LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO CLOSE & REPURPOSE ATLANTA JAIL THROUGH COMMUNITY-LED PROCESS
Women on the Rise would like to thank our partners and members of the Close the Jail ATL Campaign for coming out on Monday afternoon to make our voices heard and say "No Contracts, No Cages!"
A steady stream of supporters spoke up in City Council chambers to demand the City of Atlanta CANCEL its contract with ICE, CLOSE the Atlanta jail, and use a COMMUNITY driven process to repurpose the facility.
In response, a resolution was introduced by Councilmembers Matt Westmoreland, Jen Ide, Amir Farokhi, J.P. Matzigkeit, Dustin Hillis, and Andre Dickens to do just that- details and next steps for which will be discussed in a Public Safety Committee soon.
Women on the Rise along with the Racial Justice Action Center and Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative have been working for 5 years on vital reforms to the city’s public safety system that have paved the way for this campaign, launched jointly earlier this year.
As a group of predominately Black formerly-incarcerated women, many of whom have spent time behind bars at the Atlanta City Detention Center, we have first-hand experience and understanding of the harms caused by mass incarceration and the importance of closing this jail and putting the community back in charge of its repurposing.
Monday's hearing was an acknowledgement of that experience and expertise, as much of the language for the legislation echoed our demands over the past several years.
Our next steps will be to ensure a true transparent, community-led process is developed to repurpose the facility, rather than simply selling it off to the highest bidder and continuing the legacy of harm caused by the jail's operation.
Please contact the Councilmembers and thank them for their sponsorship:
Councilmember Westmoreland: firstname.lastname@example.org Councilmember Jen Ide: email@example.com Councilmember Amir Farokhi: firstname.lastname@example.org Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit: email@example.com Councilmember Dustin Hillis: firstname.lastname@example.org Councilmember Andre Dickens: email@example.com
Thanks to all of our co-sponsors for Monday's powerful event, including Project South, Women Watch Afrika, Southern Center for Human Rights, AFSC, Housing Justice League, SisterSong- The National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Research | Action Cooperative, Black Alliance for a Just Immigration, Georgia Detention Watch, Southerners on New Ground, GLAHR, ACLU of Georgia, SisterLove, Counter Narrative Project, and SNaP Co