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D.C. Council member Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7) said Thursday he wants the city to use eminent domain to seize a Northeast Washington property intended for a controversial 300-person halfway house and instead build an urban park. The corrections company Core DC has sought to build […]
“What is more important to us as a people? Preserving a remnant of a building with diminished integrity where sausages were once made, or making way for the future with a new building, a new reentry center, with new ideas and a new approach to help these men reach their full potential?” CORE DC CEO Jack Brown said at the board meeting.
Jack Brown, CORE’s chief executive, argued against historic designation, which would have complicated the company’s plans. He said he had “seen firsthand how socially responsible reentry services, when done right, have been a positive force for change.”
“How do you call an old slaughterhouse a historic landmark?” he said. “I’m tired of Black people going around, putting their fists in the air, saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ until it’s time for them to matter in their neighborhood.”
In many respects, the conversation about social and racial justice has been years in the making in D.C., where local advocacy groups, faith leaders and elected officials have struggled with the question of how to best break the cycle of recidivism that has torn apart families and communities.
The mission of reentry centers is to provide job training, housing, transportation and other temporary support for these individuals, a group that is disproportionately made up of black and Hispanic men.