Fund Vigo County Schools - Not a Mega-Jail
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Vigo County (Indiana) Commissioners are proposing a new $68 million jail. With financing, this project will cost at least $120 million over 20 years. The jail will house 500+ inmates, even though the number of inmates in the jail has not exceeded 360 in the last 10 years.
What is wrong with this?
1. Vigo County taxpayers will see their county income taxes increased by 80% to pay for this mega-jail.
2. Commissioners only explored one option - building a mega-jail - rather than fully investigating alternatives such as an expansion of the current jail, changing aspects such as bail amounts or additional expansion of Community Corrections, and expansion of programs for drug addiction, homelessness, and mental health issues. Other communities are exploring such alternatives, our Commissioners are not.
3. Vigo County taxpayers will also be asked in the next year to pay for new high schools. The Commissioners are not coordinating with other entities to ensure the best and most affordable combination of projects for the County.
4. The claim made by Commissioners that we *must* build a new jail because of a federal court mandate is simply not true. The federal court ordered that conditions must be improved, not that a new jail must be built. Commissioners are *choosing* to address the court order by building a mega-jail, which they also acknowledge will be full the day it opens. The new jail will not solve the problem, it will just cost Vigo County residents millions of dollars.
Please sign this petition if you feel the process to design and fund a mega-jail in Vigo County should be restarted, with greater input and more transparency. Please sign it if you agree that we need our Commissioners and other County leaders to initiate a task force to consider programs and services that will reduce our jail population overall and better serve the citizens of Vigo County into the future, and also to more carefully consider the size and nature of the facility that is needed.
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