Viewpoints: Corrections Officer with 30-Years Experience

[Source: “Common sense says vote ‘yes’ on new jail,” Press Citizen, 6 May 2013, by Mike Quinlan]

In the past few months we have read many different opinions about building a new jail for Johnson County. As with many political issues, both sides can find a way to use statistics to their advantage.

“Who do you believe?” is the question that voters face.

Numbers and so called “facts” can confuse the issues. The question is simple: Do we in Johnson County need a new jail? Without a doubt, the answer is “yes.”

I have spent more than 30 years in Corrections trying to help people turn their lives around. To do that and make our community safer, we need a new jail.

It is one of the many tools that is needed now and in the future. Treatment, education, accountability and safety are some of the challenges we face with the jail as it is now.

When an offender under supervision makes a poor choice and reoffends, sometimes a week in jail can help that person change. The other options are simple, allow them back on the streets to continue criminal behavior or place them in prison at a much higher cost.

Our goal in probation and parole is simple: help struggling individuals become law-abiding citizens and keep our community safe. We will have a better chance with a new jail.

If you have doubts because of all the stats and clouded issues, do what you should do, listen to common sense and please vote for a new jail.

Mike Quinlan

Iowa City

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Categories: Commentary, Endorsement


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