Atlanta Activists Continue Push To Close City Jail
Atlanta community activists renewed their push to shut down the city jail Monday. Dozens of people gathered on the steps of city hall, calling for city officials to close and re-purpose detention center.
It costs more than $32 million a year to operate the facility, and the population there has dwindled since the city stopped accepting federal immigration detainees, ended cash bail and de-criminalized marijuana.
Department of Corrections officials said 102 people were being housed at the jail as of Monday.
Marilynn Winn is with Women on the Rise, one of the groups pushing to close the jail. She said their goal is pretty simple.
"Close it,” Winn said. “Take the $32.5 million and reallocate it back into the community for services, jobs, homes and all the things that low-income communities need."
Winn said the goal is to use the building as a wellness center that offers some of those services to the people that need them.
Legislation that could decide the future of the jail may be introduced in the Atlanta City Council later this month, she said. It would create a task force that would be in charge of deciding what to do with the building.
On previous occasions, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has supported the idea of closing or selling the jail.