Katherine Fernandez Rundle
Since March 12, 1993, Katherine Fernandez Rundle has served Miami-Dade County as State Attorney. Prior to that, she dedicated 15 years as an Assistant State Attorney. When she later served as Chief Assistant, she acted as legal counsel to the Dade County Grand Jury. As such, she presented hundreds of murder and capital cases and oversaw the issuance of reports that initiated major reforms in such areas as juvenile justice and revision of the building code following Hurricane Andrew.
CRIME PREVENTION Her strong leadership and devotion to preventing crime and the increased focus and successful prosecution of career criminals are hallmarks of her administration. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Rundle helped write and pass the Florida Punishment Code which eliminated the former sentencing guidelines formula and allowed judges to issue stronger sentences when the crime made such actions appropriate; she led the successful effort to pass the state constitutional amendment to give local governments the right to insure that gun sales at gun shows do not allow weapons to fall into the hands of criminals and juveniles; she has been a leader in creating programs to give the victims of crime greater accessibility to the criminal court system; and was instrumental in ensuring that Miami-Dade's celebrated Drug Court became reality. She also successfully created a truancy intervention program that helped Miami-Dade's school children avoid juvenile delinquency. The Truancy Intervention Program (TIP) was the only anti-truancy program in the state which partnered prosecutors and school administrators together in the effort to prevent crime and further a child's education.
STRONG ON JUVENILE JUSTICE State Attorney Fernandez Rundle was a key partner in the creation of Miami-Dade's Juvenile Assessment Center. This facility is intended to improve the working of our juvenile justice system by collecting sufficient information on juvenile offenders in order to develop better overall justice programming, better diversion programs and create effective juvenile sentencing alternatives for offenders. As a part of the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Crime Task Force, Kathy helped create a new pilot program aimed at juveniles who have been arrested with guns in their possession. Recognizing the need to intervene with these kids before they commit a crime with a firearm, Kathy has brought the State Attorney's Office into a partnership with the Ryder Trauma Center of Jackson Memorial Hospital, aiming to bring the reality of living as a victim of gun violence back to those juveniles who are on the edge of potential violence.
KEY ADVOCATE FOR
MIAMI'S CHILDREN Ms. Rundle has long recognized that the need to help children also entails getting them the financial support to which they were legally entitled. As the only State Attorney in Florida operating a Child Support Enforcement Office, Kathy recognized the urgent need to make the pursuit of delinquent child support payments easier. She created legislation which added such orders to the Florida Crime Information Computer (FCIC) accessible to every Florida police officer. This made every traffic stop in Florida an opportunity to provide needy children with their court ordered support. Those who refused to support their children and ignored a court order now faced a greater potential of arrest and appearance before a judge.
Through her tireless efforts, enthusiasm and community spirit, Ms. Rundle continues to provide encouragement and inspiration as she recruits the public to actively participate in the effort to make our neighborhoods safe.