Archived Story

Write Again … On solving the jail dilemma

Published 7:40pm Monday, September 23, 2013

Ah. The saga goes on. What shall we do with our jail?

Build a new one? Locate it here? No, there. Maybe some place else?

Hold a referendum?

Or … repair, refurbish the current one? Just make do?

These are the times that try men’s, uh, something or other.

Well, as much as I try to stay clear of things political – and the dilemma has boiled down to “things political” — I think I just might have a practical solution.

Now, just bear with me for a few moments. I think my plan might work.

Keep the old (current) jail, and incarcerate only those deemed hard-core, and are potential threats to life and property.

All the other residents, especially those whose trial dates are not too far into the future, can be housed in, well, houses.

That is, we’ll ask civic-minded citizens to provide a short-term place in their homes. Sort of like when Aunt Bessie, or cousin Lucille, or Mother-in-law Dear come to visit.  Such an arrangement will help those of a certain lifestyle come to know better someone with a different lifestyle.  A cultural exchange, sort of.

My old classmate and teammate Carl has even come up with the perfect name for this endeavor: “Adopt-a-Prisoner.” You know, as in the “Adopt-a-Highway” program.

I’d be willing to bet that the first to offer to house prisoners would be “He-Who-Knows-More-About-Everything-than Anyone-Else,” our esteemed high-profile county commissioner.

So, friends, if you have a spare bedroom, and want to be a responsible citizen, then this plan is for you.

Ask not what your county can do for you. Rather, ask what you can do for your county.

And just think of the money that will be saved.

Oh. Speaking earlier of the “hard-core” element, I am bold to suggest punishment that would help deter repeat offenders.

Two such harsh punishments would be to require them to teach in a middle school for the length of their sentences, or make them drive back and forth to New York City via I-95 and the Jersey Turnpike multiple times.

Now, that would get their attention.



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