The Restorative CommUnity Coalition

~Reclaiming Lives Since 2006~


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Toolbox Irene Morgan is the Founder of the Restorative CommUnity Coalition, and this is her letter to the community regarding the changes in how we do business.

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2020 Reform from Multanomah County – Awesome!by Joy Gilfilen - June 26, 2020Wow!  Check out this County in Oregon!  While Whatcom County could easily have been the leader in justice reform, we just got ACE's by [...]No CommentsCivic ProblemsBoondoggle – Wapato Jailby Joy Gilfilen - October 13, 2019Wapato Jail -  a real boondoggle for Oregon. ...

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Wow!  Check out this County in Oregon!  While Whatcom County could easily have been the leader in justice reform, we just got ACE’s by Multnomah!  Whatcom County could learn from them!  And there is more to do, if the County will stop pretending that they need to build a jail – a public safety building...

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Wapato Jail –  a real boondoggle for Oregon.  What a huge waste of taxpayers dollars, and a nightmare for the community.  The County overbuilt the jail.  They oversold the jail industry plan and convinced the civic leaders to buy the plan. This whole boondoggle caused huge problems for taxpayers.  Now it is likely to be...

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What happens to people when they get arrested? Most people don’t know because no-one really wants to talk about it. Why not? Joy Gilfilen, President of the Restorative Community Coalition, did a quest to find out.  It is disturbing to the soul. People who get arrested go through dramatic arrest shock and jail trauma before...

Blindspots 1.2:  Whatcom County Jail Trauma Research Study Episode 2 It’s about discovering the false pre-assumptions that people make about an arrest. Joy had no idea she herself would have blindspots even after years of researching the issues and working with people. For example, she discovered that most people who get arrested go through such...

Repetitive Acute Trauma (RAT) follows the initial shock of being that accused person who was in a crisis that led to an accusation, arrest, and now jailing. Videos of Blindspots: Unexpected Findings from Jail Trauma Research – 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 discuss the initial Radicalized Acute Distress under Duress (RADD) feelings and symptoms that precede...

JoyTalks Episode 3 details what people reported happened to them emotionally when they are arrested.   This part of the study is not about guilt or innocence, it is simply what people go through, and may help people understand how mental illness develops in the aftermath of an incident that leads to an arrest. The variety...

The immediate and then compound ripple effects that come from just an arrest process, then a jailing process are serious and last a lifetime. All this happens before a court is even involved or a person is charged with a crime. Blindspots: Unexpected Findings from Jail Trauma Research The immediate and then compound ripple effects...

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Testimonials from our early days when the coalition was originally named the Whatcom County Re-entry Coalition. We still do this work today.

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Our September Newsletter is all about local events of immediate interest:

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This was the first debate held about the Prosecutor’s position in decades! The incumbent prosecutor retired and had held the position virtually without competition for 44 years! As a result, this was a powerful educational opportunity for the public to learn how two different professionals would approach the position and do their job.

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3-Step Civic Strategy: Emotional Resilience Tools After an arrest, an individual is thrown into an accelerated pattern of self-destructive emotional chaos.  This arrest shock overwhelms their reasoning and coping skills. They experience acute emotional trauma such as shame, guilt, fear, sorrow, and then feelings of abandonment, betrayal, and isolation.  Their world turns upside down as their...

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MISMANAGEMENT = SYSTEMIC PATTERNS OF POVERTY   After analyzing data about Whatcom County’s Justice system for the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force, dated November 2017, the Vera Institute of Justice published a report that identified “the following factors contributing to jail overuse in Whatcom County: Most admissions (62%) into the jail had non-felony charges...

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What are the “true costs” of incarceration? It’s complicated. It’s ultimately a contrarian lose/lose/lose game. People try to simplify the question of the growth of mass incarceration as a Good Guy vs. Bad Guy problem.  Or as a good vs. evil problem.  Or as a safety problem, like how we used the Sheriff out west...






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