Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2751, October 15th, 2014

Our “Write On Wednesday” logo. 



This week’s “Write On Wednesday” is about housing our prisoners on a county level. Can there be a more streamlined process and one that would be innovative, save money and work within the framework of the Judicial system?  Wil Toole has an idea and he shared that with local newspapers, County Council members and now LuLac. Here’s what he had to say.
Dear County Council Member and County Manager,
Luzerne County has hired a consulting firm whose chore it will be to prepare a plan to resolve the ongoing financial problems. They have asked for public input so I will once again offer this plan to change how our prison system operates.
I have suggested in the past that the county administration meet with the Court of Common Pleas and discuss sentencing as it pertains to this proposed plan.
It is my suggestion that the cost of operating the county prison can be greatly reduced while at the same time increase revenues. This program would require the cooperation of all involved.
First it must be recognized that while incarcerated, inmates must be clothed, fed and given medical treatment when necessary. I suggest that all non violent offenders with the exception of drug offenders be given home arrest. This would eliminate the cost of the Day Reporting Center as well as the costs of incarceration. The benefits of Home Confinement is that there would be no expense to feed or cloth the individual and health care would no longer be a burden to the county. These non violent inmates would be issued an electronic ankle bracelet at their own expense and would be supervised electronically as well as being on the case load of a county parole officer. This supervision can be in house reporting with the inmate physically reporting in person to an officer within the probation department offices (this is done in large cities). If the inmate cannot afford the electronic device, they can work off the cost by being utilized by the county for maintenance of buildings and grounds, municipalities or qualified non profit organizations. With financial conditions being what they are, union cooperation should be attainable.
The current cost of housing feeding, clothing and covering medical expenses when eliminated would be a huge savings. The number on inmates would be greatly reduced freeing up space which could be used to take in state non violent prisoners which would reduce the over crowding of state prisons. This would result in increased county revenues making the program worthwhile as both a source of revenue and a reduction in county paid prison expenses.
New offenders would be given the usual sentence as dictated by their individual offense and when put into this program, their choice would be to cooperate fully, not break the given rules and if they do, they would be remanded to inmate status at the county facility and their original sentence would begin without credit for any time spent on home confinement.
This is the basics of my suggestion and obviously, details would need be discussed and resolved so that the program can be implemented as soon as possible.
It is my hope that those involved in the planning and approval process will work together to make this a doable program. I would appreciate your passing this suggestion on to your consultant.
Thank you for your consideration,
Wil Toole
Dupont PA
EDITOR’S NOTE: To date County Council members Jim Bobeck and Edd Brominski have responded to Mr. Toole.


At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you fail to realize is that around 90 percent of the inmates are non violent offenders who have D&A and/or mental health issues. The prison is simply warehousing people who need treatment. There is no imagination in your suggestion.


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