The Tacoma Planning Commission has delayed the public hearing on correctional facilities. This is possibly related to the WA State Attorney General's lawsuit over the NWDC's failure to pay detainees minimum wage. The City plans to reschedule for November -- we're doing our best to keep up to date with them, and we'll let you know as soon as the public hearing / comment is open!
To: Mayor Strickland & Tacoma City Council
Ban Expansion of the Northwest Detention Center!
We call on the City of Tacoma to take responsibility for ensuring the public health and safety crisis that the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) poses. This means acknowledging that:
1) A detention center is not legally a correctional facility. This means that it is not an "essential public facility" as defined by the WA Smart Growth Act.
2) People live in the NWDC. The City of Tacoma should impose regulations to ensure labor, safety and environmental health conditions adequate to a residential facility. This would make NWDC a non-conforming land use, making expansion close to impossible.
Why is this important?
The recent hunger strikes by people detained at the NWDC have brought renewed attention to the deplorable conditions at the GEO-owned facility. The detention center affects not only more than 1,505 people who can be held any given day, but also their children, families, and neighbors who form the backbone of our communities.
You can read the full letter at: https://www.scribd.com/document/352037160/NWDCR-Tacoma-Letter-2017
How it will be delivered
We will deliver the petition by hand to the the Mayor and City Council at the October 4, 2017 public hearing. Join us!