Yogi Bear used to say that he was "not your ordinary bear" as he raided the pick-a-nick basket.
Do you doubt Madison and Dane County are no ordinary places? Here is proof.
The Winnebago County Jail in Oshkosh has been housing 60 prisoners per day transported from Dane County. Now those 60 per day (over a year, the number is much larger) are coming back to Dane County. Where in Dane County? Not necessarily to our jail. No, instead of building new jail space, Dane County is simply going to let many of those folks back on the street.
We have already heard from SW Madison community police officer Caleb Bedford that:
My constant refrain has been that, as a community, we are not responding fast enough or severely enough to the most dangerous criminals in our midst. … We, the police, have caught (twice) and arrested (twice) a violent, armed crack dealer. We have offered him up to the court. Now the court will decide whether to remove this violent criminal from society so the rest of us might live safely or, alternatively, to allow him a few months in the county jail with Huber release privilege, followed by "supervised" release out among us.
I contend that this indifference to crime is due to Dane County's obsession with emptying its jails instead of using jails for what they do oh so very well - keep the bad guys off the street so that neighborhoods can thrive.
Dane County is the fastest growing county in the state - that we will add 124,000 people in the next 25 years, according to the Department of Administration. But after throwing a six-figure stipend to a Berkeley, Cal. think tank to turn up the criminal justice processing system to warp speed we still don't know how much larger we should expand our jail because we never asked the question. But Winnebago County is asking that question.
From the Oshkosh Northwestern:
"The loss of the Dane County prisoners does not change the fact that our current jail will still be overcrowded sometime in the next four to five years," said Sheriff Michael Brooks.
Even without the out of county or state inmates, Brooks said the county officials will have to decide how they want to deal with a jail that will reach capacity because of a growing local jail population sometime in 2011 or 2012.
Considering that it takes four to five years to plan and build jail space, our Oshkosh friends are taking care of business. Why isn't Dane County? It all comes down to this quintessential Madison equation:
- Offenders are actually victims
- Jails are bad
- Personal responsibility is like blaming the victim (even the victims of suicide?)
- Blame things over which we have no control: (our economic system, race, the Bush bogeyman, etc.)
I missed David Horowitz's recent lecture at the UW Monday (October 22). Given the total absence of news coverage, I will make it my mission to report on conservative thinking. I am told, from someone who was there, that the usual suspects showed up to "protest" his appearance (Again, no reprobation from the mainstream news media) but that they then grew silent.
Horowitz is 90-proof stuff, I will admit. But a university that hires Kevin Barrett the 9/11 conspiracist can afford to sift and winnow a little Horowitz.
Horowitz lives at www.frontpagemag.com.
Memo to Kyle Nabilcy:
It's "Jibe," not "jive," which is what you are engaging in. State workers shouting down taxpayers do a pretty good job of fouling their own nest. You can't hear when you are shouting, my friend. And if your argument depends on turning up the volume, not flooding the zone with logic and facts, then you have already lost. Taxpayers are what are known as "customers." Please them, and they will reward you.
How to disagree in a democracy:
The heavy handedness of the public employees union is a reminder that the brute club has replaced the sharp stiletto in our public discourse. Consider this exchange between two great masters of the English language:
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend... If you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second, if there is one."
- Winston Churchill