Durham Human Relations Commission: Create a Civilian Oversight Board for the Jail, Eliminate Cash Bail | News

Durham Human Relations Commission: Create a Civilian Oversight Board for the Jail, Eliminate Cash Bail

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Residents protest conditions inside the Durham County Detention Facility last year.
  • Residents protest conditions inside the Durham County Detention Facility last year.
Limit cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Eliminate the cash bail system that "works to keep defendants in jail solely because they cannot afford their cash bond." Create a civilian oversight board for the Durham County Detention Facility.

Those are just a handful of the recommendations members of the city’s Human Relations Commission will present Tuesday, should the draft document (see below) obtained by the INDY make it to the meeting. The HRC, following several months of protests and the death of Matthew McCain in the jail, hosted a public forum in September that brought to the surface a host of complaints from residents who say practices need to change, as those currently in place put an unfair burden on minorities and call into question the "broader context of mass incarceration,” according to the HRC’s draft document.

"We understand that the bulk of our concerns and recommendations related to the conditions of the jail itself fall under the jurisdiction of the Durham County Commissioners ... however, given that the City of Durham has fed over 60% of the population of the jail in the last four years, it is clear that the City itself can mitigate the harms of incarceration by addressing the way it polices," the report reads.

Here is the full report. It's long, but certainly worth a read. For more information on the HRC and what it hopes to accomplish by presenting its recommendations to the council, see Wednesday's print edition of the INDY.




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