Southside Residents Reject New Jail

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email
Posted by Meg Thalhimer - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It was standing room only. Southside developers, residents, and even former inmates, all sat side-by-side in their distaste for a new jail in the city's Southside.

"I don't want it in my backyard and everybody that's voting for it, they don't want it in their backyard," said one resident.

"If it is located too close to schools and too close to residential areas it impacts property values, it impacts quality of life, it impacts the quality of the neighborhood," said Lawrence Williams.

The meeting, organized by Councilwoman Reva Trammell, brought out at least 200 people.

"We don't want the city jail in the 8th District. The people don't want it here; would you want it in your backyard? No, you wouldn't want it there," said resident Charles Hughes.

Speakers had only two minutes and everyone had something to say.

"I just think it's a bad idea really, all the way around. The crime level there already is a problem and I think it would increase the crime, having the new jail there," said another resident.

"Southside has been the dumping ground for anything no other community wants and we're tired of that now," said resident Tony Scroggins.

Since talk of a city jail began, the special committee reviewing proposals has remained tight-lipped about where the proposed sites are located.

Trammell continues to disagree with the way things are done, but is equally afraid the outcome may be what her community dreads most.

"I think all council people need to know what's going on in their district, just like myself. Do we have another place in our district? Because that's what I'm hearing. If it doesn't go through there, it might be another part of our 8th District. Where? Why leave us in the dark?" said District 8 Councilwoman Reva Trammell.

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