July 26, 2017. Lawrence Journal-World.
After learning Wednesday of a new issue that has the county jail occasionally housing more inmates than its 186-bed capacity, Douglas County commissioners agreed a report on future jail population numbers should be shared with architects so they can update jail expansion plans.
June 26, 2017. The Lawrence Journal-World.
Renewing their earlier calls for transparency and accountability, members of Justice Matters are again urging the school board to consider implementing restorative justice in Lawrence schools.
Gary Schmidt, co-chair of the group’s racial justice steering committee, used Monday’s school board meeting to re-engage the board in a conversation that board president Marcel Harmon said began last spring surrounding racial justice. Restorative justice hinges on empowering students to resolve conflicts on their own through peer-mediated small groups, as opposed to more traditional disciplinary methods.
March 30, 2017. Lawrence Journal-World.
An assembly hosted by faith group Justice Matters on Thursday brought up community issues such as mental health, affordable housing and school equity, and event organizers weren’t shy in voicing their disappointment that not all local leaders attended.
The conclusion of the third annual Nehemiah Action Assembly likely sent cell phones of two local leaders — School Board President Marcel Harmon and Douglas County Commission Chair Mike Gaughan — buzzing with text messages after their numbers were projected in front of the nearly full Lied Center and the approximately 1,500 attendees were encouraged to text them.
March 15, 2017. Lawrence Journal-World.
The Douglas County Commission received but didn’t commit to a request from interfaith group Justice Matters to renovate an existing building for use as a mental health crisis intervention center that could be opened this year.
January 30, 2017. Lawrence Journal-World.
As it looks to its fourth year since its formation, the Lawrence interfaith group Justice Matters points to victories won through its mobilization of “people power” and vows to carry on the fight for advances on local issues its members have identified.
“None of us as individuals or as faith groups have the influence, the clout or the money to really affect change,” said Pat Lechtenberg, Justice Matters recording secretary. “But by coming together as a large group of people — and there were more than 1,700 of us at the Lied Center at our founding convention — we can make a difference.”