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JP COGER'S WEEKLY WASHINGTON COUNTY WINDOW 5/26/24 HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY TO EVERYONE! Remember the reason for the day. We honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.



This week’s focus is again on the women's community correction center.  Because it's important. Did you know that the 2020 Criminal Justice Assessment Study prepared by the National Center for State Courts had to say about our CCC (P. 119):  


"NWA CCC, the female center in Fayetteville, is a model for jails and prisons."



I have been working with various community members and groups who have reached out to me asking the quorum court to take action to save the NWA Community Correction Center (CCC) a/k/a the Women’s Prison located on College Avenue, reinstate the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee and find a vendor for the Crisis Stabilization Unit.


If you're new here, here's background and history to get you up to speed.


I want to give a huge “Thank You” to Dan Robinson of Fayetteville Public Access Television.  Last week he worked with me and community members to come to the public television station and record interviews, testimonies and stories about their experiences with the women’s prison and what an asset it is to our community. Thank you to everyone who shared.



DON'T MESS WITH SUCCESS!! These videos are already posted (Thanks Dan!) on YouTube.  Please go watch and then SHARE, SHARE, SHARE with as many groups and people as you can:





Here’s a link to the Resolution and the Ordinance which I have added to the County Services Agenda for 6/3/24 at 6:00 PM, Washington County Courthouse.  The ordinance needs some work, and I’ll be working on getting that done with the county attorney.  


In addition to the above items, I added a thirty (30) minute period during which community members may come to the court and speak to us, tell us their stories and experiences working, volunteering in, and being incarcerated in the women’s prison.



On 5/22/24 I sent this email to Judge Deakins to add three items to the agenda for 6/3/24 County Services meeting:

MY EMAIL TO DEAKINS

DEAKINS RESPONSE TO MY EMAIL:

After this from the judge, I printed and hand delivered my letter and the attached resolution and ordinance to the judge, county attorney, and the quorum court secretary. The next dayI received this response from the county attorney, Brian Lester.

I then saved the ordinance for a feasibility study and a resolution of the court supporting the CCC as a pdf and word doc (each), downloaded onto a thumb drive, and delivered those to the county attorney.


 

As stewards of taxpayer dollars, the quorum court must use due diligence and best practices in all our decisions.  That’s why I am bringing the resolution in support of the CCC, a public town hall meeting,, and the ordinance for a feasibility study on costs, staffing, and community impact, jail maintenance and operation costs, and more, with reference to the women’s prison and the county converting it into a satellite jail.


WE STILL NEED ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS. Here’s how to contact your elected representatives:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1M90HMXWclgwjzC67qzl31FFOOqrD4GsbcWBRDKnfLso/edit?usp=sharing:



  1. If CJ Deakins cancels the lease agreement with the Department of Corrections when their lease term expires 12/31/24, and it becomes a “second county jail,” how much will it cost to renovate the facility and bring it to meet current jail standards?  (Ask your JP, CJ Deakins, Sheriff Cantrell)

  2. Since there are 35 vacant staff positions in the WC Detention Center and seven or eight in the enforcement division, how do you plan to staff the “second county jail” which is now the CCC? (Your JP, CJ Deakins, Sheriff Cantrell)

  3. How much will the annual maintenance and operation for the “second county jail” cost Washington County Taxpayers and how will you pay for that?  How are you certain it won’t require a tax increase? (Your JP, CJ Deakins, Sheriff Cantrell)

  4. Closing the CCC which now houses approximately 120 women will leave at least that many women with no place to go after the CCC closes, so women who are convicted in Washington County and sentenced to DOC will be sitting in the WC Detention Center until a space opens in another woman's unit.  How and what measures are you taking to account for this increase in female detainees?  (Your JP, CJ Deakins, Sheriff Cantrell)

  5. How many people are sleeping on the floor at the WC Detention Center now?  (Sheriff Cantrell)

  6. How many people incarcerated in our WC are “pre-trial” and have not been convicted of a crime, a judicial officer has set their bond, but they are sitting in jail because they can’t afford to buy their freedom?  (Sheriff Cantrell)

  7. How much does it cost WC taxpayers each year to house pre-trial detainees in our jail?  (Sheriff Cantrell)

  8. Do the people incarcerated in the WC Detention Center receive drug and alcohol addiction treatment while they are incarcerated? If so, what does that treatment involve?  (Sheriff Cantrell)

  9. How many people in the WC Detention Center have been incarcerated more than one time? (Sheriff Cantrell)

  10. Why haven’t the criminal justice reforms recommended by the National Center for State Courts in 2020 been implemented? (Everyone!)

  11.  In addition to your county officials, you should also contact Governor Sanders: https://governor.arkansas.gov/online-services/contact-the-governor/  and Department of Corrections Secretary Lindsay Wallace.  Lindsay.Wallace@doc.Arkansas.gov and her Chief of Staff, Wade Hodge Wade.Hodge@doc.arkansas.gov



 

COUNTY UPDATE


🌟The WASHINGTON COUNTY ELECTION MET TUESDAY, 5/21/24, 9:00 AM, Washington County Road Department Bldg., 2615 Brink Drive, Fayetteville. Go here to view the meeting (two links):  https://www.youtube.com/live/iyB9_ZuMn64?si=RBYXcpLaVfkQ-V56


I think there was a problem with the livestreaming as the meeting is in two parts here.  The next meeting will be June 18, 2024.  I didn’t catch the time, but they’re usually at 9:00 am.  I’ll update later.


The commission is hosting an “I Voted” Sticker Contest for students in Washington County ages 6 - 14.  This sounds like fun and I love seeing the designs that our young people create.  Read all the details here:  https://www.washingtoncountyar.gov/government/departments-a-e/election-commission/i-voted-sticker-contest


 

COUNTY ZONING PROPOSAL (ORDINANCE, RULES & REGULATIONS)


PLEASE SEND ME ALL YOUR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS ABOUT THE NEW ZONING ORDINANCE AND ZONING MAP.

ZONING MAP FOR WASHINGTON COUNTY:  The white parcels would be zoned commercial - these mainly follow along state highways and the interstate.  The blue parcens would be zoned industrial - these include existing dirt mines and quarries…To see the proposed zoning on the interactive map, select “Layer List” from the top menu and click the box for “County Zoning Map 2024.”

To get a copy of the proposed planning ordinances, please check the Planning Department Ordinances and Regulations page, as shown in the image below.

 

Here are the links to the zoning districts webmap draft and the planning ordinances draft (PDF also attached).


 My email is:  ejcoger@gmail.com.  My number is 479-306-9994.  Please call and/or text.



 

  COUNTY JOB OPENINGS THIS WEEK (5/26/24)


 🌟 Here’s the link to the current Washington County Job Openings as posted on the HR website: https://www.washingtoncountyar.gov/government/departments-f-z/human-resources/job-postings

 There you’ll be able to complete an online application, see salary ranges and more.  



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