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.”
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.
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.
Happy New Year! Now that 2018 is officially history, it’s time to look forward at some of the key questions and issues facing Harrisonburg in the new year. Here you’ll find 19 key storylines The Citizen will be following in 2019.
As some in Harrisonburg call for criminal justice reforms, debate over a fee in local jails has opened up wider conversations about how best to help those caught up in the legal system.