Media, PA – On Wednesday, December 15, the Delaware County Council approved the County’s FY 2022 budget. The budget reflects the long anticipated transfer of the County’s George W. Hill Correctional Facility to public management, as well as the establishment of the County’s first public health department. In addition, according to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, additional funding is provided for initiatives which will positively impact the County’s criminal justice system. The budget was, according to District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, “the best budget for public safety ever enacted in Delaware County.”
“While the most publicized change to the criminal justice system in Delaware County may be the transfer of the management of the County’s jail back to the County, this budget also makes substantial investments in improvements to our criminal justice system. These investments will improve the County’s capacity to achieve justice for its residents while simultaneously keeping our community safe. Council is to be applauded for realizing that community safety and justice are not mutually exclusive choices,” said Stollsteimer.
He continued, “On the public safety side, the budget includes funding for four additional detectives in our Criminal Investigation Division. Using a model that we have successfully deployed in the City of Chester, these detectives will be assigned to a Gun Violence Unit focused on reducing gun violence throughout the County. Without a doubt, solving crimes can deter future crime, and we believe this investment in additional investigative capacity will yield substantial rewards for improved public safety. The budget also includes additional resources for our diversionary unit as well as funding to streamline the arraignment process. Our ability to keep individuals – both adults and juveniles – out of the criminal justice system entirely is dependent upon our capacity to determine which cases are appropriate for diversion, as well as the availability of appropriate alternatives to incarceration. Additional staff support for our diversionary efforts is a cost effective investment which can reduce the jail population and improve outcomes for our residents,” said Stollsteimer.
Councilmember Kevin Madden, who serves as the Council’s liaison to the County’s criminal justice system, stated “Over the last year-and-a-half, Delaware County has taken important steps to change how it keeps our community safe. From taking back control of the county’s jail from a private, for-profit operator in order to reinvest in our people; to working in partnership with the District Attorney to reduce gun violence; to building on the important national conversations about police-community relations, Delaware County is fundamentally changing our public safety and justice systems to make them more restorative than punitive. We believe that change in perspective will make us all safer.”
The budget also includes – for the first time – funding for a Program Director for Community Justice. This position will report to County Council directly and will be responsible for, among other things, the redesign of the County’s juvenile detention facility.
For press inquiries, please contact Margie McAboy, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, 610-579-0429.