[Source: “Need for a new jail has become critical,” Press Citizen, 1 May 2013, by Brad Kunkel]
I’ve been a deputy at the Johnson County Sheriff’s office since 2001, and worked in the jail for over five years. I can tell you firsthand that the need for a new jail is critical.
I can also tell you that the vast majority of the current overcrowding is not due to drug offenses, victimless crimes and college students. What has increased is the number of violent offenders and probation/parole violators.
When the 2000 jail bond issue failed by a wide margin (25.5 percent), voters made it clear they had questions to be answered and alternatives to be pursued before approving a new jail. Since then, most of the questions have been answered and alternatives to incarceration have been implemented.
The revised project came within 4 percentage points of passing last November, and the current proposal contains even more revisions.
The work has been done. Alternatives are in place. Questions have been answered. Please vote “yes” Tuesday.