Create a city ordinance that restricts for-profit detention facilities in Tucson

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The Dunbar Coalition has recently leased a space for VisionQuest, the for-profit organization known for violating the human rights of at risk youth. Their website states that, "VisionQuest has contracted with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Children and Families, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement" to "facilitate educational services on the property between the hours of 8am and 3pm, Monday-Friday". Dunbar Coalition has leased the historic side of the Dunbar Pavilion, which was once Tucson's segregated school---how ironic that the same thing will happen in the very building that was liberated from those conditions.

Considering the decades of disreputable behavior by VisionQuest, it is extremely problematic that unaccompanied minors are now under their care. VisionQuest has a long and well documented history of physical and sexual abuse coupled with neglect of the medical and mental health needs of children who have experienced significant trauma. With so much evidence of abuse it seems that these problems are ingrained into the culture of VisionQuest.

Communities across the nation have protested against the inhumane and unsafe conditions that VisionQuest creates. The Dunbar Coalition and the City of Tucson should give an intense amount of scrutiny to this organization which was assessed by the Department of Justice to have violated the constitutional rights of children. The Dunbar Coalition has provided little information to the community regarding the contract. This information is paramount, considering that the people they serve will have minimal ability to advocate for themselves.

The Coalition Against VisionQuest are asking for the following: 

1.   A city ordinance that restricts for-profit detention facilities in Tucson.

2.   The formation of a Community Oversight Committee for VisionQuest at the Dunbar Pavilion

3.   A meeting with community leaders, tenants of the Dunbar, and the board of directors

4.   A letter acknowledging that the board understands the history of VisionQuest

5.   A copy of the contract which will indicate increased oversight measures

6.   An assessment of the legality of VisionQuest's contract with the Dunbar Coalition by the City of Tucson's Planning Commission

7.   Prevent the Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Children and Families, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement from contracting with VisionQuest in the future

 

Thank you for your attention and response to this issue!

In solidarity,

 

The Coalition Against VisionQuest

Mass Liberation Arizona

Living United for Change in Arizona

Juveniles for Justice

Juvenile Law Center