Opponents of Douglas County Jail expansion not assuaged by cheaper plan

January 21, 2019. Lawrence Journal-World.

After Douglas County staff trimmed a cost estimate for an expansion of the local jail by $21 million, the most outspoken opponents to the first plan have not changed their tune.

Several local groups formed the Jail No coalition last March to oppose a May 2018 ballot question — Proposition 1 — that asked voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to fund behavioral health services and a $44 million expansion of the jail. In the election, voters defeated the measure 53 percent to 47 percent, or by more than 1,500 votes.

Restorative justice events planned to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.

January 19, 2019. Lawrence Journal-World.

Ben MacConnell understands the dangers of attaching opinions on a modern issue to someone who can’t speak for himself, but he believes Martin Luther King Jr. would be a strong proponent of criminal justice reform.

“Given the billions of dollars we’re spending on jails and prisons, and the fact that more people of color are incarcerated than there were slaves at the height of slavery, he would be looking at this and, I think, want to spend a lot of time focused on it,” MacConnell said.

City officials to give updates on addiction, public safety at CLOUT meeting

November 12, 2018. Insider Louisville.

Several city officials are slated to provide updates Monday on a wide range of topics — from school safety to how the police treat individuals with mental illness — that have been raised by one of Louisville’s most prominent interfaith social justice organizations.

On Monday night, members of CLOUT, or Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together, will hear “progress reports” from several local politicians about targeted “issue campaigns” undertaken by the group, according to a news release.

Community groups urge Knox County Schools to revamp strategic plan

October 1, 2018. Knox News.

Eight community organizations are calling on the Knox County Board of Education to retool its strategic plan with specific goals ranging from reducing class sizes to enhancing the diversity of the district’s workforce.

In a 16-page letter the coalition of organizations sent to board members on Sept. 20, it spells out 10 priorities for the district to adopt in its next three-year strategic plan.