Monthly Archives: November 2012

The CRHA Barment Policy: What is changing?

Resident Input Needed! – November 8th !!!

What is barment? (Also called “No Trespass Authority”)

People who are barred from Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority (CRHA) sites can be arrested if they come on-site. CRHA sites are private property and police can get a criminal warrant for a trespassing charge. Having visitors who are barred can also put a CRHA resident at risk for eviction.

The policy now being looked at is a draft. You should have gotten a copy from the Housing Authority, along with a flyer for the Resident Services Meeting on Thursday, November 8 at 1:00 at Crescent Halls. Please come to the meeting and give your opinion! A final vote will be taken on November 26 at the CRHA Board Meeting.

PHAR wants to make sure that the policy includes:

More control over when police can stop and question people.

Greater abilities to appeal and challenge CRHA barment of family members.

Limited use of criminal background checks for removal from the bar list.

Automatic removal from the barment list

Here is what the final draft says:

1. Only people with a “legitimate” reason to visit are allowed to be in a public housing site. This includes anyone dropping someone off or picking someone up, visiting a resident, etc.

2. A police officer may stop and question someone if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person is either doing something against the law or that s/he does not have a legitimate reason to be on the property.

3. If a police officer bars someone, the police must tell a CRHA Property Manager or the Executive Director within 24 hours.

4. The Executive Director has 30 business days to decide whether or not the person should be barred.

5. Anyone barred should be told within 15 days of the Executive Director’s decision.

6. The amount of time someone is barred for is based on what they are accused of doing:

a. Suspected nuisance: up to 6 months barred if someone is being a nuisance (including causing disruption, disturbing the peace and not stopping after a CRHA staff member or police officer asks and other minor violations.

b. Suspected misdemeanor: up to 2 years barred. This includes possible non-violent crimes and “low-level” drug activity.

c. Suspected domestic violence, manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs, violent criminal activity: up to 7 years barred.

7. Applying to get unbarred:

– After the barment time is over, the barred person can apply to be removed at any site or Central Office. Asking to be unbarred includes letting CRHA do a criminal background check and filling out a request form.

– The Executive Director must unbar the person within 15 days, unless CRHA shows proof in writing of more misconduct by that person.

– People barred for suspected domestic violence, manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs, violent criminal activity (see (c) previous page) apply the same way, and may also have to do community service and/or restorative justice before being unbarred.

– The Executive Director can unbar someone at any time, and may consider a resident’s written agreement to take responsibility for the visitor’s conduct.

– If the Executive Director decides someone should not be unbarred, the resident who wants the visitor to be unbarred can meet with the Executive Director, Restorative Justice and/or Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR). If the person wanting to be unbarred does not have a resident’s support, the Executive Director’s decision after the meeting is final.

– Residents always have the option to go to court to try to get a visitor unbarred. Call the Legal Aid Justice Center (434-977-0553) for more information.

8. Appeal rights: If the Executive Director decides not to unbar someone wants to be unbarred and has the support of a resident, an appeal can be filed. A written request for an appeal must be sent to the Executive Director within 30 days of the decision not to unbar. Residents always have the option to go to court to try to get a visitor unbarred. Call the Legal Aid Justice Center (434-977-0553) for more information.

9. Currently barred people are covered by this policy, and may apply to be unbarred. The time limits above may be used. See Part 7- As soon as CRHA accepts this policy many people will be able to come off of the bar list!

10. Temporary/Special Visits: A resident may apply for a barred person to visit for special events or for good cause (such as child care or elder care, graduations, birthdays, holidays, or for helping to move large household items). The Executive Director or assigned staff decides whether to allow this.

How does this sound to you?

Are these good ways to help keep your neighborhood safe, or

is this too much control over visitors and residents?

Come to the meeting – Thursday, November 8 at 1:00 pm at Crescent Halls – to share your thoughts! Also join us on Monday November 26, 7 pm at City Hall to speak up before the final vote is taken!

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