Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick is joining a select group of elected officials as part of the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) County Officials advancing Racial Equity (CORE) in Justice Network for their commitment to identifying and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in the local criminal legal system.
Their continued commitment helps improve outcomes for all community members, enhance public safety and ensure all residents have an opportunity to thrive, officials said.
Kirkpatrick has been involved in efforts to understand disparities within the local criminal legal system and support programs, practices, funding and policies to advance racial equity.
Kirkpatrick has been a particularly strong supporter of the Harbor Juvenile Assessment Center, which is designed to prevent children and teens – many of whom are members of racial and ethnic minority groups -- from entering the juvenile justice system by helping families cope with problem behavior such as truancy or delinquency before issues potentially escalate into more serious trouble. To date the program has served more than 18,500 youth aged 17 and under and their families with counseling, mentoring, tutoring and substance abuse treatment being the top areas of service referrals.
“The goal of the Harbor is to help kids who make small mistakes get the resources and the support they need so that they don’t head down a path in life that prevents them from becoming successful adults,” Kirkpatrick said. “Many of these children are members of racial and ethnic minority groups.
Kirkpatrick also has spearheaded a Pathway from Poverty program in the northeast Las Vegas Valley aimed at pulling together community partners to identify issues and share resources to improve the quality of life for the area’s impoverished residents, many of whom belong to racial and ethnic minority groups. Kirkpatrick also has hosted a warrant-quashing event aimed at resolving residents’ minor, non-violent legal woes.
“It’s important that we address racial inequities that affect our legal system and our community as a whole,” Kirkpatrick said, “and I look forward to leveraging what this program has to offer so that it leads to benefits for the larger Clark County community.”
As a participant of the CORE Justice Network, Kirkpatrick will engage with fellow elected officials from across the country who are building similar efforts in their jurisdictions. They will engage with peers, including in-person peer exchanges to communities with model practices and policies, and participate in virtual technical assistance opportunities with subject matter experts.
Local leaders participating in this network represent jurisdictions ranging in size and geographic location from Story County, Iowa, which has a population of 98,000, to Cook County, Ill. with a population of 5.2 million. The CORE Justice Network is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. To see a full list of local officials participating in the CORE Justice Network, visit here.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other