Tag: community justice planner
One month into new role, criminal justice planner finds ways to affect change — even amid a pandemic
A reverence for comprehensive data, a belief in transformational justice over punishment and a willingness to listen to area stakeholders before taking action are all in J. Frank Sottaceti’s toolbelt as he steps into the newly-created role of Criminal Justice Planner for the city of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
Starting March 9, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County will have a criminal justice planner, an addition to the court system for which local justice advocates have long been campaigning.
Voting to fund a new justice planner position, as the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County did earlier this year, was just step one. Now, City Manager Eric Campbell, County Administrator Stephen King and their respective staffs are playing administrative catch as they make good on that promise by actually developing a job description and hiring someone to do it.
The Harrisonburg city council ratcheted up pressure on the Rockingham County sheriff regarding the $1-a-day “keep fee” at the local jail. After a lengthy discussion about wording and efficacy, the council unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday evening to formally ask Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson to “examine the possibility of eliminating the $1-day jail fee.”
Harrisonburg’s total cost to prosecute, try and incarcerate people has risen by $1.8 million – roughly 29 percent – over the past five years, according to city finance documents.
Justice planner included in proposed city budget that will get a public hearing at tonight’s council meeting
A tiny fraction of the proposed $274 million city budget amounts to a big deal for community groups that have been calling for reforms in the local criminal justice system.
City leaders back remembrance of Hburg’s lynching victim and discuss criminal justice issues at Tuesday’s meeting
Council members offered support at Tuesday’s meeting to a civic project memorializing Charlotte Harris, a victim of a public lynching in Harrisonburg 141 years ago.
Following weekend rally, community criminal justice board picks new chair and talks some more about long-standing ‘asks’
On Saturday, more than 100 rallied downtown in support of eliminating the jail keep fee and hiring a community justice planner. On Monday, newly elected Community Criminal Justice Board chairman (and Harrisonburg City Councilman) Chris Jones spoke in favor of the justice planner, but said keep fee is the sheriff’s call.