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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Wasteful County Spending?

A little item in the Agenda for the County Board of Supervisors meeting for Tuesday has certainly caught the attention of this old, dead Republican mayor.

Item #56 states as follows:
Recommendation: Approve and authorize the Sheriff to sign agreement with the Amer-I-Can Foundation in an annual amount not to exceed $300,000, to provide Disturbance Mediation Training services in County jails for the Department's Inmate Services Unit, effective April 1, 2006, for a term of one
year, plus four one-year renewal options; and authorize the Sheriff to execute all change orders, extensions, and amendments to the agreement.
APPROVE (06-0426)
Recent stories have documented the inmate violence at County Jails that have even led to some prisoner deaths. Indeed, something has to be done. But $300,000 for "mediation services" is the answer?

Upon doing a little investigation, the Amer-I-Can Foundation is headed up by former football great and actor, Jim Brown. To be sure, Brown has an impressive record of community service helping many in the African-Amercian community to start their own businesses and making the difference in the lives of many of all colors who needed to turn themselves around. Serving on the board of Ameri-I-Can are longtime NAACP attorney (and cousin to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice) Connie Rice, daughter of musician turned radical liberal activist Harry Belafonte, Gina Belafonte, singer James Ingram, Brown and his wife, Monique.

The proposed program, according to Sheriff Department documents will put inamtes through classes that focus on things such as "tolerance," "motivation" and "goal setting." It all sounds nice, but it sounds more like a colossal waste of money at a time when the Department can least afford it. I'm surprised at my old Republican friend, Lee Baca.

Click here to read the entire supporting document for the program.

If the Sheriff wants to find a way to end the nonsense in his jails, he need only look to the efforts of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. You see, criminals don't understand things like "tolerance," "respect," "goal setting, " etc. What they do understand is hard discipline which in the end actually increases their morale. Arpaio puts his inmates on chain gangs, makes them wear pink outfits and pink underwear, took away their coffee, cigarettes, pornography and television. He gets results and is routinely re-elected with large margins.


Blogger Peter McFerrin said:

It's a good thing to have such "virtue-teaching" programs in prisons. You can't expect people to come out of the joint and behave themselves if punishment--whether by physical brutality or simply by boredom--is the only thing you do to them.

But in county jails? Most folks aren't in jails for long enough for programs like Amer-I-Can's to have any real impact. Perhaps it might work on the people who are actually serving sentences in the jails (as opposed to just spending time there prior to being shipped off to Chino or Folsom), but that's typically for minor crimes.

A jail is a containment area, a place of transition. It shouldn't be treated like a prison.

February 21, 2006 12:45 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 21, 2006 6:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The killings in the jails are just the tip of the ice berg. These 5 bozos haev just about driven County government into the ground. They are 5 of the most corrupt and just plain dumb politicians around. Time to get rid of Zev and Gloria. They are up in June.

February 21, 2006 3:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This progressive dem wishes we had the good Sheriff from AZ running our jails. Giving a gang member whose in jail and close to other gang members tolerance training isn't gonna help shit. The recividism rate is so damn high we might as well try a chain gang- it doesn't work I don't recividism rates could get any worse and our streets could use some cleaning.

February 21, 2006 9:28 PM  

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