- An explosion in the number of people incarcerated (the rate of jail population growth is 12 times that of general population growth);
- A persistent commitment among public officials to expand our jail over the vote that defeated a jail expansion in May, 2018; and
- An everlasting disproportionate number of vulnerable populations incarcerated (17-25% of the inmate population identifies as African-American when just 4.6% of Douglas County's population identifies as such; female incarceration has doubled over the past five years; 22% of the inmate population suffers from mental illness; and 80% of those locked up have not been charged with a violent crime).
- How much money is available in the 2019 and 2020 budget to debt-fund a jail expansion?
- Is the 1994 sales tax the only funding revenue the County is relying on to cover the bond?
- When is the County expected to vote to issue a bond to cover the jail expansion?
- Is the county relying on the 1994 referendum language alone for the authority to issue the bond?
- What is the estimated property tax increase to pay for the operations at the jail in the event it is expanded?
- Commissioner Thellman was quoted in the paper as saying, "the county has taken on a lot of alternatives to incarceration in a short time, and after the drug court gets up and running, it might be a good idea to step back and see how the various programs are working." Does her statement suggest that an expansion may be postponed to give time to understand the impact of the alternatives?
- Is DA Branson's suggestion to expand drug treatment options in order to broaden the impact of the drug court a consideration the County will be considering before expansion?
These and other questions will be the topic of our discussion with Interim County Administrator Sarah Plinsky. All Justice Matters leaders are encouraged to attend.
- 9 am - 10 am: Prepare at Aimees Coffeehouse (1025 Massachusetts)
- 10 - 11 am: Meet with Interim County Administrator Sarah Plinsky in the Douglas County Courthouse (11th/Massachusetts)