Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No New Jail press release response to yesterday's decision of the County Commissioners

The No New Jail Coalition appreciates yesterday’s decision of the Spokane County Commissioners to cancel the jail ballot issue for the rest of this year in order to “do their due diligence” before deciding on a new course of action. We hope that “due diligence” includes a closer examination of priorities that has to date resulted in jail space over health care, jobs, education and all of those services which improve the quality of our communities and minmizes the need for jail space in the first place.

Further in this direction, we believe Spokane County criminal justice needs function as an integrated system with the dedicated cooperation of the County Prosecutor, Steve Trucker as well as the Superior Court judges and Public Defender. Attempting to put the horse back ahead of the cart, we believe these people as well as our County Commissioners and Sheriff can and should create a criminal justice system that is both cost effective and efficient in addressing the issues of public safety and rehabilitation through increased
dedicated funding for alternative programs.

We trust that the Commissioners will not again ignore the will of the people  by contracting behind closed doors with a private firm to build and then lease facilities back to the County, all without the bother of any vote or input from voters and taxpayers.

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