Update on Middle River Regional Jail Expansion
On March 22, the Waynesboro, VA, City Council, advised their City Manager, Mike Hamp, to NOT move forward with jail expansion recommendations in his role as member of the Middle River Regional Jail (MRRJ) authority board. The discussion is available in the Waynesboro City Council's youtube channel, and the conversation takes place during the minutes 27:15-1:13:00.
Waynesboro City Council is now the second jurisdiction that opposes MRRJ expansion, after Harrisonburg. This means that if the two jurisdictions stay strong and follow through with their voiced opposition, MRRJ expansion plans are not viable in the upcoming fiscal year. Nonetheless, it is important to continue the regional community mobilization to make sure jail expansion is officially stopped and never considered again. The jail expansion plans are officially stopped when localities approve their FY budgets and nothing for jail expansion is included.
Additionally, and even more importantly, our community mobilization work should guide local officials to reduce incarceration levels by changing policies, practices, procedures. It is a task that not only pertains to elected officials, but to all the institutions that comprise the Criminal Justice System. FUEGO Coalition continues to work with organizations in the region to stop expansion plans, reduce and abolish mass incarceration, and to allocate funding in community-based programs, not jail-based programs.
Click here to add your skills to stop MRRJ expansion and reduce incarceration.