Planning to continue to voice opposition to the construction project is a coalition of eight groups known as the SAFER Racine Partnership, which includes the Racine Taxpayer Association, the Racine Branch of the NAACP and the Racine Interfaith Coalition, among others.
The SAFER coalition argues that Racine County has failed to use the best practices in criminal justice to reduce the jail population and, in turn, jail costs.
Kenneth Hall of SAFER said that while the eastern half of the Racine County community had scrutinized the Racine Unified School Board’s plan to spend an additional $6.45 million to save school programs, a similar debate is not being encouraged on a $17.3 million jail project.
“Schools are closing, fire stations are closing – every other part of government is being cut or going through a tough analysis of what it’s doing,” Hall said. “If we’re going to talk about jail expansion, we need to be doing the same kind of analysis with jail operations and the criminal justice system.”