Audacious Al: still talking away
from both sides of his mouth
County Commission Chairman Al Ambrosini continues to talk at record speed from both sides of his
mouth without thinking out a real plan first. Any and every time he talks about needing an all-new
county jail, he, naturally, points to the "inefficiencies" of the current 125-year-old structure.
One of the most troubling things he says about these so-called inefficiencies is that the county will save
an estimated $3.8 Million annually with an all new jail, simply by reducing the number of staff per shift
from the current number of two, in half, to one staff being needed.
Most recently, he told the Herald Standard that same $3.8 Million myth four days ago in "Ambrosini to
press forward with annex, prison despite public dissension."
Meanwhile, when Ambrosini in the mood to pretend that he cares about the prisoner's current lack of
sunshine and exercise, he stresses how impossible a goal that is to meet in the current, overcrowded
digs. This shortcoming of prisoners not getting more time or time outside was noted in county jail
Both sides of Ambrosini's mouth, however, leads anyone taking notes to wonder if he's really at all
concerned with negative aspects of county jail inspection reports at all. It doesn't seem to be the case.
Changes would have already been implemented if the concern for prisoners that he has expressed
publicly is genuine.
If the county cannot get prisoners out of their cells for sunshine or exercise now with two staff working
and really does care to correct or improve that negative piece of the past inspections, how in the world
will an all new "efficient" jail with staff, cut from his proposed current two per shift down to one per
shift, really allow a reduced number of staff to spend more time with or interact with prisoners than
they do now?
It should be glaringly obvious to Ambrosini that every aspect of his plan has major holes. He thinks it's
a great plan in theory.
In practice or reality, however, his plan doesn't hold water if he truly intends to put prisoners out into
the sunshine for exercise. In practice, his plan will be the same old jail inspection issues in a newer
building with a larger kitchen -- i.e., only with prisoners just as crowded into in a new building with
every and all extra cells rented out to capacity to other counties.
For a county lock up that holds prisoners sentenced to less than 2 years of time, all of the support
services that Ambrosini proposes to develop and implement in a grand hall of justice are unnecessary.
Those are rehabilitation programs that usually are part of state prisons, not county lock ups.
Ambrosini's proposed rehabilitation programs for his grand hall of justice have not shown to reduce
recidivism anywhere else anyway. Why then should Fayette be special and believe our new hall of
justice could be the exceptional therapeutic model for all jails that come after ours to duplicate?
Other than Ambrosini thinking and saying it will be different, there's nothing else out there
documented that proves that he may be right.
Day Reporting Centers, however, have helped to some degree. Jail work release programs have also
helped to some degree in other areas where those programs are implemented. Those programs can be
run in conjunction with 125-year-old buildings just as smoothly as they can be from a grand brand new
state of the art hall of justice. Ambrosini has not one shred of evidence to prove otherwise.
Most of the big tab that the county ran up in 2013 for out of county cage rentals is entirely Ambrosini's
fault, as stated here three months ago in "County delay of womens' jail: most of $1 Million in rentals
didn't need to be."
Nothing that the man has said from either side of his mouth, since coming into office in 2010, gives any
hope that he knows what he's talking about at all.
26 Jan 14