MOSES Responds to Dane County Board Resolution 556

MOSES Jail Task Force has written a position statement, approved by the MOSES general body, with suggestions to improve County Board Resolution 556.  
We have been informed that, in deference to mourning in the community for Tony Robinson, one of the co-sponsors of Resolution 556 requested that consideration of of Resolution 556 be removed from the agendas of the PP&J and HHN committee meetings scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 10. The item has been removed and will be scheduled for a future meeting. The MOSES Jail Task Force will inform us of when Resolution 556 will be considered by these committees.
 

MOSES Abbreviated Position Points for Resolution 556
on Dane County Jail and Criminal Justice System

The MOSES Jail Task Force has the following three primary goals:

  1. Stop all unnecessary incarceration
    1. End racial disparities
    2. Treatment instead of jail for people with mental illness, developmental disabilities, or addictions
  2. Improve jail conditions for those inside
  3. Ensure that any facility changes promote goals 1 and 2

MOSES’s full position statement of March 7, 2015, elaborates on these goals in an effort to strengthen Resolution 556, currently before the County Board. Below is a condensed version of the position points found in the full position statement.

1. Create Crisis Intervention and Restoration Centers:Create community­based jail alternatives including one or more crisis intervention or restoration centers, and locate the centers to provide equitable access, especially to people of color. Commit to increasing County funding for mental health services, and also use BadgerCare and other health insurance to expand such services.

2. Expand Alternatives and Diversions: Expand current diversion programs and alternatives to incarceration, including electronic monitoring (home detention), drug courts, and restorative courts, while also increasing racially equitable access and participation. Charge the Length of Stay Work Group with determining how to expand existing and other alternatives and diversions.

3. Achieve Racial Equity: Set measurable and concrete goals for increasing racial equity in access to and participation in all services and programs discussed in Resolution 556, and include achievement of racial equity in the missions of all three work groups. Include specific racial equity goals in all sections of Resolution 556.

4. Address Life and Safety Concerns:Obtain from the Sheriff specific information about the immediate facilities needs that are related to life and safety, as well as racially disaggregated data about the people most at risk due to these issues. Wait on making broader jail space planning decisions until the number of people in the County jail has decreased from other policy changes.

5. Strengthen the Work Groups: Commit the County Board to act on the work groups’ recommendations. Solicit participation in the work groups from national experts who have proven experience in community transformation, reducing incarceration, and/or decreasing racial disparities. Charge the work groups to identify how specific policy changes can be implemented.

6. Implement Better Data Systems: Immediately build a Dane County Criminal Justice Dashboard that pulls data from existing systems. Make this information, disaggregated by relevant factors, available to the general public, as well as to all parts of the criminal justice system and other social service agencies.

7. Connect People to BadgerCare and FoodShare: Make it a County priority to facilitate helping people, including those incarcerated in the County jail, to apply for BadgerCare, Affordable Care Act health insurance, FoodShare, and/or FoodShare Employment and Training.

8. Refocus Planning to Reduce Jail Space Needs: Require Mead and Hunt (M&H) to consider three or more reform scenarios that lead to different reductions in the jail population. Make clear that M&H does not have sway over the three work groups. Make any contract with M&H available for public review before being adopted.

If you have questions, please contact the MOSES Jail Task Force at mosesjailtaskforce@googlegroups.com.

Visit http://groups.google.com/group/MOSESjailtaskforce to subscribe to the MOSES Jail Task Force email list.

1 reply
  1. andrew
    andrew says:

    Hopefully this will have a positive effect on our community. These initiatives look like they will and I back them completely. Merely incarcerating wrongdoers has negative effects on the rest of their lives. Lets work together to bring power to ALL the people.

    Reply

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