Share Your Vision for Families & Futures with the Closure of the Atlanta Jail
The Public Safety Committee of Atlanta City Council met on Tuesday to discuss last week's victory and resolution that was introduced by 6 Councilmembers to close the jail through a community-led process. The resolution, which was supported by over 15 different organizations, was held in committee for further study.
But yesterday’s hearing had a different tone - it brought out the staff and guards from the jail, most of whom were concerned with the possibility of losing their job.
The Close the Jail ATL Campaign has always considered the workers in our vision, as evidenced by our most recent policy brief which calls for a working group to focus on developing a just transition for the staff, ensuring it is a lay-up and not a lay-off for the 360 workers currently employed.
We know that the key to true community safety includes a vision for economic justice for all of our community members. We know we need JOBS not jails, HEALTHCARE not handcuffs, SERVICES not sentences- and that many of the staff of the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC) agree.
In fact, many of the staff of ACDC admitted yesterday that the jail is often used to warehouse people who are homeless, in need of substance abuse treatment, or have mental health needs. We know that cages are not appropriate treatment programs for our communities in crisis.
We understand that the majority of the staff of ACDC are concerned about their families and their futures.
The Close The Jail ATL Campaign invites a process that takes all of our families into consideration – as well as the future of our communities- which is why we want a community-led process to close the jail.
We know we can find common ground with some of the workers of ACDC, but it’s not inside a cage. Rather, we’ll find it in public safety solutions that prioritize all of our community’s needs – and we’ll find it in our creative visions for repurposing the jail to one that serves our people, not locks them up.
The Close the Jail ATL Campaign invites you to share with us your visions for community safety and what can replace ACDC by filling out our survey today!
If you’re staff at ACDC, we invite you to join us for further discussion and conversation on what a just transition can look like for you and your colleagues. Please contact us for a private meeting by clicking here.