids National Leadership Council!

In the early 1990s, crime was at a historic high. The “tough on crime” movement rose in response, and the nation saw expanded mandatory minimums, three-strikes, and zero-tolerance laws. Youth were a particular focus, with gang violence plaguing most major cities.

It was in the wake of these troubling trends that a small team of influential law enforcement leaders questioned how to prevent crime in the first place.

This group included current and former NYPD commissioners, Elliot Richardson (U.S. Attorney General under President Nixon and Ford) and other concerned police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys, and crime survivors from around the country. In 1996, they launched Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national group of law enforcement leaders who would work to prevent crime by helping at-risk children succeed in life.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids’ members and staff realized that law enforcement wasn’t the only sector affected by young people’s trajectories in life. In 2006, they formed the nonpartisan nonprofit Council for a Strong America in order to create a launching pad for other organizations of American leaders who care about the next generation’s ability to become productive members of society.

Earlier this year Tom Wine was asked to serve on the Fight Crime: Invest in Kids National Leadership Council! The National Leadership Council is comprised of some of our country’s most engaged members, including chiefs of police, sheriffs, prosecutors and crime survivors.

A selection from the 24-member council

The National Leadership Council will urge other law enforcement leaders to join the organization; provide feedback as Fight Crime: Invest in Kids explores new policy issues to tackle. The Council will be an advocate with corporations and foundations to help fund Fight Crime: Invest in Kids’ work; speaking out for evidence-based policies and programs that steer kids away from crime; and, as opportunities arise, be a national spokesperson for the organization.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Links:
Facebook
Official Website

MOST KENTUCKY YOUNG ADULTS NOT CITIZEN READY ACCORDING TO NATIONAL INDEX

Panel members: Mr. Wine, Major General (Ret.) Davidson, Director Burchfield, and Mr. Gopal (L to R)


March 10, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: CHRIS BEAKEY cbeakey@councilforastrongamerica or (302) 448-0253

MOST KENTUCKY YOUNG ADULTS NOT CITIZEN READY
ACCORDING TO NATIONAL INDEX
 Crime and inability to join the military or workforce presents crisis

(Louisville, KY)-  Today, four prominent Kentucky leaders spoke out about an alarming new report that reveals the majority of America’s young adults fail to meet criteria demonstrating they are citizen-ready members of society.  The Citizen-Readiness Index reveals the state of Kentucky received a grade of “D” based on the percentage of young adults in the state who are workforce-ready, law-abiding, and able to defend our nation, should they so choose.

The report was released by Kentucky members of the nonprofit Council for a Strong America at the American Revolution National Headquarters, in a panel discussion moderated by Major General (Ret.) Robert Silverthorn, U.S. Army.  General Silverthorn was joined by Major General (Ret.) Michael Davidson, U.S. Army, a member of Mission: Readiness; Thomas Wine, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 30th Judicial Circuit, a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids; Ankur Gopal, CEO of Interapt, a member of ReadyNation; and Marcus Burchfield, Director of Missions at New River McCreary County Baptist Association, a member of Shepherding the Next Generation.

Across the country, more than three-fourths of states earned a grade of C or worse based on the percentage of prepared young adults, Kentucky among them. The Citizen-Readiness Index for Kentucky shows:

  • 15% of young people between the ages of 16-24 is unemployed and not in school
  • Nearly three-quarters of 17-24-year-olds in the state cannot qualify for military service due to problems with obesity, education, drug abuse or crime
  • Kentucky has an arrest rate of 11 arrests per 100 young adults

The panel discussed, in depth, the three factors that affect citizen-readiness.  One was the impact of childhood abuse and neglect on future criminal behavior. Research has shown that approximately half of all adolescents who have been arrested for delinquency in one study had experienced some form of abuse or neglect during childhood.

Another key factor the panel weighed in on was the importance of providing access to high- quality early education. Exposure to such programs reduces the chances a child will be held back in school, drop out, and become involved in crime. The numbers bear this out; across the nation, 7 out of 10 prisoners do not have a high school diploma.

National security was also a focus for the panelists, who discussed the current shortage of young Americans eligible to serve in the armed forces. Obesity, criminal records, and insufficient education are just some of the troubling factors keeping young people from qualifying for military service.

The panel recommended three ways to address the Citizen-Readiness indicators:

  • STRONG FAMILIES, must be supported through Congressional reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. This service enables at-risk parents to receive short-term coaching from a nurse or trained professional on how to provide their children with a safe and healthy start in life.  MIECHV has broad bipartisan support at the federal and state levels, As Majority Leader, Kentucky’s own Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) is in a unique position to ensure this program continues.  We urge him to prioritize reauthorizing the MIECHV program to ensure families don’t lose these critical services.

“Voluntary home visiting readies children from the starting blocks, giving their parents the tools they need to provide stability and success,” said Marcus Burchfield, Director of Missions at New River McCreary County Baptist Association.  “When we start early with families, we lay the foundation for a lifetime of success for the child, and everyone wins.”

  • QUALITY EARLY EDUCATION, must be maintained through reauthorizing and improving the Head Start program and continued support of Preschool Development Grants, which allow states to create, grow, and improve their early learning programs.

“If there is a chance to get ahead of crime and prevent it, or have it develop and impact the community, I am going to choose to prevent crime every time.”  Thomas Wine, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 30th Judicial Circuit said,  “The point is simple—quality early education improves public safety.”

“It’s critical that businesses remain competitive and productive,” said Ankur Gopal, CEO of Interapt.  “We do that by having a skilled workforce, and we keep that pipeline flowing by starting early with kids to ensure that critical thinking skills are built in the earliest years of life through quality early learning.”

  • HEALTHIER SCHOOLS, must be supported by upholding progress made on aligning school meals with the latest nutrition science and restoring physical education in public schools across the nation.

“We need to know when a soldier raises his weapon on the field that he is healthy and fit and able to handle the rigour of battle.” said Major General (Ret.) Michael Davidson, U.S. Army.  “ When you instill lifelong healthy habits through everyday influences on a child’s life, like school, you make sure they value nutrition and physical activity, and that has a huge impact on their total well-being.”

The “Citizen-Readiness Index” was prepared by Council for a Strong America, a national, bipartisan, nonprofit uniting organizations comprised of five pillars of society that promotes solutions to the challenges preventing Americans from being citizen-ready.  The organization’s more than 9,000 members are law enforcement leaders, retired admirals and generals, business executives, pastors, and prominent coaches and athletes.

JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT ADDRESSES JAIL OVERCROWDING

From the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Click here for PDF download of this document.

Seal of Kentucky
OFFICE OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
30th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
THOMAS B. WINE, COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY

Media Release: July 21, 2016

* * *

 JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT ADDRESSES JAIL OVERCROWDING

Chief Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Charles L. Cunningham, Jr., in consultation with the general term of the Jefferson Circuit Court, has entered an emergency order that will allow a limited number of non-violent individuals to be transferred from the Metro Department of Corrections’ main facility to its Home Incarceration Program.

The order provides that a list of proposed candidates will be provided to the Office of Commonwealth’s Attorney at least 48 hours prior to any modifications in custody.  This period will allow our office the opportunity to either object to said changes or, if we don’t object, to advise the victims of the change in custody.

This order is designed to address the current jail overcrowding issue. It was circulated at recent meeting of the Jail Policy Committee. That meeting was attended by prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, correction officials, citizen advisors, and other court officials. All recognized that the jail overcrowding issue is a matter of utmost concern.  As failure to address this problem in the past led to Federal court intervention, I believe it is better for local officials to act now in order to maintain control of pretrial incarceration.

The inmate custody modifications are expected to begin next week.

Thomas B. Wine
COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY
Office of Commonwealth’s Attorney
514 W. Liberty Street
Louisville, Kentucky
40202

* * *

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office occupies a critical position in the criminal justice system. Commonly referred to as the District Attorney in most states, the Commonwealth’s Attorney must focus the power of the state on those who defy its laws. As legal representative for the people, the Commonwealth’s Attorney has the duty to seek justice for all. Visit www.louisvilleprosecutor.com for more information.

PLEASE CONTACT
Jeff Cooke
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney
514 West Liberty Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Tel: 502-595-2340
Mobile:  502-262-5809
Email:  JCooke@louisvilleprosecutor.com

KY SUPREME COURT CLEARS WAY FOR NEW TRIAL OF LLOYD HAMMOND

From the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Media Release: May 4, 2016.

Lloyd W. Hammond was arraigned today in Jefferson Circuit Court on charges relating the June 3, 2006 murders of William Sawyers and Terrell Cherry. Hammond was indicted yesterday by a Jefferson County grand jury on two counts of Murder, Burglary in the First Degree, Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree and Retaliating Against a Witness in the Legal Process.

The path to reindicting Hammond was cleared on April 27, 2016 when the Kentucky Supreme Court denied a motion for discretionary review filed by attorneys for Hammond. In that motion they sought to prevent introduction at his trial for the 2006 murders of William Sawyers, Terrell Cherry and Kerry Williams of out-of-court statements of Troya Sheckles, a prosecution witness in the case murdered at the direction of Hammond prior to the trial. When the trial court earlier ruled that the Sheckles’ statements were not admissible at Hammond’s trial, the prosecution dismissed the case without prejudice and appealed the evidentiary ruling. In November 2014 the Kentucky Court of Appeals stated that the trial court erred in denying introduction of the statements saying that “there was substantial evidence warranting admission of Scheckles’s statements under the forfeiture by wrongdoing exception.” Following entry of the Court of Appeals decision, Hammond’s attorneys had requested that the Kentucky Supreme Court review the ruling.

By denying Hammond’s motion for discretionary review, the decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeals stands as the final ruling on the matter.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine stated:

“The decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court cleared the way for my office to seek a new indictment against Lloyd Hammond for the murders of these victims and we again seek justice for the victims, their families and our community.”

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office occupies a critical position in the criminal justice system. Commonly referred to as the District Attorney in most states, the Commonwealth’s Attorney must focus the power of the state on those who defy its laws. As legal representative for the people, the Commonwealth’s Attorney has the duty to seek justice for all. Visit www.louisvilleprosecutor.com for more information.

PLEASE CONTACT
Jeff Cooke
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney
514 West Liberty Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Tel: 502-595-2340
Mobile: 502-262-5809
Email: JCooke@louisvilleprosecutor.com