Police and Prison Reform in Delaware County
Issues & Actions Team, Q3 2022
The Haverford Democrats’ Issues and Actions Team is taking action on three issues in 2022:
Police Reform, Prison Reform, and Election Equity. If you would like to work with fellow Democrats on policy matters as well as poll watching, we invite you to join us and work on the issue of greatest interest to you.
Police and Prison Reform Subcommittee
In April, our prison in Delaware County, the George W. Hill jail, went from being privately run to going under the aegis of the Delaware County Council. On May 24, 2022, the Issues and Actions Committee on Prison and Police Reform of the Haverford Democrats put on a forum on this transition of our private prison to a County- run prison. There were 4 panelists that talked about this transition from different perspectives.
The head of the County Council, Kevin Madden, has been instrumental in this transition. He started the Jail Oversight Board to look at issues inside the jail. Chris Welsh, in the public defender’s office spoke about the frustration of having many people in jail because they had not gotten the trial date set because of a backlog in the courts. Anton Williams, of the Prison Society, spoke to the horrible conditions in the jail before the transition took place. People were stuffed into jails and several people were sleeping on the floor. Finally, our new warden, who started in January, Laura Williams, has brought a rehabilitative background to this job and spoke to goals of making the prison a more humane place, She wants to reduce the population and reduce the recidivism rate of the prison. Many pointed questions were asked during the forum and the answers to the questions were direct and very interesting. It became clear, by the end of the forum, that the goal was to make the jail in Delaware county a well- run place with fairness and good leadership.
Elections and Its Rules Subcommittee
This subcommittee will have it’s first meeting on July 14th. It will be examining election rules and customs in our area. It may also look at ways the Republicans want to change the rules of elections. This committee will be especially important during this time of the state election for a new governor.
Anyone that would like to join us on the 14th at 7 pm should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Police Reform is taking up the issue of the “Thin Blue Line” flag flying tall over the Haverford Township Administration Building. We hope to meet, as Haverford residents, with Chief Viola to discuss the contested meaning of the flag and how a training program might increase police officers’ understanding of the message it sends.
Prison Reform wants to build on the historic transfer of Delco’s George H. Hill Prison from private management to public management. We will explore the opportunity to introduce the reform-minded new warden, Laura K. Williams, to Haverford residents in a public forum that includes other experienced prison reform advocates.
Election Equity plans to educate Haverford residents about the recent map-drawing process in Harrisburg and explain the effects of new PA. voting laws on voters in the commonwealth.
If you are interested in getting involved please send us a message through the volunteer form and we will get right back to you.
2021 Bias in the Courtroom Forum
Join the HTDC Issues & Actions team as we shed light on the multiple sources of bias in the criminal justice system, from initial contact with law enforcement to sentencing and incarceration. Specific attention will be given to public defender funding and Pennsylvania’s life without parole prison population.
2020 Police Reform Forum
On November 19th 2020, Haverford Dems sponsored a forum to discuss police reform efforts in Haverford Township, Delco, and the state of PA. Emmy-Award-winning journalist Monique Braxton moderated a discussion with local officials.