Buncombe County Seeks Members for Community Engagement Workgroup

In October 2018, Buncombe County was awarded $1.75 million from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to implement strategies to reduce jail numbers by addressing the main drivers of the County’s jail population.

The grant is part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, a $148 million national initiative to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. The Buncombe County Justice Resource Advisory Council has developed a comprehensive plan for local justice system strategies with the goal of reducing the average daily jail population by 15% over two years.

Community engagement is an essential component of justice system reform, and the MacArthur Foundation encourages jurisdictions in the Safety and Justice Challenge Network to engage local communities in the process of developing, implementing, and refining new policies and practices that seek to create fairer, more effective local justice systems.

To implement the grant, the Safety and Justice Challenge Community Engagement Workgroup is looking for five to seven community members. For this workgroup, a community member is someone who is impacted by the justice system and is not affiliated with or being paid by an organization to participate.

Workgroup activities will include:

  • Plan, facilitate and host activities such as town halls, focus groups, listening session, criminal justice info sessions, and community meetings; and
  • Review content and material related to public education campaigns, information sessions, community meetings; and
  • Develop communication strategies between community and criminal justice system organizations.

Applications are due on March 15, 2019. When applying, applicants acknowledge that submitting an application does not guarantee being selected. Those applying will be prioritized if they fall into the experienced categories below. The goal is to have a diversity of perspectives and expertise.

  • Justice Involvement (previously charged or convicted, jailed, or ex offender)
  • Family member of a justice involved person
  • Victim of a crime
  • Experienced Homelessness
  • Grassroots Organization
  • Faith Community

Community members will be compensated for up to 10 hours per month at a rate of $20 per hour. In order to receive payment, community members will need to complete necessary paperwork that will include tracking hours.

The workgroup will provide activities for at least 18 months beginning in April 2019.

Community Engagement Workgroup Application/Selection Process

The application deadline is Friday, March 15, 2019 and those chosen will be announced March 22, 2019. Submit applications by email, video, or in person to 200 College St., Third Floor, Asheville, NC 28801. Videos should be kept to a maximum of one minute.

Find more details and applications at https://t.co/5ja9UiLmBM

Questions? Call Aisha Shepherd at (828) 250-6523, or email aisha.shepherd@buncombecounty.org.


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