DC City Council Releases Hearings Schedule for Budget and other Business

The DC City Council has published a public hearing schedule for the upcoming budget and other business. A link to the PDF document with all the details is provided below.

Note the following:

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Justice Roundtable Publishes Comprehensive Recommendations for COVID-19 Response

The Justice Roundtable, a broad national criminal justice advocacy umbrella initiative with 14 subject-matter coalitions, recently published a comprehensive set of recommendations for criminal justice responses to the COVID-19 crisis. This document is an excellent reference covering many subjects that the Rethink Justice DC Coalition works on. A one-page summary of key issues was also published. Links to both are below.

DOWNLOAD FULL Justice Roundtable recommendations document

DOWNLOAD Justice Roundtable one-page recommendations summary


ReThink Justice DC Coalition Letter to City Official Calling for funding for safe housing for Returning Citizens

The ReThink Justice DC Coalition has sent a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Councilmember Charles Allen and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton calling on them to “bring a sense of urgency to address the gaps left by the sudden closure of Hope Village.” The letter was signed by a number of local criminal justice reform advocates.

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Mayor Bowser Establishes ReOpen DC Advisory Group

Mayor Bowser announced the leadership of her ReOpen DC Advisory Group today. The Advisory Group is make up of 12 committee. Of interest to ReThink Justice is the Government Operations, Public Safety, and Criminal Justice.

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DC Corrections Information Council Update on Hope Village Closure

The Corrections Information Council published information today regarding the impact of the closure of the Hope Village men’s federal halfway house for DC citizens who are residents there.

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Online Resource: Covid-19 Correctional Policies & Responses

The UCLA School of Law has created databases that keep track of developments related to COVID-19 in prisons and jails nationwide. Launched amid the mounting coronavirus crisis — including reports of infections in high-risk places where large numbers of people are packed into tight quarters — the resources address two key areas.

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What Happens to DC Residents When Hope Village Halfway House Closes?

Source: wamu.org

Recent reports have stated that the current operator of the federal men’s halfway house known as Hope Village will cease operations when their current contract with the BOP expires at the end of April. Advocates have been asking themselves what happens to DC residents when Hope Village closes.

Wamu.org published an article today, titled Home Confinement, Other Halfway Houses, Or Federal Prison Lie Ahead For D.C. Halfway House Residents, providing some answer. These include:

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Mayor Bowser Grants Early Release to Several Residents Held in the DC Jail

Mayor Bowser, through authority granted by the “COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020” that was recently passed by the Council of the District of Columbia, will grant 75 days of additional good time credits to eligible residents in the DC Jail. Those eligible include residents who are currently in the DC Jail as a result of a misdemeanor conviction. There are currently 36 eligible inmates that the 75-day additional good time credit would apply to. Approximately half of the 36 inmates will be eligible for immediate release as a result of this action, pending no outstanding matters.

On March 17, when the emergency legislation passed, the DC Jail housed 115 sentenced misdemeanants. However, due to the application of good time credits or the expiration of their natural sentence, there are only 36 sentenced misdemeanants remaining in the DC Jail today.

Upon release, these residents will receive social and health services support through staff at the READY Center.

View Mayor Bowser’s announcement


Hope Village Will Not Seek A Contract Extension With The Bureau Of Prisons

Source: WAMU.org

WAMU, citing a letter sent from Rep. Norton to the BOP, reports that the company that runs the Hope Village halfway house in Southeast D.C. is no longer seeking to extend or renew its contract with the federal Bureau of Prisons.

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Rep. Norton Asks BOP for Contingency Plan for D.C. Returning Citizens After Hope Village Contract Expires at End of Month

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton released a letter she sent today to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) asking for its plan for individuals returning to the District from BOP prisons. This was after Hope Village, the men’s halfway house in D.C., informed Norton that it would not seek an extension or renewal of its contract with BOP after it expires on April 30, 2020. Hope Village is the largest federally contracted men’s halfway house in the country and houses both BOP and D.C. Department of Corrections inmates. D.C. Code felons are the only local inmates regularly housed by BOP.

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