No New Taxes!

No New Jail!

I Have a Plan.

My campaign is not a complaint about law enforcement. It is because we have made the costly mistake of failing to bring corrections systems into the 21st century.

  • The downtown jail continues to deteriorate and is operated in an inhumane condition for residents and staff. Maintenance has been deferred for too long and it is time to make repairs.
  • Violent crime has fallen sharply for decades but current jail operations remain focused on using high cost, maximum security standards even when unwarranted for low risk, non-violent people.
  • Mental health and addiction issues have increased in the community, yet appropriate programs and facilities are inadequate.
  • Taxes adopted for improvements get diverted to planning and operations that do not solve the inhumane conditions.
  • When we look at facts, we discover that “law and justice” commands 60-65% percent of our budget, but produces many sub-optimal outcomes with staggering costs to our community and economy.

These results show a lack of understanding the real management problems. I commit to reducing recidivism, bringing fiscal accountability forward and using effective change management tools that will help us all improve safety, security, results.

  • For example, recent research shows that for every dollar spent on incarceration, another ten times that amount is incurred in social costs to the community. This is not sustainable.
  • My research shows how thousands of dollars of unexpected and sudden costs are borne by families from external, outside-of-court expenses that have devastating impacts on children and families that causes loss of homes, jobs and even lives.
  • More taxes and building a new jail is not the answer. The repairs we have avoided should be made.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I am committed to reducing the inflow of people to the jail while also reducing the number of repeat offenders. Together we can cut our occupancy load by 50%.

Joy Gilfilen for Whatcom County SheriffI have dedicated years to researching better solutions. Working in collaboration with other agencies, providers, and the public, we can learn from others how we can use our resources differently.

We should team up with other services to provide law enforcement and emergency responders better choices at the point of first contact. Often a medical or mental health service response will be more effective than law enforcement intervention and better prevent further harm to victims and families.

I will hold our government accountable to these needs, and work to stop losses, improve safety, and help restore balance so it becomes safer in the jail, in the streets, and in our workplaces.

As your Sheriff, I not only will maintain high standards of law enforcement, I will bring forward modern alternatives that improve the public’s long term safety and security.

Joy is working with local people to find solutions.