Part #3: Even though it would be a hospital in a jail
Sheriff Dave Mahoney wants to rebuild the county jail to accommodate mental health, drug and alcohol treatment, and job skill training. At $76 million, a safer jail for both inmates and his deputies. More humane but less capacity — 9% fewer inmate beds.
County Executive Joe Parisi, good Democrat that he is, proposes a capital budget for fiscal 2018 that would would actually REDUCE jail capacity by 91 beds — from 1,013 to 922. Dane County’s hired consultants Mead & Hunt recorded the limitation:
No new beds should be added to the system, as recommended by the County Board.
To add insult to injury, the board’s Public Protection & Judiciary Committee adopted a motion by Far-Left Supv. Carousel Bayrd to delete any reference to completing a second phase recommended by the county’s hired consultants that would increase capacity a bit.
Would you be surprised if Madison’s perpetually aggrieved Left is STILL opposed?
“Let’s fund housing, not handcuffs,” bleats County Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner. Never mind that high-priced consultants determined that Dane County is doing a great job in diverting potential inmates from incarceration.
“I was shocked,” Wegleitner reacted. “Did they ask communities of color – profiled, over-policed, and disproportionately arrested — this question?”
It is that case that inmates are 37% black and 60.7% white in a county that is 5% black and 81.5% white. But 43% of Madison police arrests were black, 53% white. (It’s also the case that 72% of those arrested in 2016 were men, 28% female. Where is the outrage over this gender discrimination?)
‘Don’t want no police’
Unless you believe that the racist, trigger-happy police are arresting shooters in Allied Drive but allowing those in Maple Bluff to blast away, unmolested.
“We are Black victims of many types of violence, and in the face of violence we say we don’t want no police!” says Monica Adams of Freedom Inc.
Naturally, Madison’s race-obsessed Left is organizing a rally an hour before the public hearing on the jail. It’s called “Derail the Jail.”
The public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 18, in the 2nd-floor chambers of the City-County Building on Martin Luther King Drive.
The usual suspects are opposed: groups like Affordable Housing Action Alliance, Freedom Inc. (which wants cops out of the high schools), Madison Socialist Alternative, Our Wisconsin Revolution-Dane County, Young Gifted and Black, and Madame Brenda’s Progressive Dane.
If these people had their way there’d be no jail at all. Just a lot more Free Stuff. Their banner is “Housing Not Handcuffs, Healthcare Not Jail Cells.”
The old 6th & 7th floor jail, left; proposed new jail, right
Hospital in a jail
The irony is that the new, smaller but better jail, will provide that healthcare and more — at a place where attendance is (ahem) mandatory.
The goals, according to county consultants Mead & Hunt:
- Replace the outdated and dangerous cell blocks in the City County Building to improve both staff and inmate safety.
- Provide medical and mental health housing and programs.
- Build classrooms for adult education.
- Eliminate or significantly reduce solitary confinement.
Mead & Hunt found that one in every 5 jail inmates has a mental health issue. From their study:
Medical services will include special housing units for short-term medical observation, medical housing, and outpatient medical including physical examinations, triage, sick call, chronic care clinics, dental and medication services.
Mental health services will include special housing units for acute, subacute, and for inmates with serious, persistent mental illnesses or intellectual or developmental disabilities who are too vulnerable to be placed in general population. Outpatient mental health services will be offered to all inmates to include psychiatric medication management, crisis intervention and stabilization, and individual and group counseling.
Programs will be offered to inmates that are appropriate for their needs and lengths of stay, and will include academic education, skills development, religious programs, and various treatment programs.
Restrictive housing [solitary] will be used only as a last resort for inmates who present a security/safety threat to the facility or others or fail to consistently adjust their behavior and follow the jail’s rules and regulations and cannot be housed in in a general population environment.
Likely, the votes will be there to replace what Mead & Hunt call “Dane County’s aging jail system.”
“The fact they are cutting 91 beds will be the straw that people grasp at to support it,” Supv. Mike Willett told this blogge.
But those opponents help pull an already Far Left county board even farther from building the kind of jail capacity Dane County really needs.