The Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force upcoming meetings:
- A special IPRTF meeting is Friday, March 17 at 9 a.m. This is Justice Project Workshop #3, Services
- The IPRTF regular March meeting is at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 20, 2023
Meetings are held in a hybrid format. Members of the public may attend via Zoom webinar or in person at the County Council office located at 311 Grand Avenue, Suite 105. All Task Force members will participate remotely via Zoom.
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.