IMC: "Sign the Petition to the Champaign County Board to say: Stop the 20 million dollar jail expansion!"

From the IMC:

The Champaign County Board is considering a proposal to spend $20 million on new jail cells. They claim the current downtown jail, built in 1980, is beyond repair. The Board plans to pay for the new jail cells from the public safety sales tax which brings in about $4 million per year.

We say the Board, rather than spending $20 million on jail construction, should focus on investing in preventative services that will keep people out of jail and prison, things like youth job training, mental health centers, substance abuse treatment and re-entry programs for people returning home from prison. Click the title to add your name to the growing list of people who support investing in prevention instead of detention.

“To: The Champaign County Board We the undersigned oppose the Champaign County Board’s proposal to spend $20 million on new jail cells. We believe the Board should spend this money funding preventative programs that will keep people out of jail and prison.”

SIGN THE PETITION NOW: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6220/c/1340/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12271

 

For those not following this, the Champaign Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice have been well organized and fighting hard against the idea of a new county jail.

 

PS – I noticed that some petition signers are using the opportunity to make a counter-statement instead of voice support. It is interesting to hear from folks who think that the current laws (and their enforcement) are perfectly just. I ask, if the way we are doing things now is good and right, then why do we have so much crime? Why is there such a huge disparity among the population in jail vs those not in jail? What else explains that?

syndicated: Apr. 1: Public Meeting with ILPP-Needs Assessment Consultant on Jail Issue

From the IMC:

Dr. Alan Kalmanoff of the Institute for Law and Public Policy (ILPP), the consultancy hired to do a needs assessment for the county on the jail and criminal justice system issue, will hold a public meeting at the Urbana Civic Center, 101 E. Water St., on April 1 at 6 p.m. Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice encourages all people from the community to attend and make your voices heard on whether you think the county should spend more money on jail cells or suggest other projects you think would better promote public safety.

 

For those who might be new, you are probably wondering “why is he posting about the jail on a school blog?” A very good question to ask, and I’ll pause to let you think about how they might possibly be connected.

 

….

 

On the one hand, there is the pocketbook connection; I quote “make your voices heard on whether you think the county should spend more money on jail cells.” The other hand is a little more subtle, but is summed up nicely in the second half of that sentence,  “… or suggest other projects you think would better promote public safety.”

 

It is my opinion that public schools are at the perfect juxtaposition within the community to “promote public safety” and implement projects (not to mention curriculum) that do everything they can to not only help kids stay out of trouble, but even better, to train and equip kids with the tools they need to succeed in life!

 

What does that mean? It means finding and building up the strengths and beauty in each child. It is the “rose that grew from concrete“. It goes a lot deeper, but I have this nagging sense that some of your are already tuning out. 🙂

 

What will it take for the greater community to wake up and realize they play a role in these huge issues?

Yes you can

I had a really good talk with a very involved Unit 4 parent today and we spent a bit of time dancing around the topic of advocacy. One of the things we discovered during our conversation is that the only reason why we have this need for advocacy in the first place is because the system and society that we live in right now has power structures that are oppressive (and history tells us that this has been going on for a long long time); by “oppressive” I mean that the voice of dissent is consistently and systematically squashed. What confuses me is why the masses continue to abide by this twisted reality, why we accommodate it and thus permit it. I know, you are thinking that the nature of oppression in the first place is to basically make sure the status quo is maintained, enslaving the will of those oppressed and thereby to force accommodation. To rape one’s sense of being and worth.

 

But we don’t have to accommodate at all. We can speak out against it. And in fact, I think we have a moral obligation to do so.

 

You think I am being melodramatic – I can tell by the way you are itching to move on to the next thing. Bear with me a moment more. I heard a story of a child who was uncomfortable with the “inappropriate” play of another child. The first child told the attending teacher and nothing happened. The child then went to the next level (someone higher) and things started happening (good for the first child, not so good for the second). The child has learned an important lesson of advocating for self; a pretty rare trait in one so young, but a very crucial one to learn none-the-less. I heard another story of a young girl who witnessed a friend being bullied. Filled with indignation, she told the bullies to stop and walked her friend away from the situation. This was a powerful story of advocating for someone else; she saw something was wrong and could not abide by it, but was compelled to make the situation right.

 

Frequently I hear of parents who struggle to successfully and satisfactorily engage the system of our public schools. Please note, I do hear many success stories as well – the change in Unit 4 since the beginning of 2012 has been significant, even if subtle. Yet there are still those cases where parents, or even other stakeholders, attempt to assail the walls of bureaucracy only to be rebuffed and thrown back. In such cases I want to implore you not to give up. I want to shout “Yes you can!”. You say you are but one person. Yes, I know, so am I.

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”

— attributed to Mother Teresa

 

If something is not right, if something is objectionable or just plain wrong, say something about it. And don’t stop until Read the rest of this entry »