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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Some More About Those Jails

First, there are some interesting posts about Seattle's attempts to get into the jail game over at Blogging Georgetown, including one that reveals some interesting details about the PR firm that the city hired to convince citizens that this jail is a great idea.

Next, Maybe Seattle should think twice about going into the jail business on it's own after King County has announced that it will be making some DEEP cuts in public safety, including 100 sheriff's deputies, prosecutors, and jail staff at the King County Jail because of severe budget shortfalls (law enforcement related expenditures cost the county 70% of it's revenue!). By adding the sole responsibility of a jail to it's expenditures in addition to the overly generous raises it just gave it's police officers and the retention of it's private law firm to defend against civil rights suits, we're sure the city's law enforcement related expenditures will skyrocket.

I'd love to hear about how those cuts will affect ongoing negotiations between King County and the US Department of Justice over how King County needs to fix the rights violations at that jail... After all, the feds aren't going to care if the county says they can't afford the cost to fix those problems, it wants them fixed or that jail will cost the county dearly in court if the DOJ sues. (especially in addition to the class action federal civil rights suits over prisoner mistreatment heading up the pike).

While Seattle residents don't really care about how badly detainees are treated in their names, they need to know that running a jail poorly will cost the city dearly... and given how they've mismanaged the police department, I don't think they are responsible enough to get into the jail game. Especially since the jail will likely be filled with people who were improperly arrested for "contempt of cop".

Hey, there's a thought... maybe if the city forced it's police department to stop making wrongful arrests and violating civil rights, they would cut down on the overcrowding problems that forced them to consider building yet another jail... Hmmm?

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