UPDATE and ACTION ALERT!
On January 28th, King County Council will attempt to take another step on their misguided path to spend $210 million to build a new youth jail and courts for King County’s youth by voting on the design-build team for the proposed facility. The tide is turning against this plan, and we must use every chance to let the county know: NO NEW YOUTH JAIL! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for action items!
WHAT IS THIS VOTE ABOUT?
- On December 10, 2014, King County announced that a contractor and two architects, together known as a “design-build” team had been selected for the new youth jail project
- Both the contractor, Howard S. Wrightand the architectural firms HOK andIntegrus Architecture have profited from their so-called “justice” portfolios– designing and building police stations, jails, and prisons to house the infrastructure of the racist criminal punishment system.
- Integrus Architecture designed the Northwest Detention Centerin Tacoma, an immigration detention facility that cages thousands of migrants facing deportation each year. Integrus boasts on their website that they designed “a 40-bed maximum-security Special Housing Unit” as part of the facility; during the 56-day hunger strike by detainees this past May, this “Special Housing Unit” (a euphemism for solitary confinement) was used to isolate and punish the hunger strikers organizing to bring light to the center’s on-going human rights abuses.
- The January 28thvote by the Budget and Finance Committee of the King County Council would approve granting these prisoner-profiteering companies a contract to design and build courts and cages for King County’s youth, spreading the architecture of misery.
WHY HAVEN’T I HEARD ABOUT THIS?
- As opposition to the project grows, King County is being pushed to answer directly to community members. After announcing the contractor/architect selection in December, the County began advertising an “open house” on January 24thto receive community input.
- On January 23rd, the County cancelled the open house, opting instead for a “virtual” open house. This move limits feedback on the design to those with internet connection and computer access. More importantly, the cancelled open house signals that our opposition is working– so much so that the County is afraid to confront real people in real time about the controversial project.
- Despite their unwillingness to meet with community members, the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee must hold a vote to approve the design/build team. The vote is happening on Wednesday, January 28th, at 1 p.m.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Keep the pressure on by telling the County to stop this jail-building project and instead invest in real solutions
- E-mail: Budget and Fiscal Management Committee Members and let them know you want them to vote NO on the ordinance approving the development contract for the Children and Family Justice Center.
o Cut and paste these e-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
- Show Up: Come in person to show your opposition: January 28, 2015, 1p.m., Room 1001 at 516 3rd Avenue.
- Learn More/Stay Connected: Check out https://www.facebook.com/endingthe.pic, https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonIncarcerationStopsHere, and https://nonewyouthjail.wordpress.com/ for updates.
o RSVP here for the upcoming People’s Tribunal on the Juvenile Justice System.