The Whatcom County Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) seeks public input from the region’s diverse communities on the county’s justice system. Community feedback will be collected via multi-language listening sessions, an online survey, and a Town Hall Listening Session. Local community-based organizations (CBOs) and multicultural and mainstream media outlets are being leveraged to recruit survey and listening session participants. Community feedback will help guide the SAC’s recommendations in the Justice Project Needs Assessment report.
”The SAC has worked hard to evaluate the current state of our county’s programs, services, and facilities,” said SAC Chair and County Councilmember Barry Buchanan. “It’s time to test the draft recommendations with the public and find out if we are on the right track. These decisions will shape our county’s approach to incarceration for decades to come, and we need to ensure there is community support.” A complete report from the public input and the final Needs Assessment will be made public in early 2023.
The Justice Project Town Hall will take place on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 6:00 PM to offer the community a chance to share input on incarceration changes in Whatcom County. This will be a hybrid meeting with both in-person and remote attendees. To participate in the meeting online or by phone, visit www.whatcomcounty.us/justice for instructions. Attend in person at the Council Chambers at the County Courthouse, 311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225.
The SAC includes behavioral health and criminal justice advocates, behavioral health and housing service providers, individuals with experience in the criminal legal system, members of the Incarceration Prevention & Reduction Task Force, and leadership from the County, City of Bellingham, and the small cities. The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will continue to meet over the next several months to discuss topics such as criminal justice data, behavioral health services, and infrastructure needs in order to create a Justice Project Needs Assessment report.
For more information, please visit www.whatcomcounty.us/justice or call the County Council Office at 360-778-5010.