Onondaga County legislature to vote on bill creating oversight for "Justice" Center

The Patterson family (pictured) at a UaO protest outside the "Justice" Center, Aug. 2011

ANSWER Syracuse is issuing this alert to keep our members and supporters updated about this pending vote. No specific date or time has been set yet.

Date: TBA
Location: 401 Montgomery St., suite 407

The United as One Coalition (UaO) is excited to announce that the Onondaga County Legislature will SOON consider a bill to create an oversight body for the “Justice Center”, the county’s downtown jail. United as One representatives have been in communication with legislature leaders to move this bill forward, and we are almost there. If approved, the new oversight body will function similarly to the city’s Citizen Review Board, although its recommendations will focus on changing policy, practice and training rather than discipline for particular jail staff. The new oversight body will be accountable to the community and will be partially comprised of community members.

It has been five years since United as One was formed in the wake of the deaths of Chuniece Patterson and Raul Pinet, Jr. at the jail. We have united and marched together, we have rallied, we have remembered, we have explained, we have demanded change. There has been little satisfaction and no real justice. However, the creation of this new oversight body will honor the memory of Raul and Chuniece, and bring something positive forward from their needless and tragic deaths.  

It will increase the transparency and accountability for what happens at the jail. It will provide the legislature and the public with concrete information and recommendations to apply pressure for real change. As soon as we know the date and time, we will send an e-mail to our members and supporters. We expect the vote to be held later this month.

You can contact us if you have any questions in the meantime, or to let us know you plan on attending.

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