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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why America Locks UP Too Many People

THE GUARDIAN  is a subscriber to the Economist Magazine.  This week's cover story is on jailing too many people for insignificant acts. In some instances they point out some of the things people are in jails and prisons for shouldn't even be classified as crimes or criminal acts.

This series of cover story articles could not be a more timely series of stories as the election for the jail bond election moves closer to Tuesday, August 3rd.

Stimulus savings of $5 million on interest payment by down will evaporate.  It was reported to THE GUARDIAN this morning if the county accepts the federal stimulus money they will be on the hook to pay Davis-Bacon wages for all workers and contractors on the project.

Davis-Bacon will require a prescriptively defined wage rate for all jobs performed  if the jail bond passes.  There will be no allowance for any contracts to reflect the labor market of supply and demand.  This requirement will wipe out any savings in labor costs for the jail project. Wages will be set by federal mandate because the Commishes took the federal stimulus money.

Another interesting point made at the forum in a comment below:  Urban renewal in Nampa and Caldwell has siphoned off over $200 million of our proeprty tax dollars.  Let Urban Renewal step up and pay for a new jail.


  1. Davis-Bacon pretty well indicates attractive labor costs are just another stretch on the truth about this jail project.

  2. They need to confront the war on drugs. Over 1/2 of the people are locked up for non violent drug offenses. It's time that our lawmakers stood up and repealed the war on drugs. You can't legislate morality and prohibition just does not work... look at the twenties and Capone and all the other organized crime. If drugs especially marijuana are legalized then it'll cripple the black market. There would be no more blood shed over Mexican cartel/brick

  3. I did a check on the costs of our WAR ON DRUGS. It is going to cost $49 billion this year alone. The war on drugs is a farce. We now have more drugs, lower costs with higher purity.

    We need to declare victory and start taxing this stuff. Prohibition of booze didn't work and the drug war is a farce gone on way too long.

  4. Wages for the construction workers doesn't make a difference because they still can't go over the $46MM that we are voting for.

  5. Amen, maybe our elected officials will get the message prohibition doesn't work and over-inflates the prison population. Declare victory and start spending that money on violent crime prevention and enforcement. I guess if they don't we can always pursue the ballot initiative process and jury nullification.

  6. Mr. Rule stated at several meetings I attended on the jail it will cost less than $46 Million to build the jail perhaps as little as $35 Million.

    What bothers me is the language on the ballot. It states build a jail and whatever else they care to spend the money on up to the allotted $46 million. They've padded the money with the potential of an $11MM overrun.

    Ballot language is troubling. If they get the money they won't use any restraint and will end up spending every dime. This foolishness is a prescription for our money to get squandered.

  7. I find this entire process to be repulsive. No one on a jury is going to let the ACLU dictate our business. Put these criminals into tents. Stop overspending like the federal government. I could build this jail for 1/3 the cost they are going to spend. Forget the handout it will cost 16 million more by taking the fed money.
    Put an electric fence and tents around the overpriced county property. Stop spending money in advance of voter approval. The comish's have forgotten the Jerome fiasco.

  8. When rule ran for office he was pushing for a large expensive parking garage next to the court house. I have never had a problem finding a parking place when I have to visit the Canyon County bureaucrats. When the licence bureau was moved to Graye Lane, the parking at the court house eased up and is not a problem.
    rule must have had dreams of a large bronze plaque with his name, proclaiming that the taxpayer funded parking garage was his idea. I'll give rule a capital R on his name if he ever comes up with an idea that saves taxpayers some money instead of looking for ways to tax them. I'm not going to hold my breath while I wait. Maybe rule will be voted out of office next time, voters need to vote the duds out of office.


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