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.

Keys to stemming rising jail population could be in the numbers. The question now is how to find them.

            While the local jail population continues to grow, the record-keeping systems used by law enforcement, the courts and other pieces of the local criminal justice system remain stuck in the past, complicating efforts to understand what’s driving that population growth or to begin addressing it. Within a year, however, new insight into local criminal justice trends could be coming from two different sources.