Letter to the Editor - The Millerton News - 7-2-20
New county jail should be opposed
I write to share with others the views I have urged upon our county legislators to re-consider their plans for a large, expensive jail in our county. Particularly at this time of enlightened ideas about criminal justice, including bail reform and other alternatives to incarceration, it seems foolhardy in the extreme to borrow more than $130 million that the residents — and voters — of Dutchess County will be paying off for years. The debt service alone will rival and exceed the annual costs of critical projects like public transit and infrastructure repairs.
Also, the existence of such an enormous jail is likely to foster over-incarceration, which can ruin lives and, ultimately, lead to greater rates of poverty and crime.
Our county is doing well in so many ways. I hope that others will join me in asking our county legislators not to drag us down with an outdated plan to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a huge jail.
The Dutchess County Legislature will be voting on this issue on July 9.