We are disappointed to report that the Dane County Finance Committee recently approved a budget to enlarge the jail. This is a clear step backward in the fight for justice, as it will lead to the continued incarceration of Black men instead of helping to alleviate the racial disparities that plague Madison. The sheriff’s office claims these funds are needed to improve safety, but we don’t see any plans to provide housing, mental health services, or any other pressing needs.

This move to strengthen our jails is yet another example of the way that racism operates in our city. We see this attitude everywhere, such as when our county sheriff publicly stated that Black men would be targeted as a way to decrease gun violence. How can communities of color feel safe when they are being unjustly targeted by the very people who are supposed to serve and protect them?

But the fight is not over! We are still working to get police out of Madison high schools in our #NoCopsinSchools campaign led by our Freedom Youth Squad. They argue that the police in their high schools are doing far more harm for Black youth than good. Black men are being targeted in the streets, and Black youth are being targeted in the hallways — a move that teaches our youth that society already sees them as a problem.

On Wednesday Dec 6 at 5pm, Madison School Board’s Ad Hoc Committee is having a meeting about police officers in Madison’s high schools. Come and stand with our youth! Join us to voice your support for spending money on things that help students of color instead of harming them. We will be there and need to make our voices heard!

What:  Education Resource Officer (ERO) Ad Hoc Committee meeting
When:  Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 5pm
Where:  Doyle Administration Bldg. 545 W. Dayton Street Madison, WI 53703 Room 103