Scheduled on Tuesday night for the city council, starting at 5:30 p.m., are Bloomington Transit, followed by the fire department, and the police department.
Bloomington police chief Mike Diekhoff, who will be presenting his department’s 2024 budget requests to the city council on Tuesday, has also been invited to the meeting about the jail site location.
Other invitees include: Ruben Marté (sheriff); Mary Ellen Diekhoff (circuit court presiding judge); Erika Oliphant (prosecutor); Jill Lees (IU police chief); Jimmie Durnil (Ellettsville town marshal); Paul Bucher (Indiana State Police district commander); John Hamilton (Bloomington mayor); Sue Sgambelluri (city council president); and the members of the Monroe County council. Continue reading “Meeting on site selection for new Monroe County jail set for Aug. 29”→
The report is supposed to make recommendations on priorities for funding of mental health, substance abuse treatment, and a new correctional facility.
JFAC is also supposed to give guidance on investments to prevent individuals from entering the justice system, reducing recidivism, and promotion of equity. JFAC is also supposed to establish timelines for implementation.
Misty James, reentry mentor a support specialist with New Leaf New Life
County council president Kate Wiltz
Bloomington mayor John Hamilton
County councilor Jennifer Crossley
Jordan McIntire, executive director of New Leaf New Life
July 3, 2023 JFAC meeting
At a Monday committee meeting, a general consensus seemed to emerge: More money needs to be spent on programs for people who are incarcerated at Monroe County’s jail, so that after release, the path back to their communities is easier.
Wiltz, along with councilors Jennifer Crossley and Peter Iversen, were joined by several non-voting members of the committee. Among others, they included Bloomington mayor John Hamilton, city councilmember Isabel Piedmont-Smith, county commissioner Julie Thomas, and Misty James, who is a reentry mentor and support specialist with the nonprofit New Leaf New Life.
The chairship of the committee rotates from meeting to meeting among three county councilors, and it was Jennifer Crossley’s call to cancel the meeting. The other two county councilors serving on the committee are Kate Wiltz and Peter Iversen. Several non-voting members are also included on the committee.
Crossley told The B Square that for people traveling from outside the downtown it would have meant driving around crashes and non-working traffic signals, so she didn’t want anyone to take unnecessary risks.
Monroe County commissioner Julie Thomas (April 17, 2023)
Monroe County councilor (April 17, 2023)
Monroe circuit court court judge Darcie Fawcett (April 17, 2023)
Monroe County sheriff Ruben Marté (April 17, 2023)
DLZ’s Scott Carnegie (April 17, 2023)
Monroe County commissioner Lee Jones (April 17, 2023)
From left: Monroe County councilors Jennifer Crossley and Kate Wiltz.
Kay Weinberg with Care not Cages (April 17, 2023)
CJRC meeting on (April 17, 2023)
CJRC meeting on (April 17, 2023)
A significant bit of news out of Monday’s meeting of the community justice response committee (CJRC) was an announcement from the public mic by Bloomington’s public engagement director Kaisa Goodman.
Goodman told the committee that a tour of some county-owned land south of Catalent had been arranged for later in the week.
Touring the property, which some see as a viable site for a new jail, will be Goodman, Bloomington’s corporation counsel Beth Cate, Bloomington planning director Scott Robinson, county attorney Jeff Cockerill, jail commander Kyle Gibbons, county councilor Kate Wiltz, and possibly one other county council member.
The location of a new jail has been a wide open question since December 2022, when Bloomington’s city council unanimously rejected a rezone request for some land in the southwestern tip of the city, where county commissioners had proposed building the new jail.
The site south of Catalent, also known as the Thomson PUD, has been frequently mentioned as a possible alternative—it’s not downtown but is closer to services and is better served by public transit. County commissioners are cool to the idea, because they have reserved the acreage for the pharmaceutical company’s possible southward expansion, among other reasons.
Administrator for the county commissioners Angie Purdie
County commissioner Julie Thomas
Monroe County attorney Jeff Cockerill
County commissioner Penny Githens
At a work session held on Wednesday, Monroe County commissioners and chief sheriff’s deputy Phil Parker did not mince words when they took up the topic of transparency in connection with the selection of DLZ as the design-build firm for a new county jail.
Making a recommendation for DLZ, as the best of three respondents to an RFQ (request for proposals), had been a six-member committee: Richard Crider, Monroe County’s fleet and building manager; David Gardner, ASI Facilities Services contractor; Lee Baker, county attorney; Kyle Gibbons, jail commander; Matt Demmings, assistant jail commander; and Angie Purdie, administrator for the commissioners.
The recommendation for DLZ was presented at a county commissioners March 8 work session. On March 22, the commissioners voted to enter into a contract with DLZ.
On Wednesday, Parker told commissioners that based on statements that have been made at recent public meetings by Crider on behalf of the RFQ review committee, and by the commissioners, about their understanding of the selection of DLZ, the public would conclude that the RFQ review committee had been in perfect alignment on every aspect of the process, and its selection of DLZ.
Parker said the committee’s work had been portrayed as if “everybody on the committee was in lockstep, there was no dysfunction on the committee about that process, that everybody was in agreement, the vote was unanimous.”
About that portrayal, Parker said, “That’s simply not true.”
(1) The county council recommends a jail with a bed size of no more than 400. (2) The county council recommends a jail location as close to existing services as possible. (3) The justice campus size will be determined by several factors in the future.
Councilor Marty Hawk dissented saying, “I think this is a bit too early… to make that kind of decision that this is the reflection of the entire council.”
Late Wednesday afternoon, Monroe County sheriff Ruben Marté released an update on efforts to clean up the jail facility.
The emailed update was sent to county councilors, county commissioners, members of the community justice response committee, and several other community members.
The update included a link to several before-after photos of: J Block, which is the jail’s new mental health dormitory; the intake room; and the sally port, which is where prisoners are taken into the jail.