Monday, December 1, 2014

15 Statements In the Moseley Architects Report That Could Negate The Need For A Second Jail

Here are 15 remarkable statements from the 140-page Moseley Architects' own "Community-Based Corrections Plan" which, if taken seriously, would reduce or eliminate the need for a second jail for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County (I've inserted the numbers 1-15 and have highlighted some items in bold for emphasis).

p. 115 Adult Drug Court
(1) According to the Virginia Supreme Court “the scientific evidence is overwhelming that adult drug courts reduce crime, reduce substance abuse, improve family relationships, and increase earning potential. In the process drug courts return net dollar savings back to their communities that are at least two to three times the initial investments. According to the National Center for State Courts, in a report entitled “Virginia Adult Drug Treatment Courts,” (October 2012), in fiscal year 2011, Drug Courts in Virginia saved taxpayers $19,234 per person as compared to traditional case processing, and that Drug Courts reduced recidivism rates for the persons completing a program."

p. 121 Day Reporting Centers
(2) Day Reporting can be adapted to a number of different populations. In Virginia, they are utilized to offer enhanced treatment and supervision to probationers or sentenced offenders not on probation; to monitor early released inmates from jail; to monitor arrested persons prior to trial; as a halfway-out step for inmates who have shown progress in community corrections or work-
release centers; and as a halfway-in step for offenders who are in violation of probation. Sometimes referred to as a “one-stop” shop, a Day Reporting Center offers many of programs and services that best practices suggests reduces the likelihood of reoffending; reduces recidivism, and eventually reduce jail bed space requirements, including: individual and group counseling, substance abuse education, anger management, domestic violence prevention, cognitive and life skills training, parenting and family reintegration, community service, education/GED preparation, and reentry services.

p. 124 Implementing New Programs: The Jail Bed Space Impact

(3) Rockingham - Harrisonburg should initiate a long range planning strategy to investigate, develop and implement a continuum of jail-based ... programs and services for persons with mental health and substance abuse issues, and programs and services which target the probation violator population which appears to be utilizing a substantial portion of jail beds

p. 127 Inmate Population Forecast
Significant Finding: If existing policies, procedures and administrative practices remain unchanged in the future, the Rockingham-Harrisonburg Regional Jail inmate population (excluding federal prisoners) is projected to reach 524 inmates in FY-21, and 675 inmates by the year FY-29. 

(4) Most citizens attending the public “Listening Sessions,” were vocally opposed to expanding jail capacity and expressed frustrations at what they perceived was a lack of jail alternative programs and treatment options for persons processed through the local criminal justice system. 

(5) The evidence uncovered during this project suggests that several key offender groups should be targeted in order to control future jail population growth: (1) offenders in un-sentenced awaiting trial (approximately 40% of the inmate population); (2) probation violators (by a number of measures a disproportionally large offender group), and (3) offenders with substantial substance/mental health issues that are associated with repeated criminal behavior and contribute to the jail’s “revolving door.” 

(6) Increase system coordination, goal setting, oversight and improved planning information and regular dissemination to decision making. The community has a formal Community Criminal Justice Board (CCJB) with the statutory responsibility to: (1) advise on the development and operation of local pretrial services and community-based probation programs and services for use by the courts in diverting offenders from local correctional facilities; (2) assist community agencies in establishing and modifying programs and services for offenders; (3) evaluate and monitor community programs, services and facilities; and (4) develop and amend criminal justice plans. This group should oversee an ongoing planning effort that focuses the issues associated continuing crowding at all levels of the local system. 

(7) It is recommended that several smaller sub-committees, whose membership consists of persons with specific areas of expertise in various areas of the local system, be established to focus on and investigate portions of the system by reviewing, analyzing and identifying processes and programs within the system that can be enhanced to create a more effective and efficient criminal justice system. These sub-committees should include a broad spectrum of representatives from the criminal justice, public health, higher education communities, as well as concerned citizens. 

(8) Investigate ways to reduce intake. Programs and administrative practices aimed at reducing intake should be evaluated and implemented. Early and effective pretrial programming should be enhanced with the goal of reducing future intake pressure. 

(9) Investigate pretrial confinement policies, procedures and administrative practices. While this report contains an initial profile of persons detained in pretrial status, further investigation is recommended to determine risk levels of persons incarcerated, bond statuses and reasons for confinement. There are, for example, a large number of detainees who are confined without bond for reasons that are not apparent. In addition, available data suggests that over 90% of ordered secure bonds are for amounts of $5,000 or less amounts that poor people may not be able or willing to pay. In the face of research that suggests that requirements of small secured bond amounts is not related to public safety or appearances in court, further investigation is recommended.

(10) Increase current pretrial and local probation staff levels. Decision makers should consider funding new positions rather waiting for the State funding process which can take several years. There should be phased plan for the expansion of Pretrial and Local Probation services and program options to coincide with the jail planning. A total of 6.5 pretrial and local probation officers combined to provide services to a community with over 125,000 residents with an annual operating budget of just over $635,000 is not adequate to provide services and programs for the offender population, and certainly does support any future expansion of programs and services in the community. Current staff levels for both pretrial and local probation services are inadequate to cope with current and projected workloads and should be increased (at a minimum) to a level in keeping with the projected growth in the offender population. 

(11) Expand home electronic monitoring and GPS monitoring as pre- and post- trial supervision options. While not widely used in Virginia, effective electronic monitoring of both pretrial and sentenced offenders who would otherwise be incarcerated in jail provides a viable and effective mechanism for controlling jail crowding. 

Investigate/implement an Adult Drug Court program. ...It is widely accepted that Drug Courts reduce recidivism for persons who complete the program. 

Investigate/Implement a Day Reporting program. ...Intermediate sanction programs such as intensive probation supervision, house arrest, electronic monitoring and day reporting are intended to serve as a step between the security and punishment of jails. ...This program has the potential to have a near term impact on jail bed needs by allowing targeted offenders to be removed from jail and admitted to this program. See (2) above

(12) Implement and strengthen new jail-based programs. ...including: Work Release, Education Release, Public Work Force, Electronic Home Monitoring, Weekend Sentencing (non-consecutive sentencing). In the consultants’ experience the jails across Virginia that operate the most robust jail-based programs have several important characteristics in common, they have: (1) sufficient space to provide programs and services (in both housing and support areas); (2) formed viable collaborations with community volunteer and community agency groups; (3) demonstrated commitments to providing programs and services to offenders through their jail operations, and (4) program options that have the support of key decision makers in their communities.

(14) Expand and strengthen reentry services for incarcerated offenders. The nature and extent of existing reentry programming was not entirely clear over the course of this project. However, the provision of reentry and transition services is an important service delivery component of many jail-based programs. 

(15) Provide expanded Mental Health and Substance Abuse services within the jail. Increasingly, offenders with chronic mental health issues are residing in local and regional jails, and greatly contributing to the “revolving jail door” that is apparent in Rockingham-Harrisonburg.

NOTE: Please contact some or all of the following members of the CCJB who are set to  meet at 4 pm Monday, December 8 , at the County Office to consider the Moseley report. This is not a public hearing as such but your respectful presence at the meeting, to be held at 4 pm in the Fire and Rescue room at County Administration on East Gay Street, will send an important message:

Community Criminal Justice Board Directory (CCJB)

The Honorable T.J. Wilson, Judge
Rockingham County Circuit Court
Judge of the Circuit Court
80 Court Square
Harrisonburg, VA 22802 Phone: (540) 564-3111
Fax: (540) 564-3127 

The Honorable Bruce D. Albertson, Judge
Rockingham County Circuit Court
Judge of the Circuit Court
80 Court Square
Harrisonburg, VA 22802 Phone: (540) 564-3111
Fax: (540) 564-3127 

The Honorable Richard A. Claybrook, Judge Rockingham County General District Court
Judge of the General District Court
53 Court Square
Room 132
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Phone: (540) 564-3130
Civil # 540-564-3135 or 540-564-3138 

Fax: (540) 564-3096
Ms Teresa Lynn Brown

The Honorable H. David O'Donnell, Judge
Rockingham County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
Judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
53 Court Square, 2nd Floor; Room 214
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801 Phone: (540) 564-3370

Fax: (540) 563-3392 

*Pablo Cuevas, Chairman of CCJB
Rockingham County Board of Supervisors
Rockingham County Governing Body
20 E. Gay St. Harrisonburg, VA 22802 Phone: (540) 896-7889 

*Ted Byrd, Vice Chairman of CCJB
Mayor, City of Harrisonburg
City of Harrisonburg Governing Body
345 S. Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 

Donald D. Driver, Jr., Director
Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Social Services
Department of Social Services
PO Box 809
Harrisonburg, VA 22803
P (540) 574-5100
F (540) 574-5127

Chaz W. Evans-Haywood Clerk of Circuit Court Rockingham County Circuit Court
Rockingham County Courthouse Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Phone: 540-564-3111
Fax: 540-564-3127 

Bryan Hutcheson, Sheriff
Rockingham County Sheriff's Department
Sheriff of Rockingham County/Regional Jail Administrator
25 S. Liberty St.
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
P (540) 564-3838
F (540) 564-3865

Dr. Carol Fenn, Superintendent
Rockingham County Public Schools
Local Educator
Rockingham County Public Schools 100 Mt. Clinton Pike
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
P (540) 564-3230

F (540) 564-3241
E W 

Dr. Scott R. Kizner, Superintendent Harrisonburg City Schools
Local Educator
Harrisonburg City Schools One Court Square Harrisonburg, VA 22801 P (540) 434-9916
F (540) 434-5196 

Marsha L. Garst Attorney for the Commonwealth Commonwealth's Attorney
53 Court Square
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
P (540) 564-3350
F (540) 433-9161

Chief Stephen Monticelli Chief of Police, Harrisonburg Police Department
Harrisonburg Chief of Police
101 North Main Street Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802 Non-Emergency 540-434-4436 

*Kurt Hodgen, City Manager Harrisonburg City City Manager's Office, Room 201 City of Harrisonburg Manager/Executive 345 South Main St 
Harrisonburg, VA 22801 

Anne Lewis - Assistant City Manager - 

Louis K. Nagy, Esquire Public Defender/Criminal Defense 590 E. Market St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Phone: 540-315-8450 540-315-8450
Monica Martin, Chief Magistrate
26th Judicial District
Chief Magistrate of the 26th Judicial District
53 Court Square, Suite 180 Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-564-3847 

*Joseph S. Paxton, Administrator Rockingham County
Rockingham County Administrator/Executive
20 E. Gay St.
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
P (540) 564-3011
F (540) 564-3017

Lee Shifflett James Madison University Non-Emergency Telephone - Chief of Police 540.568.6912 

Ann Marie Freeman, CCJB Director, Rockingham- 540-564-3144
Staff Harrisonburg Court Services Unit 53 Court Sq Ste 175
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801-3700 

Lacy Whitmore
Director of Community Service Board
1241 North Main St 540-434-1941

You can get involved by signing the petition at as well as check this "Action Packet" link for more information. And please feel free to post links on social media and otherwise share this information with your friends.
Post a Comment