A Solution for Replacing the DC Jail?

Shelley Broderick, chair of the District Task Force on Jails & Justice (more), published an opinion piece in the Washington Post, titled Opinion: We have a plan to close the D.C. jail. It’s time to act, in response to the recent developments regarding conditions at the DC Jail.

Citing the Task Force’s recommendations regarding the Jail, she notes that a plan for replacing the Jail has been proposed. “The plan provides for the demolition of the D.C. jail in 2027 and for the completion of a new, smaller, secure facility in 2030 that would hold both D.C.’s pretrial and sentenced populations in a vastly different physical and social environment — a safer, healthier place that supports personal growth through innovative, promising and evidence-based practices. D.C. leaders can shorten the timeline for closing the D.C. jail and opening the new facility two years earlier if they start planning and acting now.”

She concludes saying: “Building this new facility is only one part of a multipronged solution to D.C.’s failing justice system and perpetual silencing of Black pain. We must also make substantial community investments to reduce the number of people coming into contact with the criminal legal system in the first place. When we invest in a new facility, we must also invest in housing, behavioral health supports and services, education and more.”

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