YUMA, Ariz. - The non-profit group Arizona Town Hall is traveling across the state to encourage discussions.
They arrived in Yuma where they focused on discussing a variety of civic issues, focusing this year on the criminal justice system and creating stronger families.
City officials, working professionals, and people who want to make a change came together to pitch their ideas on how to address issues in the city’s criminal justice system.
“To empower local residents to help create change in the policy arenas, in this case, criminal justice”, says Tara Jackson president of Arizona Town Hall.
This diverse group contributes to the goal of coming to a consensus, and at the end of the meeting, this consensus will be handed over and heard by lawmakers where they will ultimately decide to implement these suggestions.
“We present them to lawmakers, citizens, leaders, and provide opportunities to empower them to use those solutions and ideas to make a difference”
Frequently mentioned at the meeting were the opioid epidemic and mental health.
“If you can address those issues at the front end, instead of putting someone in jail, put them into counseling or treatment programs”
This group all agreed that these issues need a slight adjustment in how the government currently deals with these problems.
President Tara Jackson says her experience as a lawyer moved her to continue to oversee this program for 15 years.
“That if we could really make an effort to understand each other better, and find what we have in common, humanity would experience life in a much better way”.