Aloyse Brown and Victor Miller Tour County Jail; Both Pledge To Safely Reduce Jail Overcrowding
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: John Kerns (865) 740-0213 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chattanooga, Tenn., June 28, 2018 - Today, candidate for county mayor Aloyse Brown along with Homicide Unit Supervisor and candidate for sheriff Victor Miller, toured the Hamilton County jail in downtown Chattanooga.
“Our jails should be facilities of justice, rehabilitation, and a tool to enhance safety across our community. With the degree of overcrowding in our jails today, we are failing that standard in Hamilton County,” Brown said.
Miller agreed, “My colleagues at the Sheriff's Department comprise the finest corrections staff in Tennessee, but these professionals are working in a system that’s unnecessarily overloaded and understaffed.” He added, “Luckily, we can fix the problem with better policy instead of expensive and bigger facilities.”
Brown and Miller propose a three-pronged approach to safely reducing jail overcrowding.
Reform bail bonding laws so that taxpayers aren’t paying to house non-violent, low-risk offenders awaiting trial
Increase the capacity of Mental Health and Drug Courts, allowing citizens that are better-suited to treatment than corrections to get the help they need
Partner with community organizations to develop rehabilitation and re-entry programs
Both candidates point out that comparable policies have been successful in nearby cities. For example, the community of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, NC reduced its jail population by 11% between 2011-17 using a similar set of reforms. “Moving to a risk-based, rather than charge-based bail policy keeps taxpayers from footing the bill to house and feed non-violent criminals that likely pose little threat to the general public,” Miller said.
“It’s an incredibly ineffective use of public funds to hold people in jail that only need mental health care or drug rehabilitation,” Brown said. “While we have drug and mental health courts here, we could be doing much more, and at a huge value to taxpayers.”
“We’re facing huge lawsuits if we don’t address this with real urgency. Jails aren’t meant to be pleasant places, but they don’t have to be a drain on the budget the way they are now,” she said. “The single-biggest fiscal savings available to Hamilton County today is to fix jails with smart policy.”
Miller added, “Right now we face a very simple choice: continue to pay nearly $100,000 per day to house inmates, or sensible reform. I believe every taxpayer knows which is the better value.”
For more information visit AloyseForMayor.com, and MillerSheriff.com.
# # #