Archive for Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Douglas County schedules informational meetings on jail expansion/mental health referendum

Douglas County Jail

Douglas County Jail

March 20, 2018

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Douglas County has scheduled four informational meetings on the half-cent sales tax referendum that would fund a $44 million expansion of the county jail and build an $11 million behavioral health campus.

Sarah Plinsky, assistant Douglas County administrator, said the meetings would be held in advance of the the Douglas County Clerk’s Office sending out mail-in ballots for the referendum on April 25. The times and dates of the meetings are:

• 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, Eudora City Hall, 4 E. Seventh St.

• 7 p.m Thursday, April 12, Lawrence Free State High School, 4700 Overland Drive.

• 7 p.m. Monday, April 16, Baldwin City Library, 800 Seventh St.

• 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, Carnegie Building, Heritage Room, 200 W. Ninth St.

On the mail-in ballots, county voters will be asked to approve a half-cent sales tax, which will generate an estimated $9.8 million annually to fund construction of the $44 million jail expansion and an $11 million behavioral health campus. The tax will also provide $5.1 million a year for new behavioral health programming and $1 million of the $6.1 million needed per year to operate an expanded jail. The ballots will be counted May 15.

Plinsky said all three county commissioners would attend the meetings with representatives of the sheriff’s office and behavioral health partnering agencies. Funding from the sales tax will allow Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, DCCCA, Heartland Community Health Center and the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority to offer services at the behavioral health campus and preventive outreach programs.

More coverage: Douglas County votes on jail expansion, behavioral health campus
• May 14, 2018 — County clerk reports that about 40 percent of Proposition 1 ballots have been returned by eve of deadline

• May 9 — Latest debate in sales tax election: How far can the county go in pushing for a ‘yes’ vote?

• May 8 — Proposition 1 brochures removed from County Treasurer’s Office counter after citizen complains

• May 7 — Proposition 1 ballots coming in at ‘impressive’ rate; county clerk says turnout could exceed 45 percent

• April 30 — Jail referendum fact check: A look at what both sides aren’t saying about the heated campaign

• April 30 — Midcase mental health evaluations for Douglas County jail inmates have increased

• April 30 — How much is violent crime up in Douglas County? Either a lot or very little, depending on which statistics you look at

• April 24 — A look at what is included in the proposed Douglas County Jail expansion

• April 23 — Americans for Prosperity campaigning against sales tax in county referendum

• April 22 — At forum, Douglas County commissioner explains 'what if' option if sales tax referendum fails

• April 22 — Get ready to vote: Questions and answers on the Douglas County half-cent sales tax ballot question

• April 22 — 4,198 days in: Meet the Douglas County Jail’s 5 longest residents

• April 20 — County says Justice Matters using wrong law to try to force mental health vote; group plans to start petition drive on Saturday

• April 18 — Douglas County leaders learn about first participant in diversion program for female inmates; Thellman cites Constitution on jail expansion issue

• April 17 — Average daily population at Douglas County Jail fell slightly in 2017 to reverse 5-year trend

• April 17 — Douglas County counselor: Meeting with Justice Matters about proposed petition would not be appropriate

• April 17 — Despite campaign literature to the contrary, county officials confirm there’s no legal finding that Douglas County Jail must be expanded

• April 16 — Douglas County legal counselor finds proposed Justice Matters petition legally invalid, but group says it can be fixed

• April 16 — What you will see and hear on a Douglas County Jail tour

• April 15 — Speakers at criminal justice, behavioral health forum look beyond jail expansion, crisis center

• April 14 — County-funded training expands number of peer-support specialists to share ‘been there, got better’ message

• April 11 — Criminal justice group’s spokeswoman says expanding Douglas County Jail would contribute to nation’s mass incarceration problem

• April 9 — Douglas County Commission may be forced to put new mental health, tax plan on November ballot

• March 25 — Increasing population at Douglas County jail at odds with national trend

• March 22 — Advocacy group forms to support county referendum on jail expansion, behavioral health initiatives

• March 21 — Douglas County District Court chief judge defends court’s processes, agrees serious felony crime is increasing

• March 12 — County’s pretrial release, home-arrest programs diverting large numbers from jail, but not enough to prevent overcrowding

• March 11 — DA was more likely to grant a diversion in 2017, but number of people seeking them declined

• March 6 — Douglas County Sheriff’s Office offering jail tours, presentations in advance of spring referendum

• March 5 — Online behavioral health care site available free to county residents pending referendum outcome

• March 4 — Felonies, not pot smoking, filling up the Douglas County Jail, new report says

• March 3 — Activist groups kick off their campaign against jail expansion

• March 1 — Town Talk: Here comes the opposition: Four groups join forces to campaign against Douglas County jail expansion

• Feb. 21 — Douglas County will face tough choices on jail expansion if tax referendum fails, official says

• Feb. 20 — Building jail expansion in phases would take 16 years, $6M to $8M a year, county says

• Feb. 19 — Town Talk: Fact checking county commissioners on assertion that big budget cuts will come if voters reject jail/mental health sales tax

• Feb. 17 — Activist leaders blast proposed expansion of Douglas County Jail

• Feb. 12 — As voters consider $44M expansion, report finds some changes could reduce overcrowding at Douglas County Jail

• Feb. 7 — Douglas County Commission to schedule forums on jail and mental health referendum, provide information on what happens if voters reject

• Feb. 4 — Johnson County built a larger jail and now has 300 unused beds; Douglas County can't use them

• Jan. 30 — State law won't allow Douglas County commissioners to campaign for passage of jail, mental health sales tax

• Jan. 24 — Douglas County Commission approves language for ballot question on jail expansion, behavioral health campus

• Jan. 22 — Following the money: Douglas County partners beefing up behavioral health services with funding

• Jan. 17 — Douglas County Commission agrees to put jail expansion, behavioral health campus on same ballot question

• Jan. 16 — Town Talk: Many residents want to vote separately on jail, mental health projects; there's a way, but county unlikely to go there

• Jan. 16 — Douglas County commissioners ready to ask voters to approve jail expansion, behavioral health initiatives

• Jan. 15 — 2014 speedy trial redefinition clogging Douglas County jail, district court

• Jan. 10 — Price tag of behavioral health campus, services estimated at $5.76 million annually

• Jan. 8 — No insurance and hooked on drugs? Chances are, you won't find treatment in Douglas County

• Jan. 5 — Town Talk: A look at how high Lawrence's sales tax rate would be if voters approve increase for jail, mental health

• Jan. 3, 2018 — Due to misunderstanding, county now says jail expansion, mental health projects must be on same sales tax ballot

• Dec. 31, 2017 — Undersheriff says 2016 annual report shows overcrowding threatening jail safety, re-entry programming

• Dec. 18 — Behavioral health campus plan grew from recognition of housing's role in crisis recovery

• Dec. 13 — Services that will be part of behavioral health campus to be introduced next month at LMH

• Dec. 13 — Douglas County commissioners confident of voter buy-in on jail expansion plan

• Nov. 30 — Douglas County commission agrees to move ahead with $44 million jail expansion design

• Nov. 26 — Sheriff's Office exploring modular units as stopgap solution to Douglas County Jail overcrowding

• Nov. 8 — Douglas County Sheriff's Office recommends jail redesign that would more than double number of beds

• Oct. 4 — Jail expansion, crisis center would require public vote on new taxes, officials say

• Sept. 20 — Estimated cost to expand Douglas County Jail jumps by millions of dollars

• July 26 — Douglas County Commission to forward report on future jail population to architects

• July 16 — Double bunking not considered solution for Douglas County Jail overcrowding

• June 26 — Jail, mental health initiatives help drive proposed tax increase in 2018 county budget

• May 14 — Douglas County data showing swelling jail population despite fewer arrests

• April 5, 2017 — Sheriff urges Douglas County Commission to make jail expansion a priority

Comments

Sharilyn Wells 2 months ago

Why is there not any money for the local consumer run organization RAHN?

Kendall Simmons 2 months ago

Did RAHN even apply for local funding? I'm gonna guess it didn't.

Sharilyn Wells 2 months ago

They should get some of the new money.

Jeanette Kekahbah 2 months ago

What is RAHN? Here is the website attached to an E 9th Street address...

http://www.recoveryandhopenetwork.com/

Ken Lassman 2 months ago

I am glad the County is providing informational sessions, which I assume will be attended by individuals who are wanting to find out more about a complex issue that has good people on both sides of the issue. I do hope that there is the opportunity for civil discussion to occur so that these sessions don't decline into shouting matches, where accusations are thrown around without facts behind them. Best wishes for people to rise to the occasion in presenting information for people to listen to, take home with them and sleep on it as I think that's what is needed on this topic that has legitimate concerns on both sides of the issue.

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