The Jail Dilemma 2
|You're a typical, Loudon County family of four, dad, mom and a
couple of kids. Your family income is around sixty grand per year. You
live in a nice three bed, bath and a half house. Then one day you find
that you're going to be adding another member to your family. You need
more space. Now what?
Would you: (a) add on to your house, (b) buy or build a new, slightly larger home (c) buy some acreage and build a thirty room mansion for a couple of million dollars? If the The Loudon County Corrections Partnership Committee (LCCPC), Jail Committee, was advising you, you would chose (c) of course.
I think it's safe to say that every commissioner knows that we need do something to make some improvements at the jail but so far the only options we've been given are unrealistic. Much like the typical family mentioned above, Loudon County can not afford a new 35 million justice center. It would be the definition of irresponsibility to put the county a hundred million dollars in debt.
I guess it's not fair to say the county couldn't fund the new jail, commission certainly has unlimited authority to raise your property taxes, pass a wheel tax or take more money from you in other forms. But except for those local officials who want the 35 million package , and who by the way make a lot of money, I haven't had anyone telling me to raise their taxes.
Loudon County, like most every other county in the country, has seen an increase in pill heads and meth addicts being jailed for various crimes related to their addictions. We have to have some place to keep these burdens on society. So we do need more bed space. But spending 35 million dollars for a little more bed space?
The LCCPC committee has been working on this issue for more than two years and has spent more than a hundred thousand dollars in the process and we're not one brick closer to solving the problem. It's time to take a different approach.