Aug. 26, 2014 5:12 p.m. - Updated: 5:36 p.m.
I have recently filed in opposition to the Judicial Confirmation proceedings for a lease for a new jail facility. The citizens of Kootenai County have spoken loud and clear with a “No” vote on jail bonds in 2005, 2008 and 2009. I’m filing in opposition to this private-public business arrangement to represent the citizens whose voices are being circumvented by this process. The lease concept and expanded facilities require a tremendous amount of new resources and funding without the corresponding income. The plan includes an additional 300 beds with a future pad for another 192 for an overall total capacity of 817 beds. Housing more inmates will cost county taxpayers for additional food, medical expenses, added transport deputy’s to take them to court and back, more staff to keep track of their hearing schedules, attorney meetings and family visitations. There are new insurance requirements and a new jail campus and buildings to maintain along with the current facilities/Commissioner Jai Nelson. More here.
Question: I view the county as being between a rock and a hard place. Voters won't approve a new or expanded jail. And more jail space has been needed for years now. Judicial confirmation appears to be the only option to meeting this legitimate county need. Thoughts?
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