The Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force upcoming meetings through March 17, 2023:
- March 9, 9:30 a.m.-noon, Special IPRTF: Justice Project Workshop #1, Systems
- March 9, the regular Steering Committee meeting is moved to March 15
- March 14, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Joint meeting of the Behavioral Health and Legal and Justice Systems Committees. To meet the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act, this meeting is also noticed as an IPRTF special meeting, and the agenda is limited to committee business.
- March 15, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Special Steering Committee
- March 17, 9:00 - 11:30 a.m., Special IPRTF: Justice Project Workshop #2, Services
Additional meetings may be scheduled as needed with 24 hours’ notice. An up-to-date schedule of the IPRTF and committee meetings is available on the County website.
Meetings are held in a hybrid format. Members of the public may attend via Zoom webinar using the join link on the meeting agenda, or in person at the County Council office located at 311 Grand Avenue, Suite 105. All committee members will participate via Zoom.
Please visit the IPRTF Website for agendas and more information.
About the IPRTF
Whatcom County is transforming our approach to public safety, from a system focused on incarceration to one investing in equity, public health, and community safety.
Between 1970 and 2014, the number of people in jail in Whatcom County grew almost nine-fold—from 45 to 391 on any given day—while the overall county population only grew two-and-a-half times. In many cases people incarcerated were facing underlying challenges that led to incarceration, including behavioral health and substance use disorder.
The Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force has worked since 2015 to increase resources to address underlying causes of incarceration in order to prevent incarceration outright—and lead people out of the criminal legal system and into supportive services, reducing the chances of re-incarceration.
The Task Force is responsible for reviewing Whatcom County’s criminal legal and behavioral health programs and making specific recommendations on evidence-based programs and approaches to safely and effectively serve people first—reducing racial disparities in the system and the incarceration of individuals struggling with mental illness and substance use disorder.