[Source: “Don’t just kick the can down the road,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Steve Dolezal]
A justice center bond referendum is on the ballot Tuesday, and it’s important that the citizens of Johnson County vote “yes” and support this much-needed building.
The current jail was built to house 46 inmates and expanded throughout the years to house 92 inmates. Today the average daily jail population in 2012 was 156 inmates. Due to this overcrowding, the sheriff must house inmates outside of Johnson County and cannot provide needed jail alternatives due to a lack of space. This sends millions of our local tax dollars outside of Johnson County and puts a hardship on the families of those housed outside of Johnson County.
The courthouse was built over 111 years ago. The lack of courtroom space, proper handicap accessibility and the safety inadequacies has been a problem for years. As many residents learn about these conditions and inadequacies, they — like me — find it unacceptable and realize the need for a more efficient justice center.
We have an outstanding opportunity to address and fix both our space needs issues at the courthouse and the jail by voting “yes” for the justice center. As our county population continues to grow, so will our needs for expanded jail alternatives which a new justice center will provide.
So let’s not just kick the can down the road on this very important issue. I hope you will join me in voting yes on the justice center bond referendum.