Richmond City FAIL- City pushes to start new jail project inhumanely

Posted: September 13, 2011 in Uncategorized
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The only reason the construction of a new Richmond City Jail has ever seemed even mildy palatable is due to the inhumance conditions at the current facility, which result in numerous deaths each year.

However, City Mayor Jones and members of City Council have just revealed how their jail plans that they are trying to push through are actually not going to result in a more humane situation.

Apparently the contractor involved as well as some of the politicians failed to do their research into requirements regarding jail construction, and have been presenting City Council as well as the public with plans that include at least one major mistake. The mistake is that the jail cell size they proposed doesn’t meet state regulations. Apparently changing the plans would cost money, so now they are pushing to get an exception made for cell size.

In an effort to save money, the City of Richmond wants to build the new jail with jail cells that are double bunked and with 35 fewer square feet per cell than State regulations call for. The size cell that the City of Richmond wants to build now fits the standards suggested by the American Correctional Association- a group of people who make a profit off of the prison industrial complex.

How can we expect better jail conditions when the City of Richmond is trying to cut corners at the cost of the inmates before ground has even been broken on the project? This new jail, as proposed, will start over crowded, and no doubt get worse from there. No new jail, no old jail. The City of Richmond is not competent, kind, or rich enough to provide a safe and relatively humane jail, therefore we deserve none at all.

This highlights why the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross is a prison abolition organization. Jails and prisons are not places of rehabilitation, they are places of torture and oppression. Going into a project with low standards does not bode well for the future successes of the jail.

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

“The request, which requires the approval of the City Council and the state Board of Corrections, is aimed at allowing the city to build a jail with a rated capacity of 1,032 beds, excluding 108 special-population beds, without any additional cost.

The city would seek state support for a double-bunked cell that totals 80 square feet as recommended by the American Correctional Association, not the 115 square feet called for by state regulations.

In a briefing with the council, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Operations Christopher L. Beschler said the city’s intention had been to build a jail with a rated capacity of 1,032 beds, even though its request for proposals effectively asked for a 924-bed facility. The required 108 special-population beds are not counted in the rated capacity.”

Full article: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2011/sep/12/15/naacp-urges-reconsideration-of-city-jail-contract-ar-1303429/

More on the Richmond City Jail proposal and why it sucks coming soon from the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross!

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