County VOTE on Jail Oversight

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 1:00pm
Court House Rm. 407, 401 Montgomery St., Syracuse, NY 13203
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PLEASE COME TO THE ONONDAGA LEGISLATURE THIS TUESDAY Jan 6 AT 1 PM

The Legislature will be VOTING on a bill TO CREATE A NEW JAIL OVERSIGHT ENTITY.
This is something that is STRONGLY SUPPORTED BY the NYCLU and the UNITED AS ONE COALITION.
and members of UaO have been working with key legislators to move this forward for almost 2 years.

There will be an OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT in the FIRST SECTION OF THE LEGISLATURE SESSION.
PLEASE CONSIDER SPEAKING in this public comment period IN SUPPORT OF A YES VOTE ON THIS BILL!
WE ALSO NEED PEOPLE to COME AND JUST SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!   The NYCLU will provide signs for people to hold up.

The proposed bill would create an Jail Oversight Entity composed of community members that represent the demographic and geographic diversity of Onondaga County.
The members of this entity would review the circumstances related to serious incidents, come to conclusions as to what occurred, and then make recommendations to the Sheriff and to the Legislature's Public Safety Committee about related policies, procedures and training.   The entity would be like a Citizen's Review Board seeking transparency for what occurs in the Onondaga County Jail.  Language in the bill strongly encourages the new Sheriff to cooperate by providing access to polices and to the facility, and to give serious consideration to recommendations sent to him.  The bill also requires the Legislature's Public Safety Committee to acknowledge and discuss these recommendations.  People incarcerated in the jail AND their family members and community advocates can submit complaints to the entity.  The law also requires the hiring of a paid administrator to coordinate the work of the entity.

The United as One Coalition began to call for the creation of a independent oversight entity for the jail  in memory of Chuniece Patterson and Raul Pinet Jr. who both died in tragic circumstances at the jail, despite policies and practices that should have prevented their deaths.  The causes of both of their deaths were eerily similar to the tragic deaths of Lucinda Batts and Johnny Williams over 15 years before.
It is our hope that the creation and operation of this independent jail oversight entity will help to ensure that there are NO MORE DEATHS ! / NO MUERTOS MAS !
 
This bill to Create this Jail Oversight Entity is being presented for a vote by the Chair of the Legislature Ryan McMahon(R), a former City Councilor, with the active support of Minority Leader Linda Ervin (D) and Legislator Monica Williams (D).   It is our hope that it will pass with a strong majority, but the votes are not secure ....
A STRONG DEMONSTRATION OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL.
PLEASE COME AND SHOW HOW MUCH THIS NEW JAIL OVERSIGHT ENTITY IS NEEDED.

NOTE:  There are also other items on the Legislature Agenda for which there may be other speakers, and perhaps also lengthy discussion by legislators before the vote on the oversight entity occurs.  We need people to be there at 1pm for the scheduled start time of the legislature session and the public comment period at the beginning of the session, AND to stay for the vote on our item.  There may be a period of time in between.   Please bear this in mind.

Barrie Gewanter
Director - Central NY Chapter of the NY Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
& Co-Founder - United as One Coalition
731 James St., Suite 205
Syracuse, NY. 13203
bgewanter@nyclu.org

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