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Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press

Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press

7 questions we should all ask about the Wayne County jail deal | Opinion

Rashad Buni, Denzel McCampbell and Branden Snyder
Across the country, municipalities and states are re-thinking incarceration’s role in creating true safety in our communities and are moving to address many root issues of crime and incarceration by funding housing, rehabilitation and jobs. Unfortunately, it seems this national paradigm shift about public safety has yet to appear in Wayne County’s budget and priorities.

Last summer, we sued Wayne County to defend our right — the public’s right — to vote on whether to issue bonds to finance the new Wayne County Criminal Justice Complex. The complex is based on plans that are more than 10 years old, and date back to a time when race and equity were less a part of conversations about mass incarceration.

The decision to sue Wayne County wasn’t made lightly, but after asking ourselves the questions below, a number of community members felt we had no choice. Our attorneys at the Detroit Justice Center are awaiting the court’s decision on the county’s motion to dismiss. As we await a decision, we still believe that funding what our communities' need to thrive instead of criminalization is not just a better investment, it is morally right.

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Casey Rocheteau