The Democrat-Gazette doesn’t get it. It doesn’t understand that the County Jail can’t be fixed by illegally taking some capital money from the road and bridge fund. The shortcoming at the jail is lack of operating money. But the newspaper does a fine job again today of misdirecting people looking for an excuse, any excuse, to vote against the jail tax. It has conveniently forgotten how ardently it supported a sales tax for a baseball stadium while it thunders against use of road and bridge money for frills like, well, roads and bridges and other transportation systems.
In any case, while sharing our concerns about the sales tax and a sometimes unwise county government, The Leader in North Pulaski understands that the only option available to voters now to put more burglars behind bars is to vote for the county jail tax. It will be used only for the jail. Period. That, we can understand.
But speaking of understanding: We don’t understand what’s up with the traffic and environmental court judges in Little Rock. They believe the sheriff should be held in contempt for refusing at times to not jail people sentenced on traffic charges, preferring instead to follow a triage system that holds more dangerous criminals. If the sheriff is to be held in contempt for refusing Little Rock traffic offenders, but not if he accepts them, will he be held in contempt when he must release defendants sentenced by another judge to accommodate Little Rock traffic court?
The solution is not holding the sheriff in contempt for juggling an impossible number of prisoners. The solution is to give him more money to hire more jailers.