Notes on Whatcom County Council 1/15/19 discussion on repealing code regarding correctional facility standards / Noisy Waters Northwest

Screenshot of files received through a Public Records Request of correctional standards, policy, and procedure materials that were provided to the Whatcom County Council by Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks at the 1/15/19 Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee meeting

February 22, 2019 Dena Jensen

I have written a couple posts now on the part of the January 15, 2019 meeting of Whatcom County Council’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee related to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s proposal to repeal and replace Whatcom County Code (WCC) 1.28 regarding correctional facility standards.

According to the documents supplied to the Council Members on the committee and the presentation given by Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks, the Title 289 Washington Administrative Code (WAC), which Whatcom County had adopted as WCC 1.28, had been deemed obsolete and was done away with in 2006.

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Whatcom County Council committee considering repealing and replacing Whatcom County Code 1.28, Standards for Correctional Facilities / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic to access the proposed ordinance to repeal and replace WCC 1.28 that includes a copy of Exhibit A

January 10, 2019 Dena Jensen

This week, now that the Whatcom County Council agenda for next week has been released, I have more questions about jail matters that I am uneducated on!

On the agenda for the Whatcom County Council Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is a “Proposed Ordinance for Action January 15, 2019.” This proposal was introduced, (according to a reference on the copy of the proposed ordinance) by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office on December 4, 2018. I don’t know to what body or how that ordinance was introduced. There’s also a memo written by Sheriff Elfo explaining reasons for “repealing and replacing Whatcom County Code 1.28, Standards for Correctional Facilities.” 

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Whatcom County Sheriff receives Operation Stonegarden Grant funding in joint mission to secure U.S. borders / Noisy Waters Northwest

kbfw rosalinda stonegarden

Click the graphic to access this Keep Bellingham Families Working Facebook post on their Facebook page

September 19, 2018   Dena Jensen

In light of our heightened awareness of threats to Whatcom County residents through the initiation of  deportation proceedings against immigrant’s rights activist and Bellingham resident Maru Mora-Villalpando in December of 2017, and the August 29, 2018 ICE raid against employees of the Bellingham location of Granite Precasting, I am going to try to shed some light on this Operation Stonegarden Grant funding that the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office has been receiving for years now with the approval of the Whatcom County Council. Continue reading

Citizens Beware… / Noisy Waters Northwest, Corky Nouveau

sample ballot 2018

Click the graphic to view the complete August 7, 2018 Primary Election sample ballot on the Whatcom County website

July 24, 2018  Corky Nouveau

Citizens Beware…

Those were the last words that Jewell James gave to those of us who attended the recent Bears Ears totem pole blessing at the Bellingham Unitarian Church. Those words concluded a wide-ranging discourse full of wisdom and warning. Needless to say, the Natives who have long suffered at the hands of Washington State’s repressive state and local law enforcement agencies know of what they speak. Citizens beware, be aware, be wary…. Continue reading

ACLU of Washington lawsuit: Whatcom County Jail violating ADA by refusing medication to people with opioid use disorder / News Release, ACLU of Washington

aclu whatcom county courthouse

June 7, 2018  News Release, ACLU of Washington

The ACLU of Washington has filed a class-action civil rights lawsuit against Whatcom County and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office for denying people with opioid use disorder (OUD) in the County Jail medications necessary to treat their addiction.  The lawsuit challenges the Whatcom County Jail’s policy of refusing to provide people access to “Medication-Assisted Treatment” (MAT), including buprenorphine (Suboxone and Subutex) and methadone, even though it provides other clinically appropriate medications to inmates.  This policy is harmful, unwise, and illegal. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) forbids discrimination against people with OUD, who are just as entitled to medication as those suffering from any other ailment requiring medical treatment.

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One Year Anniversary for Dignity Vigils in Bellingham / Letter to Bellingham City and Whatcom County Councils, Dena Jensen

February 13, 2018  Dena Jensen

Dear Bellingham City Council and Whatcom County Council:

I am writing early this week to let you know that next week there will be a special Dignity Vigil honoring the one year anniversary of these vigils in downtown Bellingham held in solidarity with immigrant and undocumented people, and to stand against law enforcement and federal immigration collaboration which leads to deportation. I hope you will all plan on attending during any portion, or all of the 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. time period. I will send you more details about next Monday’s vigil when they are available!:

https://www.facebook.com/events/144972296180055/ Continue reading

Help us stop failing the jail / Noisy Waters Northwest

many existing system deficiencies strauss.jpg

January 24, 2018  Dena Jensen

On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, now that new Council Members are officially sworn in, the Whatcom County Council’s Finance and Administrative Services Committee (freshly composed of Council Members Rud Browne, Tyler Byrd, and Satpal Sidhu) and Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee (which now is served on by Council Members Barry Buchanan, Tyler Byrd, and Satpal Sidhu) will be discussing some issues related to urgently needed renovations of the Whatcom County Jail in downtown Bellingham.  The Council will then revisit, and potentially vote on, results of the earlier committee discussions at their evening meeting at 7 p.m. that night. Continue reading