Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jail Alternative Recommendations Ready for Consideration

Richmond CCJB finalizing plans to present to City leadership

The Richmond Community Criminal Justice Board (RCCJB) will meet to vote on the 2011-2012 Biennial Plan which focuses on alternatives to incarceration on Wednesday, June 9 at 3:30 p.m. The plan is being prepared to present to city leadership following Mayor Dwight C. Jones' charge for a review of alternatives and request for recommendations.

Last year, Mayor Jones, city officials and RCCJB members visited alternatives to incarceration models in three other cities. "The current overcrowding conditions at the City Jail have been a huge problem in the city for years," said Mayor Jones. "I'm convinced that the proper application of alternatives will successfully reduce our jail population and connect individuals to the services they need."

High priority recommendations expected to be presented today include:

Increase the capacity of specialty housing and homeless programs targeted to offenders with a history of homelessness or housing instability. Increase the number of permanent supportive housing beds in the city.

Explore a special docket for non-violent offenders with mental illness. Increase the capacity of mental health services for these offenders.

Increase the capacity of substance abuse treatment and recovery programs for offenders involved in diversion or alternatives to incarceration.

Implement best-practice pre-trial and community-based programs that reduce incarceration for low impact offenses.

The overall goal of this Biennial Plan is to reduce the jail census by approximately 400 persons, to connect individuals to treatment, and to achieve economies of scale in the use of best practice alternatives to traditional incarceration. The RCCJB meets today at 3:30 p.m. at 3600 West Broad Street.

# # #