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Poughkeepsie/Dutchess-- $15/Hr. Jobs, Rent Control, No School-to-Jail, Sales Tax Justice!

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"We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy." -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (8/28/63 @ Lincoln Memorial)

Sign this petition if you support these five common-sense ways to bring hope back to Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County-- to make our local communities safer, healthier, and happier once again for our kids, our future, and all of us-- we've lost too many young lives to the streets (and unfortunately wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on jail expansion locally-- largely because of this)-- we need these things now, no more excuses(!):

1. A Robust Summer Jobs Program for Poughkeepsie/Dutchess Youth and Full Restoration of County Youth Programs

2. Phase In $15/Hour for Workers in Dutchess/Poughkeepsie as in NYC, Long Island, and Westchester (Start with Employees of Large Corporations)

3. Restore County Sales Tax Revenue Taken from Poughkeepsie/Municipalities

4. End School-to-Jail/Prison Pipeline-- Invest in Cost-Saving Alternatives as in NYC, Broome, Rockland, and Tompkins Counties 

5. Rent Control for Dutchess/Poughkeepsie as in NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Erie Counties

Email countylegislators@dutchessny.gov to build even more support (and write letters to local newspapers on all this)-- pass it on!

Joel Tyner, Dutchess County Legislator (Clinton/Rhinebeck), 324 Browns Pond Road, Staatsburg, NY 12580, Host of "The Real Majority Project" Saturdays 8-11 am on WHVW.com 950 AM, DutchessDemocracy.blogspot.com joeltyner@earthlink.net 845-464-2245/876-2488

p.s. Note as well-- as Justine Porter's recent Community Wealth Summit at Vassar College on Earth Day 2015 also pointed out, Dutchess County and the City of Poughkeepsie also need to work together to implement the innovative, new-economy local reforms proven effective in empowering low-income folks by the Democracy Collaborative across the country-- in particular, to facilitate the creation of an Office of Community Wealth as in Richmond/VA, Jacksonville/FL, and Philadelphia/PA-- along with worker-owned cooperatives as in Rochester/NY and Cleveland/OH-- and a labor/corporate Manufacturing Renaissance Center here as in Chicago to ensure an employed, skilled, educated workforce (mfgren.org)? How many more years will it take Dutchess Community College to make its tuition completely free for local residents (instead of current plans for a second straight year hiking tuition)? The fact is that community college is already free in Tulsa/OK, New Haven/CT, Philadelphia, Tennessee, and Oregon-- but not here-- even as the Poughkeepsie Journal publishes front page articles about a massive skills gap locally, forcing companies to look elsewhere.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/free-community-college_us_55affa14e4b07a http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/money/companies/2016/06/15/companies-not-enough-skilled-workers-dutchess/84973488/f29d575dff http://democracycollaborative.org/content/rochester-s-market-driven-community-cooperatives-corporation-feasibility-analysis http://democracycollaborative.org/content/twenty-cities-building-community-wealth http://www.richmondgov.com/CommunityWealthBuilding/ http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2015-01-20/story/mayor-brown-convenes-new-community-wealth-building-initiative-task-force http://www.phila.gov/ceo/Pages/default.aspx

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1. A Robust Summer Jobs Program for Poughkeepsie/Dutchess Youth and Full Restoration of County Youth Programs

With a just-reported fund balance (budget surplus) in Dutchess County of $57 million left over at the end of 2015 (well over twice what county fund balance was from 1996 through 2012), there is absolutely no excuse for Dutchess to not fully fund a real summer jobs program for at-risk youth across our county and restore county funding for the Dutchess County Youth Bureau Project Return program, county funding for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and county funding for CCEDC's Green Teen Community Gardening program for Poughkeepsie. http://hudsonvalleynewsnetwork.com/2016/05/02/molinaro-announces-year-end-2015-financial-condition/ http://ccedutchess.org/gardening/green-teen-community-gardening

Re: need for robust summer jobs program, The Washington Post reported the following 12/8/14: "A couple of years ago, the city of Chicago started a summer jobs program for teenagers attending high schools in some of the city's high-crime, low-income neighborhoods. The program was meant, of course, to connect students to work. But officials also hoped that it might curb the kinds of problems — like higher crime — that arise when there's no work to be found. Research on the program conducted by the University of Chicago Crime Lab and just published in the journal Science suggests that these summer jobs have actually had such an effect: Students who were randomly assigned to participate in the program had 43 percent fewer violent-crime arrests over 16 months, compared to students in a control group.That number is striking for a couple of reasons: It implies that a relatively short (and inexpensive) intervention like an eight-week summer jobs program can have a lasting effect on teenage behavior. And it lends empirical support to a popular refrain by advocates: 'Nothing stops a bullet like a job.' Researcher Sara Heller conducted a randomized control trial with the program, in partnership with the city. The study included 1,634 teens at 13 high schools. They were, on average, C students, almost all of them eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Twenty percent of the group had already been arrested, and 20 percent had already been victims of crime." [from "Chicago gave hundreds of high-risk kids a summer job. Violent crime arrests plummeted." by Emily Badger https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/08/one-cheap-way-to-curb-crime-give-teens-a-summer-job/ ]

Re: need to restore county funding for Dutchess County Youth Bureau Project Return program, Dutchess CSEA Pres. Liz Piraino (Lizbeth.Piraino@dfa.state.ny.us) wrote the following as part of a memo to Dutchess County Legislature Chair Rob Rolinson 11/23/10:

"I am asking for amendments to restore positions back into the 2011 budget for the following positions: Youth Worker and Supervising Youth Worker. The justification given on November 17th for decimating the Youth Services Unit, including the elimination of a Youth Worker as well as the complete elimination of Project Return was because, "In the last ten years, other evidence-based practices have been incorporated in other departments that also serve these high risk youth." (Director of HHSC speaking before the Dutchess County Legislature's Budget and Finance Committee) Less than ten minutes later, the same Cabinet Director attributed the decrease in DSS placement numbers to '…the good work of Youth Bureau staff and the good work of Probation and a lot of contractors.' 'Evidence based practices' and 'Evidence based programs' are two recent buzz words used in government for those programs that have received millions of dollars in order to study their effectiveness. In the past twenty-five years, YSU has not been permitted to apply for any grants other than those available from OCFS or DSS, so millions have not been spent to see if our programming works. We do, however, have thousands of case records in our files that provide evidence of what kind of 'success' our young clients have attained while in our programs. The cost for CSE Placements (room & board) in the Tentative 2011 DSS budget is $7,200,000, up $384,000. The cost for Institutional Care Placements in the same budget is $17,400,000, up $1,457,000 from 2010. the amount proposed to spend is up $2,300,000 over the total amount expended in 2009, and up $2,6000,000 over the total amount expended in 2008. Together, between school-placed youth and DSS placed youth, the tentative budget is recommending a whopping $21,600,000 to send kids out the community in 2011! [note-- this amount has increased 50% here and now in 2016 since 2010] Over the past five years, Project Return has worked with 194 high risk teenagers. Only eight (8) young people were closed due to out of home placements and five (5) of those placements were terms in non-secure detention or rehab ordered by the Youth Treatment Court as sanctions for failing to comply with judicial orders. Over the same time period, YSU provided counseling, advocacy and skills building for 1376 young people. Only three (3) were closed due to out of home placements. [Please note that these figures do not include nearly three thousand young county residents who received workshop trainings on anti-bullying, bias awareness, anger management and conflict resolution skills.] During the same November 17th budget hearing, the figure of $240,000 was quoted as the amount it cost to house a youth in jail for one year. This amounts to $657.53 per youth per day. Project Return costs under $24 per youth per day to keep them in their homes and in the community! The counseling services provided to Youth Services Unit clients not involved in Project Return cost less than $8 per youth per day."

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2. Phase In $15/Hour for Workers in Dutchess/Poughkeepsie as in NYC, Long Island, and Westchester (Start with Employees of Large Corporations) http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/opinion/valley-views/2016/06/14/myriad-problems-remain-county-fix/85834644/

It's a cruel joke that workers in New York City will be paid $15 per hour in three years, and workers on Long Island and Westchester will be paid $15 per hour in six years, while in Dutchess County we have to wait five years for the minimum wage to increase to the full amount from the recent "deal" to only $12.50 per hour, holding back economic revitalization (remember, 70 percent of our economy is driven by consumer demand). http://citizenactionny.org/2016/04/mixed-reaction-states-new-minimum-wage/20162

All workers in California will be making $15/hour by 2022, according to a deal struck there in May 2016. San Francisco voters had already approved a $15/hour minimum wage in November 2014. The Seattle City Council passed legislation in June 2014 to phase in $15/hour for all workers by 2021. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/03/28/california-raises-minimum-wage-15-hour/82348622/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage_in_the_United_States

The fact is that most on welfare are the working poor, as Darrell Lucus reported in April 2015-- "A new study by the University of California’s Berkeley Center for Labor Research And Education confirms what many of us have long suspected–the great majority of those on welfare actually do work. Specifically, almost 75 percent of those who are on Medicaid, food stamps and other programs geared toward the poor are members of families that have at least one worker among them. The states and federal government spend $152.8 billion on public assistance for families that have at least one member working at least 27 weeks per year and 10 hours per week. 56 percent of state and federal money spent on public assistance programs goes to working families. 61 percent of participants in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program from 2009 to 2011 came from working families. Of the 28 million people receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit during that same period, all but eight million were from working families." http://www.liberalamerica.org/2015/04/14/new-study-75-percent-of-people-on-welfare-are-members-of-working-poor/

The University of California Labor Center at Berkeley determined in April 2015 that it literally costs the state and federal government $25 billion annually to make sure that 2.9 million working New Yorkers are enrolled in Medicaid and/or the Childrens Health Insurance Program, 1.3 million working New Yorkers receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, and 674,000 working New Yorkers receive the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-- including the working poor in Dutchess County and Poughkeepsie. http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/the-high-public-cost-of-low-wages/

Here in Dutchess, taxpayers spend $40 million annually in corporate welfare to subsidize poverty wages paid by large corporations locally. A May 2015 University of Connecticut/Jobs with Justice report from Dr. Diane Simmons found this to be true here, extrapolated, because of government benefits local taxpayers have to pay for when those companies' employees need them to supplement low wages. http://ssw.uconn.edu/2015/05/13/ssw-faculty-member-louise-simmons-co-authors-a-new-study-low-wage-employer-fee-to-boost-connecticuts-jobs-revenue-and-gdp/

Wake up, Dutchess — there's nothing but a lack of political will to end that $40 million annually in corporate welfare paid by county taxpayers here, and get a living wage sooner rather than later for local workers on the same time schedule as workers in New York City. But it means holding the GOP accountable for cutting an atrocious "bargain" on this (It's time!).

The conservative Heritage Foundation's Romina Boccia was spot-on in her testimony before the U.S. Senate in June 2015: "Corporate welfare or crony capitalism is a destructive force that undermines public trust in the institutions of the free market and in government itself" (from "Corporate Welfare Wastes Taxpayer and Economic Resources". The libertarian Cato Institute also notes that taxpayers shell out $100 billion a year for corporate welfare). http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/06/corporate-welfare-wastes-taxpayer-and-economic-resources

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3. Restore County Sales Tax Revenue Taken from Poughkeepsie/Municipalities https://www.change.org/p/dutchess-county-executive-marcus-molinaro-make-dutchess-county-s-sales-tax-revenue-sharing-formula-more-fair

Fact: 90 percent of the reason for the City of Poughkeepsie's current $8 million deficit (though unreported, largely) is the fact that several years ago, Dutchess County's sale tax revenue-sharing agreement with local municipalities was changed-- shortchanging the City of Poughkeepsie to the tune of literally two million dollars a year (forcing further austerity measures and underfunding of crucial services locally-- and desperate measures like garbage fees, parking meters, etc.) http://www.dutchessdems.com/2016/02/15/thatll-leave-a-marc-6-million-robbed-from-city-of-poughkeepsie-budget/ http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/central-dutchess/2016/02/02/78-million-and-counting/79117424/ http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20130611/dutchess-county-changes-sales-tax-revenue-allocationshttp://dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2015/08/traudt-helped-molinaro-steal-66000-from.html

The irony is this-- with a just-reported (May 2016) fund balance (budget surplus) in Dutchess County of $57 million left over at the end of 2015 (well over twice what county fund balance was from 1996 through 2012), there is absolutely no excuse for Dutchess County to not at least work towards partially restoring the county sales tax revenue it stole from the City of Poughkeepsie and other municipalities-- as even GOP Town of Clinton Boardmember Dean Michel pointed out openly and publicly at a spring Clinton Town Board meeting-- and as former GOP Rhinebeck Town Boardmember Bruce Washburn also noted publicly during a Rhinebeck Town Board meeting during an October 2012 vote for a bipartisan resolution opposing the proposal to steal millions in county sales tax revenue from municipalities like Rhinebeck, Clinton, Poughkeepsie, etc. http://hudsonvalleynewsnetwork.com/2016/05/02/molinaro-announces-year-end-2015-financial condition/ http://www.rhobserver.com/13541/rhinebeck-rejects-molinaro-plan/

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4. End School-To-Jail/Prison Pipeline-- Invest in Cost-Saving Alternatives As In NYC, Broome, Rockland, and Tompkins Counties-- As The Vera Institute has Proven Possible Across the Country http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/incarcerations-front-door-report.pdf

First-- two days after the unfortunate 3/21/16 Dutchess County Legislature vote to approve $192 million for jail expansion (really $274 million after bonds fully paid off), the Poughkeepsie Journal published the following crucial "Borrowing Doesn't End Jail Debate" editorial (excerpted here): http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/opinion/editorials/2016/03/22/borrowing-doesnt-end-jail-debate/82120666/

"Dutchess County’s decades-long ordeal to address overcrowded conditions at its jail passed a major milestone Monday night, but plenty of decisions and a massive amount of work remain.

The public should stay engaged and not assume that as a result of a majority of county legislators voting in favor of a $192 million construction bond, this matter is completely settled. It is not...the project could wind up being smaller, should certain strategies prove effective. This is where a divided and fractured community could – and should – come together. The county, for instance, could forgo building a third floor of the facility, thus reducing the size by 72 beds. Other configurations also could be considered to lower both the capacity and cost. But that will occur only if the county can continue to reduce its average daily inmate population through alternatives to incarceration and other programming.

Keep in mind the county has only so much control over these issues, which also involve various levels of courts, judicial rulings and state laws.

Activists also must press their case to the state for sentencing changes and bail reforms, among other sound initiatives. Nevertheless, the county has made progress, and, in a promising move, is creating a restoration center, a separate facility with mental and physical health services where individuals can be diverted away from the jail and into treatment instead.

While the county has authorized a $192 million construction bond for the project, it is under no obligation to use it all. County officials still have to pick a final design and address a myriad of issues related to such a complex project.

The project surely must go forward in some capacity. Detractors would be wise to recognize this and work toward the best possible solution – a new facility that isn’t any bigger than it realistically has to be."

Also-- as my Poughkeepsie Journal Valley Views op-ed column pointed out this June, Dutchess County could reduce domestic violence crime and the ongoing incarceration of dozens of nonviolent heroin addicts in our jail if we just followed the recommendations of our county's CACDV and the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, as over 100 municipalities across the U.S. have decided to do (including the GOP District Attorney and Sheriff in Broome County)-- and prioritized treatment instead of jail for them. http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/opinion/valley-views/2016/06/14/myriad-problems-remain-county-fix/85834644/

Fact: In July 2015, our county's Citizens Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence issued a report endorsing my proposal for expansion of our county's Domestic Abuse Response Team to cover more municipalities than just Poughkeepsie, Beacon, and Hyde Park, yet our county Legislature's leadership has repeatedly not even allowed our Democratic Caucus resolution for this to appear on an agenda for a committee meeting. Considering the massive $57 million county fund balance just revealed, why not? http://midhudsonnews.com/News/2015/July/28/DC_DART-28Jul15.html

The Poughkeepsie Journal reported recently that "the number of accidental drug overdose deaths in Dutchess County jumped 31 percent from 2014 to 2015. Last year, there were 59 accidental drug overdose deaths investigated by the county's medical examiner's office...." http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2016/05/25/drug-deaths-up-dutchess-soar-across-state/84620926/

GOP Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell, this February, announced that his office was launching a new Operation S.A.F.E (Save Addicts From Epidemic) program with Republican Broome County Sheriff David Harder to send drug addicts there to treatment to save lives and prevent crime with this statement: “Our goal is to save lives by getting those addicted to drugs into treatment, and in doing so, we will clean up our streets. If you’re in treatment, you’re not stealing from family, neighbors or businesses, or committing other crimes."

Jefferson County and Cooperstown here in New York, and more than 100 other municipalities across the U.S. have now joined Gloucester, Massachusetts Police Chief Leonard Campanello's Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative to sensibly ensure treatment instead of incarceration for drug addicts ( http://www.PAARIUSA.org

Dutchess needs PAARI, so back in February I submitted a resolution to our county Legislature's offices for this to happen, but it hasn't been allowed on to the agenda for a committee meeting.

Instead, Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady bizarrely spoke publicly at the podium during a March County Legislature meeting on his strong preference for his jail-first, treatment-later approach at our county jail for 29 inmates charged with nothing more than "criminal possession of a controlled substance" — not charged with dealing or any violent acts (why?).

Recall as well County Legislator Francena Amparo's support at the March Dutchess County Legislature for my amendment below ("Plan B") to literally cut the size of the proposed construction bond in half-- from $192 million to $96 million-- safely lowering jail population while pro-actively healing our community with preventive services, investing just as much in the human infrastructure of the people of Dutchess County as physical infrastructure.

My amendment was for $96 million bond investment in these supportive housing populations:
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2016/01/31/legislative-spotlight-dutchess-county-jail-expansion/79611014/

[do the math: spending $96 million these 9 ways would deeply/safely cut jail population; note as well-- almost all the numbers to be diverted from incarceration are low estimates]

1. $5 million for 10 less women in jail for Drew House/Project MORE expansion (there are now 39 women locked up in our jail, being watched in one jail "pod" by 1 female C.O.).
http://www.housingplussolutions.org/sunflower-houses/family-ati-drew-house/
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/nyregion/for-mothers-facing-prison-drew-house-in-brooklyn-offers-alternative.html?_r=0
http://www.projectmore.org/programs-services/residential-programs/dutchess-county-transitional-housing/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/11/06/we-should-stop-putting-women-in-jail-for-anything/

2. $20 million for 10 less youth in jail-- expand Nubian Directions YouthBuild program for high school dropouts to get GED/construction certified; last year there were 100 18-year-old's and younger locked up in our jail for an average of three weeks; Nubian now only has funding for 31 slots annually-- 1700 Pok. High School dropouts in ten years.
http://NubianDirections.org/

3. $20 million for 25 less drug addicts in jail-- supportive housing/drug treatment beds-- currently there are 29 DC Jail inmates whose only crime is "criminal possession of a controlled substance" (nonviolent heroin/cocaine addicts who need treatment instead of being needlessly locked up behind bars-- haven't been charged with violence or dealing)
http://www.PAARIUSA.org ; http://www.SHNNY.org
http://www.wsj.com/articles/for-homeless-supportive-housing-provides-path-to-normalcy-1454023896
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/01/homelessness-new-york-city/422289/

4. $20 million for 25 less mentally ill in jail-- supportive housing (more long-term than Crisis Stabilization Center, which has not yet become operational); four years ago our county's Criminal Justice Council issued report noting that 80 percent of Dutchess County Jail inmates have substance abuse or mental health issues
http://www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2015/01/five-co-leg-dems-sign-my-letter-to.html
http://www.npr.org/news/specials/housingfirst/whoneeds/mentallyill.html
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/opinion/valley-views/2014/12/20/jail-place-mentally/20708123/

5. $10 million for 10 less state parole violators-- supportive housing/halfway houses for those failing urine tests, as National Institute of Correction has called for (2013 PoJo)
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-it-might-be-time-to-rethink-the-rules-of-parole/
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/opinion/valley-views/2015/06/24/dutchess-county-has-alternatives--bigger-jail/71032412/

6. $1 million for 20 less low-bail inmates needlessly sitting in jail-- launch nonprofit for bail loan fund for Dutchess County as in Tompkins County and in New York City
http://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/711-15/mayor-de-blasio-launches-bail-lab-safely-reduce-overreliance-money-bail
http://citylimits.org/2015/10/01/the-long-slow-death-of-bail-in-new-york-city/
http://www.OARTompkinsCounty.com
http://www.brooklynbailfund.org/
http://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Rational-and-Transparent-Bail-Decision-Making.pdf

7. $10 million for 20 less ex-cons returning to jail (recidivating)-- launch businesses, supportive housing-- New York Times editorial and Harvard study nine years ago recognized how much Brooklyn DA's ComAlert system slashed recidivism, saved $; now over half of DC Jail inmates are arrested again within three years of being released
http://brooklynda.org/re-entry-programs/
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/29/opinion/29thu3.html
http://www.PYHIT.com

8. $5 million for 5 less homeless in jail-- supportive housing (even Beacon Co. Leg. April Farley repeatedly pointed out openly late last year: homeless arrested for "3 hots & cot")
http://www.PathwaystoHousing.org

9. $5 million for minor renovations to DC jail/sheriff complex (not new jail cells-- just renovation)

[add those nine initiatives up folks-- that's $96 million to invest in bond for physical/human infrastructure that would surely, quickly, safely lower jail population, healing our communities]

And-- I also propose also pro-actively invest $1,500,000 to safely cut jail population these six ways too (not a bond):

1. $200,000 for 50 less inmates-- extra judges end case backlog (70% of inmates not gone to court yet at DC Jail-- Bernalillo County/NM used to spend $6 million annually "housing out" inmates to other county jails all over the state-- then hired judges, ended case backlog; cut in half waiting time for hearings regarding parole violations-- even Diane Jablonski cited Bronx model last year; see below-- New Orleans (with Vera help) cut waiting time for court from 64 days to only 10 days; specifically, here's what Diane Jablonski wrote about this in the Poughkeepsie Journal last May--
"New York City has embarked upon an effort to significantly reduce the length of stay in jail, modeled on a successful program in the Bronx that includes collaboration among judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, corrections officials and other participants in the justice system. Through similar efforts, Dutchess County should also address opportunities for reducing the length of the stay."
http://www.abqjournal.com/555688/news/bernalillo-county-jail-population-has-plunged.html
http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/incarcerations-front-door-report.pdf
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/opinion/valley-views/2015/05/06/jail-related-issues-need-illumination-dutchess/70903068/
http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/price-of-jails.pd

2. $150,000 for 15 less inmates-- change policing, implicit-bias training, decriminalization minor crimes-- Albany, Seattle, NYC show the way-- no reason for Dutchess to lag behind on this.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/nyregion/new-york-council-to-consider-bills-altering-how-police-handle-minor-offenses.html
http://leadkingcounty.org/
http://www.albanyny.org/NewsandEvents/News/15-12-15/ALBANY_POLICE_DEPARTMENT_RECEIVES_GRANT_TO_AID_IMPLEMENTATION_OF_INNOVATIVE_%E2%80%9CLEAD%E2%80%9D_PROGRAM_TO_ADDRESS_ROOT_CAUSES_OF_CRIME.aspx

3. $50,000 for Dutchess County version of pro-active training for volunteer Thrive NYC Mental Health Corps here
http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/health-and-medicine/2015/11/23/thrive-nyc--an--850-million-overhaul-of-the-city-s-mental-health-services.html

4. $100,000 for Vera Institute top-to-bottom review of jail inmates/criminal justice system
http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/incarcerations-front-door-report.pdf

5. $500,000 to restore county funding stripped away from our county Youth Bureau Project Return program, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Green Teen Poughkeepsie programs
http://dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2010/12/new-facts-re-county-budget-speak-out.html

6. $500,000 towards ending de-facto school-to-prison/jail pipeline locally-- expand quality pre-K/afterschool programs for all: Poughkeepsie/Dutchess; see http://www.HCZ.org -- as Assemblywoman Didi Barrett noted in her speech last year to educators assembled at the Poughkeepsie Middle School, Poughkeepsie/Dutchess really badly needs something like the Harlem Children Zone (or Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood) for Poughkeepsie-- Columbia University professor Peter Muenning and HCZ conducted a cost-benefit analysis and estimated that one cohort of 192 Harlem Gems pre-k students will accrue $91 million in benefits through increased income, improved health, as well as reduction in costs due to poor health, crime, and social services (HCZ spends an average of $5000 per child per year for the more than 8,000 students there-- compared to the annual cost of spending $50,000 to incarcerate someone in state prison in NYS)...and each at-risk youth kept from life of crime saves $1.2 million in tax dollars, according to Vanderbilt University and the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
http://www.epi.msu.edu/janthony/requests/articles/Cohen_Monetary%20High-Risk%20Youth.pdf

Again-- in case you missed Nancy Fishman of the Vera Institute, Project Director, Center on Sentencing and Corrections Sentencing and Corrections, and co-author of last year's amazing "Incarceration's Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America" report, on my WHVW 950 AM show and Terry Gross' "Fresh Air" -- here are some of the best points from report:
http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/incarcerations-front-door-report.pdf

[epic fail locally here in Dutchess on all these-- GOP have implemented none-- wake up, folks!]

From p. 14- "Compared to low-risk defendants released prior to trial, those detained before trial were 400 percent more likely to receive a sentence of imprisonment and 300 percent more likely to be given a longer prison sentence. Compared to low-risk defendants held for no more than 24 hours, those held for 8-14 days were 56 percent more likely to be rearrested before trial, and 51 percent more likely to recidivate after sentence completion."
http://www.arnoldfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/LJAF_Report_state-sentencing_FNL.pdf
http://www.pretrial.org/download/research/The%20Hidden%20Costs%20of%20Pretrial%20Detention%20-%20LJAF%202013.pdf

From pp. 18-19-- "New York City provides a good example of how changes in local system practices across agencies can work in concert to reduce the number of people in custody. New York substantially decreased its jail and prison (as well as community corrections) populations between 2000 and 2009, primarily as a result of changes in policy and practice around arrest and the use of alternatives to incarceration and other diversion programs, requiring in tandem policy changes across the police department, the courts, and district attorneys' offices.Throughout that period, the crime rate in the city continued to fall."
[see 2013 Vera Institute report- "How New York City Reduced Mass Incarceration: A Model for Change"
http://www.vera.org/pubs/how-new-york-city-reduced-mass-incarceration ;
[recall Times article from this past December-- crime still going down in NYC:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/27/nyregion/anxiety-aside-new-york-sees-drop-in-crime.html ]

From p. 23-- The New Orleans Police Department is just one among many law enforcement agencies that is relying more on citation and release. In the summer of 2008, the city council enacted an ordinance mandating the use of a summons rather than arrest when police encounter people who commit a municipal offense rather than domestic violence. From 2009 through 2011, the use of summonses in cases other than domestic violence and public intoxication increased from 41 percent to more than 70 percent. Arrests correspondingly dropped from 59 percent to 30 percent. This change in approach not only conserves costly jail beds, it is also an enormous time-saver for officers, allowing them to focus on serious public safety concerns."

From p. 24-- "The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program in King County, Washington, identifies people arrested for lower-level drug and prostitution offenses and diverts them away from the criminal justice system into community-based services.'

From p. 26- "In July 2014, Kings County (Brooklyn, NY) District Attorney Kenneth Thompson decided to stop prosecuting most people arrested for low-level marijuana offenses. Mr. Thompson said in a memo that the new policy was established to keep nonviolent individuals, especially young people of color, out of the criminal
justice system because open cases as well as convictions can become barriers to employment, housing, and higher education."

From p. 26- "The Hennepin County (Minnesota) District Attorney's Office partners with a local nonprofit, Operation de Novo, Inc., to provide an alternative to prosecution for people with no felony history and a limited misdemeanor history who have been arrested for a felony-level property crime where restitution is no more than $2500-- people who otherwise are likely to be detained pretrial and receive a jail sentence. Operation de
Novo case managers work with eligible arrestees to set requirements and goals for the year, which include community service and victim restitution. Those who successfully complete the program have a way to "pay their debt" to society and their victim without the added burden of a criminal conviction. In one recent year, the program handled 828 felony cases, collected and returned $440,200 in restitution to victims, and oversaw
10,720 hours of client community service."

From p. 26- "In communities from Denver, Colorado to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, assistant district attorneys are assigned to work in specific neighborhoods, often co-locating in police stations, to develop partnerships with neighborhood organizations and learn the problems (whether a "drug house" or a poorly lit bus stop) that make places less safe. They work with community members to develop prevention strategies to reduce both crime and arrests with victims to better understand their fears and losses and to explain court processes. Together with service providers, prosecutors also identify those whose behavior is a nuisance or worse in the neighborhood, and help keep them out of the criminal justice system if that can be done safely."

From p. 27- "The City of San Francisco runs 10 neighborhood courts that operate as true alternatives to prosecution. Prosecutors refer eligible misdemeanor cases to volunteer adjudicators who are residents of the neighborhood and use restorative justice practices to hold individuals accountable for their actions, address any underlying problems, and meet the needs of victims. Once individuals comply with the directives of the
neighborhood court, prosecutors dismiss their cases.

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5. Rent Control for Dutchess/Poughkeepsie as in NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Erie Counties

According to NYS Homes and Community Renewal and Wikipedia: "Each city in New York State may choose whether to participate or not, and as of 2007, 51 municipalities participated in the program, including Albany, Buffalo, and New York City, where over one million apartments are rent-regulated. Rent control exists in New York City and a small list of other municipalities in Nassau, Westchester, Albany, Rensselear, Schenectady, and Erie Counties. Rent control limits the price a landlord can charge a tenant for rent and also regulates the services the landlord must provide. Failure to provide these may allow the tenant to demand a lower rent. Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE): Tenants who are 62 years or older may qualify for full exemption or partial exemption from rent increases. Municipalities in Nassau and Westchester counties which have authorized the SCRIE program: Glen Cove, North Hempstead, Great Neck Plaza, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains, Yonkers, Rye, Greenburgh, Mamaroneck, Tarrytown, Pleasantville, Larchmont, Sleepy Hollow, Hastings-On-Hudson, Irvington, and Dobbs Ferry. Municipalities in Nassau, Rockland and Westchester Counties which have adopted the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, which allows local rent guidelines boards (one each in Nassau, Rockland, and Westchester counties) to set maximum allowable rates for rent increases in stabilized apartment, include Glen Cove, Long Beach, North Hempstead, Cedarhurst, Floral Park, Flower Hill, Freeport, Great Neck, Great Neck Plaza, Hempstead, Lynbrook, Mineola, North Hempstead, Rockville Centre, Russell Gardens, Thomaston, Baxter Estates, Haverstraw, Spring Valley, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains, Yonkers, East Chester, Greenburgh, Harrison, Mamaroneck, Croton-Harmon, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Mt. Kisco, Pleasantville, Port Chester, Rye, Sleepy Hollow, and Tarrytown." http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/about.htm#u https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent_control_in_New_York



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