1,000 signatures reached
To: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms & Atlanta City Council
Tell Atlanta to Move $18 Million from Cuffs to Care!
Vote to move $18 million dollars in the proposed Atlanta city budget from the Atlanta City Detention Center - the "extra" jail that sits mostly empty and is slated for closure & repurposing - to community care & public health!
Here is the letter that will be sent:
I am writing to add my voice to the thousands urging you to take immediate action to finally close the city’s extra jail and redirect the $18 million in the proposed 2020-21 city budget to protect the health and wellness of all Atlantans.
In a time of public health crisis and a loss of millions to the City’s revenue, it is unconscionable for the City of Atlanta to spend $18 million to continue to operate a jail that sits mostly empty and is already slated for closure & repurposing. Now more than ever, we must put an end to locking people in cages for petty offenses such as jaywalking and disorderly conduct, wasting desperately needed resources, criminalizing people for being poor, and making us all less safe.
We ask that you take immediate action to:
1. Zero out the FY21 budget for the Department of Corrections and announce a date certain for the jail’s closure;
2. Retrain and redeploy current ADOC employees to another city department to do the admirable and future-building work of community based care.
The time is now. The city’s commitment to close and repurpose the jail cannot be reconciled with allocating millions of dollars to its operation in the coming year. In the time of a global pandemic, smart cities like Atlanta must shift resources away from the institutions that have failed to increase public safety and have now become potential super spreading sites. Instead, the city should prioritize the community based care and supports we have always known to be the basis of true public health and safety.
Why is this important?
In a time of public health crisis and a $40 million budget deficit, it is unconscionable for the City of Atlanta to spend $18 million to lock people in cages for jaywalking and disorderly conduct. We can, in no way, allow for this jail - and potential hotspot - to exist any longer in our community, wasting desperately needed resources, criminalizing people for being poor, and making us all less safe.