Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fewer arrests don't harm public safety in Chambers County, officials say

In Chambers County in southeast Texas, officials still haven't re-opened the local county jail two months after it was shut down because of Hurricane Rita. ("Chambers County Jail Still Shut Down," Baytown Sun, Nov. 13) Officials said "the department has been forced to back off arrests without an operational jail, but stressed that any serious offender is still placed under arrest and sent to [rented beds in] Angelina County." Arrests have declined to 2-3 per day, down from 9-10 when the jail was open. Indeed, the experience indicates perhaps more arrests were being made before than necessary: “In no way are the lives and safety of the citizens of Chambers County being put at risk,” [Sheriff Joe] LaRive said. “We’re still doing our job — we’re still protecting the public.”

From that one may conclude that, in about 60-70 percent of arrests in Chambers County under normal circumstances, incarcerating the arrestees "in no way" made the public safer, in the opinion of the local sheriff. So, one wonders, why do it?


Anonymous said...

Why do it?


Fees, fines, and numbers of arrests which help bolster the budget for next year.

Money. Money. Money.

Yes...it's wrong...but it's gold plated wrong and they keep getting away with it and even get congratulated for doing it. So...why not do it? It won't stop until the people have had enough...and seemingly, they don't care.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Revenue is exactly why they do it. Anahuac is a town of approximately 900 people, that earns more revenue incarcerating people than it does from local taxes I'm sure. Of course they don't have to put you in jail, as a rule they'll put you on 10 years probation, so you can pay the county $75.00 or so per month, for 10 years. Now if you are slow producing your probation fees, they will lock you up. Once incarcerated, you are worth $166.00 per day to the County. But they have to feed you, at least 2$ worth of beans per day. The average jail population in Anahuac is around 130 inmates, which is pretty damn high for a town of 900 huh??? A town where the most popular public defender is married to a Chambers county atty. Conflict of interest??? Naaaaaaa they both wanna put your hard earned money into Chambers County.