Courthouse and jail expansion turned down

Courthouse and jail expansion turned down

This is a discussion on Courthouse and jail expansion turned down within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; ...by the voters Story here There are 2 reasons it did not pass. Financial: It's expensive, the economy is down. Fear: Plans for the new ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Courthouse and jail expansion turned down

    ...by the voters

    Story here

    There are 2 reasons it did not pass.

    1. Financial: It's expensive, the economy is down.
    2. Fear: Plans for the new jail make it too large.



    #1 is a given and understandable...

    #2, that's what I wanna talk about...

    There are some hints about why it's too big in This Story

    Essentially, the concern is that (to quote a movie about Iowa) "If you build it, they will come." If the county builds a larger jail facility, it will be filled...

    The concern is that it will be filled with minorities and college students (or at least, college-aged criminals).

    Fact is, most criminals are "college-aged" 18-25 years old... And Johnson county has some of the most liberal judges in the land... they let hardened criminals out with wrist slaps, probation, time served, and other short sentences.

    To a great degree, incarceration is not a real deterrent. If anything, it might be a "finishing school" for criminals... Incarcerating criminals is expensive... and there is little or no ROI. Recidivism is high.

    Anybody got any ideas as to what else might work?

    Just some discussion points... and I'm wondering... does anyone have a real working solution?
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose


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    I don't follow your logic. If the "liberal judges" are turning them out, then how would the jail fill to capacity?

    Actually, I think the real danger is that your sheriff will start to take prisoners from other counties
    on contract to pay for the over- capacity. Then, he'll go to the voters wanting more
    COs, and at that point your taxes will go up to pay for it.

    Voters probably did the right thing turning it down.
    Sig 210 likes this.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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    The problem with most new "jails" is they are more along the lines of expensive, public-supported hotels with all the modern conveniences. The days of "3 hots and a cot" are long gone. Now the "convicts" have rights!
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    I don't follow your logic. If the "liberal judges" are turning them out, then how would the jail fill to capacity?

    Actually, I think the real danger is that your sheriff will start to take prisoners from other counties
    on contract to pay for the over- capacity. Then, he'll go to the voters wanting more
    COs, and at that point your taxes will go up to pay for it.

    Voters probably did the right thing turning it down.
    Right now, that county is paying other counties to take its inmates due to overcrowding (which the taxpayer is paying for).

    And yes, some of the judges down in that county are letting hardened (recidivist) criminals out through probation and other "easy sentences."

    And, it's not my logic... it's the logic of the residents of that county.... But, most of them (extremely liberal/university town, county) believe that more criminals should be let out, not incarcerated...

    Apparently, the county could use more cells. Especially if all the convicted criminals actually went to jail. But the residents don't want more people imprisoned... (especially those of color or youthful age). And the judges are using the excuse of cost and overpopulation as reasons to not incarcerate criminals.

    And, I'm in the same situation as you ...I don't get the logic. Either way...
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    Anybody got any ideas as to what else might work?
    How to reduce recidivism and change direction of the vast majority of criminals? There aren't a lot of choices, really. Am not a "corrections" specialist or theorist, myself, but I'd think a few basic changes could achieve much:

    1. Reduce the "finishing school" aspect to a bare minimum, in prisons/jails. Uncertain how to achieve this, in practice. Separation via "solitary" won't cut it, not for the thousands. Focused activities that are supervised and monitored might go a long way.

    2. Reduce conveniences/niceties to a bare minimum, in prisons/jails. Simple enough to achieve. Start, first, by not building Howard Johnsons that masquerade as prisons/jails. Saving $50M on a build could yield a lot of funds for more-effective in/out searching machines/personnel and tightened procedures on certain things.

    3. Require hard work to be part of the equation, while incarcerated, to earn their keep and help cover the cost of the facilities their predations require. Farming nearby, chain gangs, rock quarrying, road repaving, and similar activities.

    4. Daily "tossing" (searching/cleansing) of cells and work areas, to minimize contraband.

    5. Strict search of inbound persons/goods. Far too much contraband makes it inside. Uncertain how many watchers to watch the watchers could be effective, or what other means could eliminate the suborned-human factor.

    6. Provide meaningful and more-effective means of vocational education and improvement, while incarcerated.

    7. Provide meaningful and more-effective "half-way" opportunities for transitional boarding and vocations.

    8. Stop watering down sentences via court activism and stupidity, thwarting the will of the people. Among other things, might require absolute sentences upon conviction, with minimums that cannot be sidestepped.

    9. Significantly stiffen the means of dealing with repeat violent offenders: ie, "three strikes" arrangement, where the third violent strike is permanent elimination from society.

    10. Realize that ultimately only so much can be done, for those who opt for the path of violence against innocents. Such is life.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Member Array steffen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    does anyone have a real working solution?
    End prohibition of controlled substances and start going after people who are breaking real laws meant to protect peoples constitutional rights.

    While my proposed solution is highly unlikely due to the irrational fears that caused people to unconstitutionally start the war on drugs in the first place, I think it's the right solution. Anyone who thinks that drugs should still be illegal uses the same thought process as the people who think owning guns should be illegal.

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    Member Array steffen's Avatar
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    Here's a pretty good, detailed plan that I support. I did my best to remove the useless partisan political parts of the plan to make it forum appropriate.


    Step 1. Protect Victims' Rights
    Protecting the rights and interests of victims should be the basis of our criminal justice system. Victims should have the right to be present, consulted and heard throughout the prosecution of their case.

    In addition, [XXXXXXX political party] would do more than just punish criminals. We would also make them pay restitution to their victims for the damage they've caused, including property loss, medical costs, pain, and suffering. If you are the victim of a crime, the criminal should fully compensate you for your loss.

    Step 2. End Prohibition
    Drug prohibition does more to make Americans unsafe than any other factor. Just as alcohol prohibition gave us Al Capone and the mafia, drug prohibition has given us the Crips, the Bloods and drive-by shootings. Consider the historical evidence: America's murder rate rose nearly 70% during alcohol prohibition, but returned to its previous levels after prohibition ended. Now, since the War on Drugs began, America's murder rates have doubled. The cause/effect relationship is clear. Prohibition is putting innocent lives at risk.

    What's more, drug prohibition also inflates the cost of drugs, leading users to steal to support their high priced habits. It is estimated that drug addicts commit 25% of all auto thefts, 40% of robberies and assaults, and 50% of burglaries and larcenies. Prohibition puts your property at risk. Finally, nearly one half of all police resources are devoted to stopping drug trafficking, instead of preventing violent crime. The bottom line? By ending drug prohibition [XXXXXXX political party] would double the resources available for crime prevention, and significantly reduce the number of violent criminals at work in your neighborhood.

    Step 3. Get Tough on Real Crime
    [Irrelevant statement about political parties removed]

    For instance: sentences seldom mean what they say. Fewer than one out of every four violent felons serves more than four years. [XXXXXXX political party] would dramatically reduce the number of these early releases by eliminating their root cause - prison over-crowding.

    Since nearly six out of every ten federal prison inmates are there for non-violent drug-related offenses, it's clear that drug prohibition is the primary source of this over-crowding. It has been estimated that every drug offender imprisoned results in the release of one violent criminal, who then commits an average of 40 robberies, 7 assaults, 110 burglaries and 25 auto thefts. Early release of violent criminals puts you and your family at risk. It must stop.

    Step 4. Protect the Right to Self-Defense
    We believe that the private ownership of firearms is part of the solution to America's crime epidemic, not part of the problem. Evidence: law-abiding citizens in Florida have been able to carry concealed weapons since 1987. During that time, the murder rate in Florida has declined 21% while the national murder rate has increased 12%.

    In addition, evidence shows that self-defense with guns is the safest response to violent crime. It results in fewer injuries to the defender (17.4% injury rate) than any other response, including not resisting at all (24.7% injury rate). [XXXXXXX political party] would repeal waiting periods, concealed carry laws, and other restrictions that make it difficult for victims to defend themselves, and end the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense.

    Step 5. Address the Root Causes of Crime
    [removed due to lack of evidence and abundance of political bias/theory]

  8. #8
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    Colorado went through the "Build it and they will come" phase, and now we are shutting down some facilities at high cost.

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    Woe, steffen I agree with all of that. I always tell friends and family I believe all drugs should be legalized. Where did this info come from? Would like to read/get more.
    The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.

    G19 AIWB

  10. #10
    Member Array steffen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miller_man View Post
    Woe, steffen I agree with all of that. I always tell friends and family I believe all drugs should be legalized. Where did this info come from? Would like to read/get more.
    Info sent via PM. If anyone else wants more info, just send me a message.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Get rid of the liberal judges. Lay the foundation to increse morales. Make social programs a safety net rather a way of life forcing folks to go to work. After a hard day at work most folks are to tired to go out and act foolish. Return to the priciples our nation was founded on.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    I agree with both ccw9mm and steffan: it is time to put a stop to this so called war on drugs. If the drugs were decriminalized and a support system were put in place to deal with the hopelessly, habitual, addicts (even if such a system were just to ensure a drug supply and sterile tools), the overall costs to society would be much lower and the drug crime would all but disappear. This last election cycle, two states finally started heading in that direction.

    With regards to prison, recidivism, and crime in the first place, the current system of locking them up has been absolutely proven as a non deterrent. Simply put, you are not going to teach them to be productive citizens by putting them in that environment. I think one major change should be to make the prisons be self sufficient: food, clothing, power, heat, etc. Give them the choice of work and learn the value of productivity and mutual co-operation, or let them starve or freeze and die off by choice. Getting out of prison should be based upon learning these lessons and demonstrated behavior, not quantity of time spent.

    I would also like to comment on the OP statements of concern about minority populations as referenced by this statement in the 2nd op link:
    About 38 percent of the average daily inmate population was black during a recent review. Only 5 percent of Johnson County’s population is black. About 23 percent of the people booked into the jail in fiscal year 2012 were black, but 41 percent of the inmates held longer than a week were black, and that skews the average daily number
    I think skin color is the wrong correlation metric to be using. While it may be indicative of greater problems in the black communities, by itself it does not suggest racial discrimination. With regards to the holding of longer than a week, instead of basing the figures on just color, what was the percentage of those that committed violent or other serious offenses that warranted being held and what percentage of those are black?

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    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    Get rid of the liberal judges. Lay the foundation to increse morales. .
    Yeah right. Well all be so much better off under Right Wing Authoritarians. No thank you.

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    Member Array steffen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noway2 View Post
    Yeah right. Well all be so much better off under Right Wing Authoritarians. No thank you.
    You may need to slow down and explain how Authoritarianism is on a different scale than the simple left-right, liberal-conservative scale that everyone is familiar with. Most people don't realize that the left-right scale that they all know and love has very little to do with freedom.

    Here is a chart:
    nolanchart.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    Return to the priciples our nation was founded on.
    Manifest Destiny?
    The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see.
    Ayn Rand

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