Monday, October 22, 2007

Early Voting Begins: Oppose Proposition 4, New Jails

Early voting begins today for the Nov. 6 election, but in an age when television advertising rates make mass education campaigns extremely expensive, I doubt proponents or opponents of new jail construction in Harris and Smith Counties will be running too many television ads, not to mention backers of the statewide Proposition 4, which would issue debt to pay for three new adult prisons and another TYC youth lockup. Luckily, this spoof ad for "Incarcerex" from the Drug Policy Alliance could easily substitute for an educational spot for Texas voters who must decide whether they support building more jails and prisons:

That pretty much sums up why new prisons have been placed before voters: To further the ambitions of politicians who take us for fools. Prison employees oppose new state prisons because the state doesn't adequately staff the ones we've got. At the county level the problem is more complex, but bottom line, overcrowded lockups in Texas stem far more from poor decision making by elected officials than they do concrete public safety demands, especially in Smith and Harris Counties which face controversial jail votes.

Another dose of Incarcerex won't cure what ails Texas corrections, but that's what we'll get if taxpaying voters can be convinced to foot the bill. Grits encourages Texans to vote "No" on Proposition 4, and folks in Harris and Smith Counties should do the same for county jail bonds.

Hat tip: Robert Guest at I Was The State.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Both prisons and TYC lockups are understaffed. Recruitment does not help. TDCJ has a history of corruption and they've passed on their employees to TYC. In just a matter of months, we are on the same road as TDCJ. I am for sure voting against Prop 4.