A solution to jail problem

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, November 10, 2012

Instead of building a new up-to-date jail with all the bells and whistles, why not figure out how not to have prisoners there in the first place.

Some say new jail, some say education, I say let’s make the prisoners work by buying some land in the county not for a new jail, but to farm by hand.

That’s just one solution.

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A better one is this: Let me and other small-business owners pay Warren County minimum wage for each inmate. It cost $30 per day to house one, so Warren County would profit $30 a day.

In my case, I’ll pick up about 10 prisoners at 5:30 a.m. You get them up at 4:30, feed them and pack their lunches. I’ll deliver them back at 5:30 p.m. I’ll let them use a shovel, pick and concrete rake for eight to 10 hours a day. I promise they will eat, bathe and lie down on their cot to sleep knowing that they will be picked up at 5:30 the next morning.

It’s a win-win. The County makes a profit. I make more money with more manpower so I pay more taxes. The prisoners are not sitting around idle-minded trying to figure out how to burn the jail down or carving profanity in the new paint. They will work like I do and will not want to go to jail knowing that they will work 10 hours a day in the sun. Fewer people will be in jail, so there isn’t a need for a bigger one.

I know they say that’s inhumane. I use that same pick, shovel and concrete rake now to help house them with my taxes.

Hard work has made me turn out OK and I’ve never spent one night in jail. By the end of the day, I’m too tired to go out and get into trouble.

Mark Dement

Warren County taxpayer