Tell Mayor Andre Dickens to Stop Jail Expansion

Mayor Andre Dickens

In August 2022, Mayor Andre Dickens passed and signed an ordinance to lease an almost empty jail under the guise of solving a humanitarian issue. We know that access to resources and decriminalization is what has helped provide rehabilitation in the community. Fulton County has been overcrowded for decades and has leased many other facilities to solve this problem.

Fulton County has the ability to release hundreds of people rather than shifting them to another jail where rehabilitation does not happen.

1. The majority of the people in the Fulton County Jail have not been convicted of a crime, and have been waiting for months or years for a trial.

2. Hundreds of people are sitting in the Fulton County Jail because they are too poor to afford cash bail.

Please sign to let Mayor Dickens know that expanding a jail does not solve humanitarian issues, it makes them worse.

Sponsored by
Atlanta, GA

To: Mayor Andre Dickens
From: [Your Name]

Dear Mayor Dickens and Atlanta City Council,

In August 2022, you passed and signed an ordinance to lease the mostly-empty Atlanta city jail to Fulton County. This deal was not supported by data, and was strongly opposed by the Atlanta civil rights community.

We call on you to rescind the lease agreement with Fulton County and follow through on your 2019 legislation to close and repurpose the Atlanta City Detention Center. We want a safer, healthier, and thriving Atlanta, and one of the ways we can get there is by transforming the jail into a community resource center.

We care deeply about the overcrowding crisis at the Fulton County Jail, and we urge you to follow the data and listen to the experts. The Fulton County Jail has been overcrowded for decades, and the County has leased many different jail facilities to try to solve this problem. But all of these have been bandaid solutions that fail to address why the jail is overcrowded in the first place.

Fulton County can solve the overcrowding crisis right now by releasing the hundreds of people who are too poor to afford bail, by diverting people with unmet mental health needs, and by resolving the cases of people who are sitting in cells for months waiting for a court date but have not been convicted of a crime.

As our elected representatives, you should not rush into a deal with Fulton County and undermine the city’s previous criminal justice reforms. The proposed lease is not a real solution, and will not end the humanitarian crisis in the Fulton County Jail. The humanitarian response to the overcrowding crisis is to quickly and safely release people.

We call on you, Mayor Dickens and the Atlanta City Council, to follow the will of the people and repeal Ordinance No. 22-O-1632.