MOSES ADVOCACY RESULTS IN IMPROVED CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND JAIL RESOLUTION 556 BEING PASSED BY COUNTY BOARD.
Tireless advocacy by the volunteer members of MOSES, an inter-faith social justice organization, led to numerous improvements to Resolution 556, which was UNANIMOUSLY PASSED tonight by the Dane County Board. “The passage of this resolution demonstrates that when everyday people organize in solidarity, the community can significantly improve our County’s criminal justice system” said Morris Wexler, VP of MOSES, and longtime regulatory consultant. By passing resolution 556 “the County board is unequivocally stating its support for eliminating racial disparities, reducing incarceration, reducing the number of jail beds as well as its opposition to the construction of a new stand-alone jail” (RES 556, 316-319) as well as creating three community Work Groups to investigate solutions and make budget recommendations to realize the comprehensive reform of Dane County’s criminal justice system.
Specifically MOSES efforts led to:
- Unequivocal language that rejects the construction of a new stand-alone jail.
- An official commitment to comprehensive reform of the Dane County Criminal Justice System.
- Adoption of a set of guiding principles for future action.
- Inclusion, as partners, of people of color, people with mental health needs and people affected by incarceration within the Work Groups.
- Focus on racial and mental health disparities in the Work Group investigations.
- Prioritization of racial equity in access to and participation in community-based programs and alternatives to jail.
- Grounding future criminal justice budgets and jail planning in the recommendations of the Work Groups.
- Encouraged a competitive bidding process for criminal justice reform on contracts.
MOSES is proud of its contribution to this victory for justice in Dane County – but this is just the beginning. “The MOSES Jail Task Force will be transforming into smaller task forces to support the resolution’s Work Groups to ensure that our vision for criminal justice reform and investing in community-based alternatives becomes a reality” said Jeanie Verschay, a member of the MOSES Jail Task Force, and the Executive Director of Employment Connections. MOSES recognizes and thanks all supervisors who voted for and sponsored resolution 556 and especially supervisors, Stubbs, Bayrd, Corrigan, Pan, Wegleitner, Dye, Hendrick, Pertl, and Willett for their work either on committee or in meetings with MOSES. MOSES also recognizes the work of other community groups that helped shape resolution 556: YGB, NAMI, No Dane County Jail Working Group, MUM and DD Coalition among others.
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