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Privatize our jails now

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If there was ever an argument to justify privatization of county correctional facilities, your Feb. 17 front page article on Jefferson County’s jail overcrowding definitely made it. It’s time legislators demand our state Assembly persons and senators change state law to allow counties to do just that.

How can any legislator, in any county, with even half of his/her mental faculties, even consider spending $192,000 per bed on a county jail addition? These are prisoners being housed, not kings, queens and royalty.

And then, if completed, the cost to house one prisoner is expected to be an additional $52,000 per year. The median household income in Jefferson County is only $46,500 per year (U.S. Census Bureau). Sadly, these numbers are representative of most north country counties.

Once again, we have vivid proof that if we want a program mismanaged, let the government run that program.

James Nasman

St. Regis Falls

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