NewsLocal News


Conversation about crime, justice makes strides in Leon County communities

Posted at 11:29 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 07:35:41-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Looking for solutions to cut down on crime in Florida's capital. ABC 27 is tracking what local leaders are doing to keep you safe after a violent start to 2022.

"It'll be our opportunity to really highlight the work that we're doing and show everyone what's happening in the courthouse across the street," said Jessica Yeary.

Jessica Yeary is the Elected public defender. She said it's important for the community to feel like they have the proper information and resources regarding the law.

"Now more than ever people are greatly concerned with what's happening in the criminal legal system and are looking to ensure that's their equality and fairness and justice," said Jessica Yeary.

Yeary is one of the few people that spoke at Tuesday's panel.

She said when you come into contact with the criminal legal system that impacts people differently and this meeting broke down those steps.

"We also want to ensure that our clients are treated fairly and that they are not over prosecuted or over punished or sentenced more harshly than anyone similarly situated to their circumstance," said Jessica Yeary.

Yeary said hopefully by seeing all the stakeholders together the community will have a better idea of how things are working within our local criminal legal system.

Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil also attended Tuesday's meeting.

He said it's important for all sides of law enforcement to come together and give people answers to questions regarding the law.

"One is a greater understanding of our roles. As a sheriff's office what are my roles in the criminal justice process, what are public defenders how does that office work and how do we create a situation where we're improving the entire criminal justice process," said Sheriff McNeil.

Sheriff McNeil said changes won't be made overnight but having these conversations with the community is the first step.