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Private Jail Plan Incarcerates Violators At Their Own Expense

Gary Crutchfield is one government bureaucrat who thinks drunk drivers, shoplifters, trespassers and the like ought to pay for their mistakes, not taxpayers.

So the Pasco city manager hired a private contractor to confine nonviolent offenders sentenced by the municipal court.

Now instead of sitting in jail at taxpayer expense, inmates serve time at home, where they pay their own way. That includes a fee that goes straight to their private jailer, a local company called MOON Security, to cover the cost of setting up and operating an electronic home monitoring (EHM) system which keeps tabs of the transgressors.

“Most of those incarcerated have jobs,” Crutchfield told me. “They’d rather work, and we’d rather have them - it used to costs us $45 a day to keep them.

“Now it costs us nothing - we’re really just a referral service,” Crutchfield says.

At the end of its first year of operation, the public/private partnership has saved Pasco taxpayers $160,000.

And it has earned Crutchfield the Washington Research Council’s first annual Pathfinder Award. The award was established to recognize “an outstanding non-elected public administrator who has instituted a program which substantially improved service while reducing costs.

“Priority is given to those programs that involve public/private partnerships that could be replicated in other communities, and that have clearly documented performance measures.”

Now, Crutchfield says, half a dozen other cities are considering cranking up their own contracting out programs.

Private enterprise wins again.

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Outlook Handbook is full of valuable information on job prospects within employment sectors for students and others preparing to enter the work world.

The handbook also is a useful guide for those already in the job market, enabling workers to glean clues on what lies ahead and providing timely tips on what to do about it.

And now, instead of having to make a trip to the public library, readers can pour over the guide’s pages on the World Wide Web (

A small sample: The goods-producing sector will decline in the next decade. Manufacturing alone will lose 1.3 million jobs by 2005 - operators, fabricators, craft workers, repairmen, precision-production employees, laborers.

Service-producing industries will generate nearly all of the employment growth in the next decade - all but about 500,000 of the 16.2 million increase forecast.

Just 20 occupations will account for half of all job growth.

In descending order the high-growth jobs are: Cashiers, janitors and cleaners, retail salespersons, waiters and waitresses, registered nurses, general managers and top executives, systems analysts, home health aides, guards, nursing aides and orderlies and attendants.

Also, secondary school teachers, marketing and sales worker supervisors, teacher aides and educational assistants, receptionists and information clerks, truck drivers, secretaries except legal and medical, clerical supervisors and managers, child-care workers, general-utility maintenance repairers and elementary school teachers.

The Washington Health Department wants to hear from civic-minded citizens willing to serve on regulatory boards, commissions, councils and committees.

It’s a chance have a say in health care, and get paid, too. Public members help establish requirements for health care providers; assist in adopting, amending and rescinding rules; and serve on disciplinary hearing panels. Pay is $50 a day plus travel expenses.

There are immediate openings on the state Board of Massage, the Psychology Examining Board, the Naturopathic Advisory Committee, the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, the Occupational Therapy Board and the Mental Health Quality Assurance Council.

To apply, contact Linda McCue at (360) 664-3908.

Licensed health care providers may not apply.

Robert McVicars of Spokane has been appointed by Gov. Mike Lowry to the board of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. The board builds partnerships with private enterprise to provide below-market financing for affordable housing.

McVicars is president and chief executive officer of Apartment Management Co. He has 25 years experience in housing, including eight years as an executive in Spokane with the U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department.

, DataTimes MEMO: Associate Editor Frank Bartel writes a notes column each Wednesday. If you have business items of regional interest for future columns, call 459-5467 or fax 459-5482.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Frank Bartel The Spokesman-Review

Associate Editor Frank Bartel writes a notes column each Wednesday. If you have business items of regional interest for future columns, call 459-5467 or fax 459-5482.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Frank Bartel The Spokesman-Review

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