Pubdate: Wed, 06 Oct 2004
Source: Herald Democrat (TX)
Copyright: 2004 Herald Democrat
Author: Mary Beer-Omundson
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Color me amazed! The county commissioners, who can't find the money or the 
authority to give money to certain organizations that help the elderly, are 
now spending money on a "study" to find out if Grayson County needs a new jail.

I find it interesting that when the sheriff mentioned how many more inmates 
are at the Grayson County jail, he failed to mention that some of that 
increase is due to the federal inmates that the county houses. In August 
there were over 120 federal inmates in residents there. Now the county is 
receiving approximately $45 a day for housing these inmates. Just do the math.

Additionally, we have Grayson county deputies and police officers arresting 
people for traditionally non-jail offences like, failure to update the 
address on your drivers' license, expired auto stickers or even criminal 
trespass. All of these actions lead to over crowding at the jailhouse. If 
the county is so worried about a crowded jail, how about suggesting the 
feds cough up money for a facility to house their own inmates and INS holds.

But what is really troubling is the idea that a new "Taj Mahal" type jail 
facility is somehow going to solve the terrible drug epidemic in the 
county. What the county needs to do instead of building a new expensive 
jail, which will end up being a white elephant for the county to fund, 
equip and feed, it to take a small part of that money and invest in a 
state-of-the-art drug treatment facility that offenders would be forced to 
participate in.

We all know, punishing drug addicts doesn't work. For every meth lab the 
police bust, two more pop up. Certainly the answer isn't a bigger jail or, 
as one county commissioner suggested, "cutting off fingers" or feeding 
inmates beans and bread.

Mary Beer-Omundson, Denison
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