Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, November 9, 2009

Regional Jails Could Solve Overcrowding Woes

Regional Jail Could Solve Crowding Woes
November 9, 2009 by David R. Frazier

Instead of asking Canyon voters to pony up for a new jail, we would suggest that Sheriff Chris Smith follow his own advice and go for a regional jail somewhere near the Ada-Canyon county line.

Smith is an advocate of regional jails and wrote an article for the Idaho Sheriff’s Association Magazine on the subject. You can chek out Smith's article on the Idaho Sheriff's website as well.

Done right, Ada, Canyon, and the Idaho Dept. of Corrections could join forces and save everyone a lot of money and provide a secure facility to house longer term offenders who have been sentenced or await trial unable to post bond. The idea is to build a facility that won’t require daily traffic back and forth to court. It would take a joint powers agreement and probably operate on a “per bed” basis for operating costs.

Voters from each county would need to approve the long term debt (bonds), but with two counties sharing the burden, it should be very affordable and appeal to voters…not unlike the College of Western Idaho vote as we see it.

Ada Sheriff Gary Raney is onboard Smith’s idea in principal and notes he will soon need additional space in his jail. Both lawmen are eagerly awaiting one of those infamous “feasibility studies” on the topic of “Regional Offender Management Centers”–JAILS to crooks and non-coppers. The study, being conducted by a BSU professor will undoubtedly endorse the concept. The trick will be in the politics of getting two counties and the state to buy in.

We like the idea and can’t understand why Smith didn’t push for it instead of trying to build his own jail. What with illegal land purchases, expenditure of funds for a new jail BEFORE the bond was voted upon, a lawsuit by the ACLU which is billing Canyon about $193,000 for legal expenses, and coppers campaigning on government time, the stand alone Canyon jail as proposed was doomed to fail.

It was sold as a scare tactic to keep bad guys from being turned lose on society, but we doubt they opened the jailhouse doors to many dangerous crooks. Based on booking records we saw, there were a lot of driver’s license and insurance offenders who got jailed.

Smith’s plan for a regional jail for Ada and Canyon County deserves to be considered BEFORE another bond election or the idea will never get voter approval.

No comments:

Post a Comment

A public discourse on the issues of the day makes the world a better place.

We welcome comments but they will be moderated and edited if too long or do not have anything to do with the post.
Agree or disagree just do it without profanity or it won't get posted. Try to keep your comments to no more than 300 words. Too long and I will try to edit it down or simply delete the comment. The whole idea is to get people to read your comment. Don't use 10 words when one will do the job.

It's OK to have a difference of opinion but keep it civil. I have used the "delete" feature on myself at times.

The ANONYMOUS feature for comments seems to be the most user friendly. People have commented they have difficulty with the other methods of posting comments.