The American Jail Association is working for you on Capitol Hill!
Earlier this week, AJA President Louis Quinones, CCE, CJM; AJA Legislative Affairs Committee Chair Shaun Klucznik, MA, CJM; and I spent the day on Capitol Hill meeting with Congressional representatives to discuss a variety of issues impacting our nation’s jails. We meet with representatives from the following offices: Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Andew Garbarino (R-NY), Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE). We were scheduled to meet with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Max Frost (D-FL), but they had scheduling conflicts and were unavailable. (This was the same day as the big debate regarding impeaching Alejandro Mayorkas.)
In addition to educating them about AJA and how we support the professionals who work in our nation’s jails, we also explained the difference between jails and prisons. We also shared with them the resolution passed by the Board in September: Designation of Correctional Officers as Sworn Members of the Criminal Justice Community and as First Responders in the Public Safety Community.
We urged them to support several bills under consideration including:
• HR 238 – Residential Substance Use Disorder Treatment Act
• HR 355 – Back the Blue Act
• HR 981 – One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act
• HR 2400/S 1165 – Reentry Act
• HR 3074/S 971 – Due Process Continuity of Care Act
President Quinones emphasized with everyone we met that AJA is a resource for lawmakers and is ready and willing to provide testimony, research, and support for legislation and oversight impacting our local jails and correctional facilities.