Derail the Jail and STOP racist mass incarceration

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We the undersigned students, faculty and campus workers, are sick and tired of our County being the worst in the nation in racial disparities. We’re sick and tired of racist mass incarceration. We’re sick and tired of Black and brown people, and people experiencing poverty, being punished for the failures of our economic and political system. We think the Dane County Board leadership’s plan to spend $108 million ($76 million plus $32 million interest in profits for the banks that will loan the county the money) on patching up a broken system is deeply misguided, unimaginative and needs to be rejected. It upholds the racist mass incarceration state. We agree the City County Building’s jail should be shut down due to its inhumane conditions but we also believe the county should eliminate the need to replace those cells by releasing the more than half of the people incarcerated in the jail on a typical day who are there for no good reason. These are people who could be released even by the logic of the biased carceral state, including:(1) people who are only locked up in the jail because of unpaid money bail, (2) people who the court and Sheriff have already approved for work release, and (3) people locked up only for crimeless technical violations of probation/parole. Failure to release these people from jail rewards the failure of the County’s elected officials to implement the many reasonable alternatives to incarceration proposed by County-designated work groups and many other community advocates. We insist that the Dane County Board DERAIL THE JAIL project, the most expensive public works project ever proposed in county history AND instead demand that funding be redirected to affordable housing, mental health services and jail diversion programs. We especially demand that Dane County Board Supervisors Hayley Young, Mary Kolar, Chuck Erickson, Al Matano, and Jeremy Levin, who were elected to represent the UW-Madison campus community and nearby student neighborhoods, vote against a budget that includes the $108 million Jail Expansion Project. We will make sure that students are aware of how their County Board Supervisors voted when elections are coming up! NOTE: This Petition is sponsored by the Derail the Jail Coalition. For more info, check out derailthejail.com or facebook.com/derailthejail/



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