Updates from the MOSES Jail Task Force

MOSES SAYS “NO” TO NEW JAIL
AND “YES” TO REDUCING INCARCERATION

MOSES JAIL TASK FORCE has these 3 primary goals:no new jail 1

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

MOSES’ goals are ambitious and involve multiple complicated systems.  But other municipalities have already succeeded with similar goals, using evidence-based strategies.  JOIN US!

no new jail 2MOSES JAIL TASK FORCE
Meets 3rd Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Optional orientation for newcomers 6:00
(Sub-committee work teams have additional meetings)
St. Mark’s Church (in basement)
605 Spruce St., Madison (Off So Park St.)
Contact:  Ann Pooler, apooler@charter.net, 608-658-6847

 Background: In July, a consultant firm (hired by the County Board) recommended that Dane County build a new jail estimated to cost $135 – $141 million.  A MOSES team immediately formed to decide MOSES’ position. We studied the consultants’ 600-page report and began to attend and testify at county committee meetings.

MOSES determined that the proposal assumed a continuation of already outdated incarceration practices. We discerned that many people are in jail unnecessarily—meaning that they are not a risk to the public and are in jail only because they are waiting for a court or DOC hearing, or cannot pay fines or bail (often $500 or less).  We also found racial disparities in jail alternative programs (e.g., only 16% of those released from jail on home monitoring are people of color, compared to 51% of those in jail).

MOSES rejected the new jail proposal in a position statement we released on August 25th.  We presented this at a NAMI public forum, at numerous County criminal justice meetings, and to stakeholders and media. MOSES celebrated an advocacy win October 1st when the County Executive removed the jail proposal from the budget; but our work has just begun.

Please click here to access MOSES position statement including facts and figures about the jail population.  Feel free to share this document widely.

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