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Friday, August 1, 2014

LOCAL ACTION ALERT: PLEASE SHARE

Brand new in 1994. If we build them we will fill them.
Here's information on some public hearings you local folks won't want to miss:

WHO: Every local citizen interested in generating community alternatives to a multimillion dollar jail expansion. This includes Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Tea Party members, members of communities of faith, and all citizens concerned about building more justice before adding more jails.

WHAT: The Richmond-based Moseley Architects firm has been awarded a $120,000 contract to come up with a comprehensive proposal by December 31 that is to include alternatives to jail expansion as well as a possible building plan to address the current overcrowding at the local jail. They are inviting citizen input at one of three local hearings in the coming weeks, an excellent opportunity for us to learn more about the process and to raise any concerns we have.

WHEN AND WHERE:
  • August 7, from 6pm-8pm at Spotswood High School, 368 Blazer Drive, Penn Laird;
  • August 11, from 7pm-9pm in Harrisonburg City Council Chambers, 409 S. Main St.
  • August 14, from 6pm-8pm at Turner Ashby High School, 800 N. Main St., Bridgewater.
(Any ideas posted on Be Heard Harrisonburg before the August 14 hearing will be shared with the committee.)

WHY: Our citizens deserve to know the results of the Moseley Architects study (due to be completed by December 31) and then have a second set of listening sessions to review them before they are approved by City Council and the Board of Supervisors. This means we need an additional year at least for this process in order to assure that we have a model plan that is truly in our community's best interest. The City of Richmond is taking several years for a similar study.

If you agree that more time is needed, sign my blog petition for a year's delay: http://harvyoder.blogspot.com/2014/07/let-me-add-your-name-to-this-list-of.html

Here are some other links for background information:

http://www.allcitybailbonds.com/alternative-to-prison-expansion-helps-state-and-county-budgets/

http://www.oldsouthhigh.com/2013/03/15/criminal-cases-in-circuit-court-have-risen-22-percent-in-five-years-has-the-friendly-city-gotten-that-much-less-friendly/

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“For far too long, the only answer to decreasing crime was to put more people in prison. We built prisons at rates we didn’t need and couldn’t afford, especially for non-violent offenders.  Now, we know there are alternatives that cost less and work better.  I am proud to sign on with the Right on Crime initiative to help fix this problem by making cost effective, data driven public safety decisions that reduce recidivism rates.”
- Ken Cuccinelli, former Virginia Attorney General
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