Stop ignoring the jail woes

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 9, 2015

On July 17, state official inspected the jail and, while the formal report has not been received, there is no intelligent reason to believe that it did not fail to meet minimum standards.

While nobody wants to spend pubic money on jail conditions, failure to do so could be a financial nightmare. If the jail closes, it will be more costly than making the move now. Housing 60 prisoners out of country would cost a minimum of $3,600 per day, or $1.296 million per year.

In addition, the expense of transportation would be at least 10 times the current amount. With all the prisoner transports required, there will be few or no deputies available to police the county.

The county and state signed an agreement for occupancy of the Franklin Furnace facility. The commissioners requested $500,000 to permit the sheriff to being the move. So what is the holdup? Now two commissioners say there is no money.

The auditor, Jason Stephens, claims the money is not in the accounts. The other members of the budget committee say it is there. By the way, what happened to the $1.8 million carryover from last year?

There has been some talk of building a new jail, but I cannot believe the electorate will support a levy to pay for a project that at a minimum would be 10 times the expense of moving to the Franklin Furnace facility.


John Wolfe