The front-page article in the April 7, 2019, edition of The Spokesman-Review poses the question “Do We Need a New Jail?” The well-researched article identifies that in June 2005 District Judge Whaley referred to the jail situation “as a crisis.” In 2007, Sheriff Knezovich proposes we need a new facility (a jail). In 2008, the inmate population reaches an all-time high. I have to wonder how have we managed to get by these ten or more years given the well- defined problem.
And then, in December 2013, a blue-ribbon panel recommends that “shifting away from an over reliance on jail and toward community based alternatives is critical to move us into a 21st century justice model.” Has any progress been made with regard to the panel’s recommendations? I have to assume the panel was funded with taxpayer dollars and, therefore, the citizens have a right to know what has become of the its recommendations.