Gas up the car
Al  needs another road trip to Franklin  
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With delusional dollar signs in his eyes, Fayette County Commission
Chairman Al Ambrosini blindly leads the jail debate with his hyped but weak
stand that Fayette can rent its extra cells to other counties. He, realistically,
needs to take a long look at Franklin County's situation prior to counting his
chickens before they hatch.  

Last we checked in with Franklin County at the end of 2013, that relatively
new county jail had 80 empty spaces, even though it opened its doors to
renting out cages to other counties. In 2010, that county had taken in about
$900,000 in cage rentals.

Today, a count of Franklin's prisoners in its 468-bed facility is 437,
including 11 from other counties and 11 more waiting for a transfer to state
facilities.



If there's such an open market for renting out cages, as Ambrosini deludes
himself into thinking there is, why isn't Franklin full to capacity with
revenue generating rentals?

Why wasn't it full another 80 more prisoners then in late 2013? Franklin's
Crabtree-designed new jail is certainly pretty enough that other counties
should be flocking to its doors with their excess prisoners. Why hasn't that
consistently happened to a greater extent, however?


Also, it must be emphasized that there are online comments documented that
bringing in prisoners from way outside the county jail system there hurt the
jail's budget because its staff was transporting across state for hearings. With
Ambrosini and  other making such stink about the liability with driving our
inmates to other jails, how would it sit with them if they had to drive to the
eastern part of the state for hearings as Franklin has done?



While Ambrosini took a bus load of county reps with him to tour Franklin 2
years ago, he blindly ignored the warden's primary messages. Franklin
County ignored developers' suggestions to build a larger jail for 600
prisoners, and instead started a Day Reporting Center for 129 admissions.
This is over twice the number that Fayette opted to serve when our DRC
opened last year. Why was that?

Building smaller -- and not building a larger jail for 600 that planners
recommended -- saved Franklin County over $10 million dollars in
construction and $3 million in annual operation costs,
as per this referenced
case study. The Franklin warden had nothing but praise for its alternative
sentencing program when he commented here.


With its DRC opened now for 8 years, Franklin's own jail population has
been consistently around or under 400, the number of prisoners its crowded,
old jail housed before the new jail opened.

Franklin County made a wise decision to serve the needs of its own citizens
by starting a large DRC to reduce recidivism down to about 18 percent, as
compared to 47.8 percent with those with traditional parole supports.

Expansion of the DRC continues to be what Fayette needs instead of an
all-new 480 bed jail and memorial shrine to the Dem commissioners.

Franklin County's numbers prove that Ambrosini's delusional, eccentric
money-making scheme and planning process, indeed, all ran pathetically
amok.



Likewise, our other 2 commissioners need to tackle and stop him.



jt
10 Aug 14

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