Just this past Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen had held a very important meeting. The meeting discussed advanced legislation in order to set up a permanent panel to provide oversight for jail complaints. Of course, this was about eight months after the idea first came up. They were first proposed during the disturbances at the Justice Center downtown.
Ironically enough, the Board of Aldermen also would pass a bill in order to repeal city ordinances for possession. It is no longer illegal to carry 35 grams or less of marijuana in the city. This of course having to do with the city extending the mask mandate for another 30 days. A judge in Jefferson City would go ahead and issue a rule invalidating coronavirus health orders all over the state.
Consider what the sponsor, Alderman Joe Vaccaro would say. He, the 23rd Ward, made a note that the nine-person Detendtion Facility Oversight Board is capable enough to provide an indie panel in order to investigate complaints regarding jail conditions. Vaccaro believes the panel could potentially offer “a voice for the people that are detained there and a voice for the guards.”
The panel had no real authority for the jail employees to be wrought under their rule. Of course, the panel really has “the power to let us know what’s going on in there,” according to Vaccaro.
Of course, there are aldermen who don’t really believe in the reality of the jail oversight being connected to marijuana decriminalization.
A couple of Aldermen see the intent but they don’t quite want it to happen, at least until Mayor Tishaura O. Jones’ administration is able to wrap up a companion measure believed to best serve the community.
A task force recommended the new panel jail oversight last March. Then-Mayor Lyda Krewson then appointed the new force. This came after disturbances from the jail, Vaccaro among them.