A Jeffersonian In East Texas

January 10, 2008

Smith County Jail Bond Goes Down In Flames…Again!

Smith County Schools or Jails | School Bond vs. Jail Bond

Vote Yes For The New Smith County Jail Proposal!

Smith Commissioner Fleming | Well Bless Her Heart…

Originally posted 11/6/07 (After the last jail bond voters revolt)

This posting occurred after the defeat of the jail bond in the November 2007 election. It highlights some of the reasons voters turned the bond down, and like most of the other posts you will find here, on this issue, makes a call for Smith county officials to look at the real reasons behind the bonds defeat, and make other adjustments before adding a new tax burden on the people of Smith county.

This article also received a response from Judge Carole Clark on the subject of child support. Her comments will be included in a new post very soon.

Smith County Jail Bond Goes Down In Flames Again, or When Will They Ever Learn?

Smith county residents once again showed amazingly uncommon common sense, and said no to the latest jail proposal. Guys, it is not just the tax issue! It has a lot to do with the fact that residents feel, and justly so, that it is not so much the jail that needs to be revamped, but the entire way that justice is miss-handled in this county!( All the arguments are explored elsewhere on this blog.)

The system would not need a place to stockpile increasing numbers of human bodies, if it would, process the people coming in more quickly, and offer something other than jail for non violent offenders. The state is part of the problem. Jailing child support offenders is the least sensible thing I have ever heard of. I know that something has to be done to encourage the payment of child support, but no one has ever been able to explain to me just how locking them up is benefiting anyone!

Marijuana use, may be a crime. (someone needs to explain that to a lot of lawyers, doctors and other well placed citizens of the county) but is not the same as violent crime. It makes people goofy, and sometimes just plain fat and comatose, but it’s users are rarely the rapists and murderers that we all want to lock away. If you took these “hardened criminals” out of the equation, there would be a lot more open beds.

There is an overall sense in Smith County that the gulag could swallow anyone at any time, and that makes everyone a little nervous, in a county that arrests about double the number of it’s citizens of the state average, in a state that arrests about 40 percent more than the national average, and the numbers of citizens on probation is so insanely high that it should make you worry! I have said before, that if they haven’t arrested you yet, they just haven’t gotten around to it!

The way the system works, almost assures indictment, and either a guilty plea or conviction. Sure, it is jurors who send people to jail or prison for long periods of time, but when the stats are as skewed as they are here, something is wrong!

Revamp the way the system works, and you might just get your jail! Otherwise, you can just keep tilting at windmills.

As a post script, let me say, that the next event that I suspect will occur, is the contriving of some jail related disaster to show people how wrong they are, and to buy sympathy for a jail project. Like: “See, we told you so!”…


1 Comment »

  1. Smith County Jail Bond Goes Down In Flames Again! 2008 The Story Continues…

    This is an update on the continuing saga of Smith counties attempt to develop a jail package that will pass public scrutiny. In order to do this, the county commissioners rubber stamped a package developed illegally behind closed doors, and have sued the Attorney General of the state of Texas to keep it from the public. They are currently paying a rude and raving attorney to do this. In the mean time, on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 this futile attempt once again met it’s demise at the polls!

    Comment by A Jeffersonian — November 8, 2008 @ 8:04 am | Reply

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