Breaking: Durham Human Relations Commission Votes to Send Scathing Jail Review to City, County | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Breaking: Durham Human Relations Commission Votes to Send Scathing Jail Review to City, County

Posted by on Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 12:13 AM

click to enlarge Wilden Acosta waits to address the Durham Human Relations Commission Tuesday evening. - PHOTO BY KEN FINE
  • Photo by Ken Fine
  • Wilden Acosta waits to address the Durham Human Relations Commission Tuesday evening.
Members of the Durham Human Relations Commission were all smiles when Wilden Acosta spoke about his experience as a detainee and his life since his release, but when the board allowed residents to weigh in on its review of the Durham County Detention Facility—and its 18-page recommended path forward for the local justice system—things got heated fairly quickly.

One exchange between Southern Coalition for Social Justice attorney Dave Hall and Commissioner Ricky Hart came after Hart seemed to suggest that the reason more black men are in jail (the HRC's report indicated that the fact that nearly two-thirds of the DCDF's detainee population is black proves there is a clear racial inequity) was because they committed the most crime.

"The reason there aren't more [people from] Treyburn [Country Club] ... in there is because there aren't a bunch of cops out there arresting all the black folks," a visibly upset Hall said after he was told he needed to limit his response to thirty seconds.

Hart would later be one of two commissioners to vote against formally endorsing the document—which outlined a host of changes the HRC feels present the best path forward for Durham—and forwarding it to the Durham City Council and County Board of Commissioners for review. The measure would, in fact, pass and with the exception of a few minor changes, the draft document obtained and published by the INDY Monday is what elected officials will see.

Among the highlights of the report are a call for the creation of a civilian review board to provide oversight at the DCDF and a recommendation to eliminate both the cash bail system and video-only visitation, as they, essentially, unfairly hit the wallets of minority families that simply can't afford any additional financial hardship. In fact, the HRC argues that the vast majority of black detainees are in jail for misdemeanors and only reside at the DCDF because they cannot afford to post bail.

For those of you who missed it, here is the document in full:

Draft HRC Report and Recommendations on DCDF by K Fine on Scribd


The battle between Hart and Hall was not the only time tempers flared during the meeting. In fact, when a few board members expressed concerns that the report seemed to pit the HRC against the Durham County Sheriff's Office and a resident weighed in and said, essentially, that the men and women who run the DCDF deserved the scrutiny, commission chairman Paul Seib cut her off, smacked his gavel against the table and said, in a stern tone, "Enough."

For more on this story as it develops, follow indyweek.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

Cora landed the endorsements of the Durham Committee (DC) and the Friends (FD) for 10,400 votes.
Huggins with the DC …

by Frank Hyman on Cole-McFadden Survives Durham Council Primary, Moffitt Does Not (News)

Cora landed the endorsements of the Durham Committee (DC) and the Friends (FD) for 10,400 votes.
Huggins with the DC …

by Frank Hyman on Durham's Next Mayor Will Be Steve Schewel or Farad Ali (News)

Most Recent Comments

Cora landed the endorsements of the Durham Committee (DC) and the Friends (FD) for 10,400 votes.
Huggins with the DC …

by Frank Hyman on Cole-McFadden Survives Durham Council Primary, Moffitt Does Not (News)

Cora landed the endorsements of the Durham Committee (DC) and the Friends (FD) for 10,400 votes.
Huggins with the DC …

by Frank Hyman on Durham's Next Mayor Will Be Steve Schewel or Farad Ali (News)

Just because one of our two newly elected Council members is pro-neighborhood and natural resources, it does not qualify her …

by Meredith de la Vergne on Make Way for the NIMBY Raleigh City Council, as Newcomers Nicole Stewart and Stef Mendell Oust Bonner Gaylord and Defeat Stacy Miller (News)

To follow-up on my previous comment. Mary-Ann and Nancy are both very developer friendly and neither one can claim to …

by FONCitizen on Make Way for the NIMBY Raleigh City Council, as Newcomers Nicole Stewart and Stef Mendell Oust Bonner Gaylord and Defeat Stacy Miller (News)

Nicole Stewart was endorsed by Mary-Ann Baldwin, her campaign manager is Nancy McFarlane's daughter and she was supported in her …

by FONCitizen on Make Way for the NIMBY Raleigh City Council, as Newcomers Nicole Stewart and Stef Mendell Oust Bonner Gaylord and Defeat Stacy Miller (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation