Dear Newsletter Readers,
When I toured the jail, I realized the conditions there are just barely tolerable. It is not comfy. Concrete floors and walls, metal tables with attached small stools. That's about all there is in the open area. They do have a TV (not big) and a small pay phone that costs money (goes on their account) and limits their phone time. The TV and phone privileges are earned by good behavior. Believe me it is just "3 hots and a cot". Nothing more. No exercise room. Anyone who wants to be there is crazy.
What struck me is the need for upgraded facilities, not for the inmates, but for the staff in order to do their jobs well. The evidence room is tiny and horribly out of date, packed to overflowing with drug and gun evidence. The storage and retrieval of important records is highly inefficient. No modern business would function with the old, fragmented system in place at the jail admin. building. And confidentiality? Well imagine how private any conversation or investigation can be when the desk cubicles are pushed tightly together and a public walkway cuts right through the middle.
As General Manager for 12 years of our 25 year-old business, I was imagining how many man-hours and personnel postitions are wasted in this type of inefficient process. I'd rather have more officers on the streets than running around trying to find reports in a convoluted system or get evidence from a room that looks impossible.
That being said, is the proposed bond of $145 million too big? Is it all fully necessary? Will it be the best use of our tax dollars right now? Those are some of the important questions that must be answered by the officials at the jail. That's their job and that's responsible public process.