THINGS TO KNOW:
I prepared and sent to Judge Deakins two ordinances to repeal the two 2022 ordinances from December last year which funded jail expansion with American Rescue Plan Act Dollars (an illegal use of ARPA). Ordinance one. Ordinance Two. This could expose Washington County and its taxpayers (us) to consequences such as the Federal government clawing back this funding after it is spent! SLFRF requires an entity that fails to comply with Sec. 802(c) to repay any misused funds to the U. S. Treasury Department. 42 U.S.C. Sec. 802(e). Imagine trying to come up with $20M to repay the federal government.
Judge Deakins refused to place the two ordinances on the agenda for Tuesday evening. Should a JP's power to legislate be determined by whether the county judge likes the legislation?
See full explanation from Judge Deakins below (email). He says I am, "...advanc[ing] [my] radical agenda through any means necessary..." "We all know Coger and her activist groups are rapidly opposed to the jail in any form." (FYI, I am proud to be labeled an activist) However, Judge, it is the expansion of the jail that I oppose. I am opposed to continued incarceration of people because they're too poor to buy their freedom. I am opposed to locking up people with drug addiction and mental health issues. I am opposed to housing federal inmates just so we can make $80 a day when this means more overcrowding and more people forced to sleep on the floor. I am opposed to continuing to throw WC taxpayer dollars at problems at the jail when clearly what we're doing is not working.
The 2020 Criminal Adjustment Assessment Study (CJAS) said we would only need to expand our jail, "if we do nothing." That's pretty much what we've done. Little to nothing. I can support the sheriff (I have and do) and still be against jail expansion.
Want to know more? Here's some background.
Here's Judge Deakins' only response to my attempts to get ordinances on the agenda:
WC Quorum Court combination County Services/Finance & Budget Committee meets Tuesday, 12/12/23 6:00 PM, WC Courthouse. In person only. Meetings are live-streamed on the County’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/washcoar
WE NEED YOUR HELP
ATTEND THE FINANCE & BUDGET/COUNTY SERVICES MEETING TUESDAY EVENING 12/12/23 6:00 PM. Speak up during public comment time. Visit with the JPs and let them know you do not want your tax dollars spent on jail expansion. Instead you want us to pursue justice reforms: pretrial services; drug addiction treatment; expanded drug court and veterans courts; access to mental health care, more public defenders, better paid public defenders. Read the 2020 Criminal Justice Assessment Study here and learn more