Over the last several months the BCC has wrestled with the reality that we are burning through cash housing our inmates out of town with no real workable plan to bring the inmates back.
--We looked at Berrydale in Santa Rosa County--not an option apparently.
--We were presented an ambitious plan to double-bunk the prisoners....Several of my counterparts shot that down. (I supported the idea if it could be done safely--it would have saved us $4.6 Million next year...)
--We were going to cancel a state lease at the juvenile detention facility and take that facility over...that plan fell apart due to politics.
We have to do something now. The status quo on this issue must end and we must stop the hemorrhaging.
So yesterday during the meeting I re-stated my firm belief that a tent-city to house overflow inmates on a transitory basis should be looked at seriously again. It is legal to do it, we have land, so why not?!? My rationale, which I again reiterated at the meeting, is that if cots and tents are good enough for our soldiers in Afghanistan--this is good enough for prisoners in Pensacola, Florida!
To my amazement--my counterpart from District 2 chimed in to support such an idea.
Who knows, maybe the next plan we hear about will happen, maybe we will do a tent-city!