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Parallel Lines



This November, Whatcom County voters will decide whether to fund a new, bigger jail in our community. At Northwest Youth Services we work with young people every day who currently or in the past have interacted with local law enforcement, corrections, courts, and all other aspects of the criminal legal system. We see the harm that youth and young adults experience when going through these systems, impacting Black, Indigenous, Brown, and queer youth disproportionately. The pro-ballot measure PAC estimates that it will cost $150 million to build a new jail. This amount of money devoted to services, redistributing resources, and permanent affordable housing could end youth and young adult homelessness in our community. Not only is it cheaper to house people instead of incarcerating them, but it also opens the door for healing, growth, opportunity, and community. There are many alternatives to putting young people in cages that make communities safer. We hope that the following answers help fellow voters understand why we should vote NO on the misleadingly titled Public Health, Safety, and Justice Sales Tax aka the Jail Sales Tax to fund a new, bigger jail. 

FAQ no jail

1. Will a new, bigger jail be better for the young people and other individuals who are already interacting with the criminal legal system?

2. How much bigger is the new facility? Where will it be located?

3. Why shouldn’t services be tied to the jail?

4. What about the conditions of the current jail facilities?

5. What about dangerous, violent individuals? Does locking them up make us safer?

6. What should we be spending our money on instead?


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