Vote ‘yes’; don’t wait for something tragic

[Source: “Vote ‘yes’; don’t wait for something tragic,” Press Citizen, 19 April 2013, by James P. Hayes]

I urge Johnson County voters to vote “yes” for the justice center on May 7.

Access to the courts and making the community a safe place to live are two hallmarks of a great society.

Our current courthouse and jail are woefully inadequate in ensuring these fundamental rights. Current overcrowding hampers movement of criminal and civil cases through the court system due to a lack of space for court administrative staff. There is inadequate detention room for those charged with a serious crime, plus we spend about $1 million per year sending Johnson County offenders to jails in other counties awaiting disposition.

Finally, we cannot properly protect our judges, jurors or staff employees and the general public using the courthouse from potential harm from individuals wishing to inflict injury, such as the mass assaults and murders which confront us too regularly.

Seeing firsthand the state of our facilities will convince you, so please take a tour through the Johnson County Courthouse at 4 p.m. any remaining Monday before the election.

Do the right thing. Go to the polls and vote “yes” on May 7. Don’t wait until something tragic happens, then wish we’d voted to make a difference when we had the chance.

James P. Hayes

Iowa City

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Categories: Commentary, Endorsement


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