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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sheriff Puts Inmates In Work Release Facility

THE GUARDIAN was astounded, speechless and happy to find the Sheriff and Commishes have wisely come to the realization they can use the Work Release Center and 160 empty beds for non-violent offenders.  The local paper ran this story in the paper today.

 We have been told for years this could not be done for any number of reasons.  Now just days before the election for a new jail, and not much cash left for out of county charges for inmates, our elected "deciders" are going to finally put inmates in the work release tent!  (photo courtesy Dave Frazier)

Question in our mind is why they didn't use this facility years ago instead of letting the main jail go down hill, over crowd the place and after repeated warnings finally got their wish of a lawsuit from the ACLU over mismanagement of our jail assets.  Cost to taxpayers for this blundering approach has been in the hundreds of thousands if not over a million dollars.  Ddenial the work release center could be used for incarceration of low level offenders has been the pat answer while 160 jail beds sat empty and unused.

THE GUARDIAN would offer this is a very good example of government waste, fraud, and abuse of our tax dollars.  If they can use the Tent today, then why did they not use it 5 years ago and save all the money spent on housing inmates out of county.  It will be interesting to hear why this decision took so long.

Credibility and faith in our elected leaders is once again called into question over this sudden change of heart about using the work release tent for inmates.  Bottom line is the Sheriff now has another 160 beds he denied having until today.  We do not need a new jail but we do need people with some respect for taxpayer funds and how best to spend those scarce dollars.

Deciding to use the WR tent just gave the Sheriff a 50% increase in jail beds for no cost to taxpayers.  We think this move is a good one and it should have happened five years ago.

 We would like to suggest better and more use of Pre-Trial release as a management tool to address overcrowding of the jail.  In this country we are considered innocent until proven guilty.  The catch phrase "catch and release" is getting a lot of play these days.  People with ties to the community and low flight risks should be considered for Pre-trial release in cases where it is appropriate.

You can vote early on the Jail Bond Election at 1102 Chicago in the Elections and Passport County Offices 8-5 weekdays.  We encourage you to cast an informed vote as well as your wallet on this bond.


  1. It looks like an instant 160 bed increase in jail capacity at not cost. Why did they drag their feet on this opportunity?

  2. Because, it was someone else that had the idea...humm I think it was George Nourse or even Paul Alldredge might have suggested it a time or two! How soon we forget sheriff smith. Let's see ya spin this one or lets say your buddies will try.

  3. Like I said months ago,the county commies wanted the ACLU to sue them. They thought this would guarantee the passage of the jail bond.

    Brian Vermillion

  4. Three walls and basement on the exiting jail for more space is making sense but not the project for a new jail.


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