Thursday, July 20, 2006

Democrats Support Brizzi Idea For Jail Overcrowding Today

While Democrats panned an idea tendered by Prosecutor Carl Brizzi (R) at a committee meeting last night to lease additional bed space from the Indiana Department of Corrections and voted it down, today his Democratic opponent Melina Kennedy and Sheriff Anderson (D) took ownership of another one of the ideas Brizzi shared with the council last night by declaring their support for it. The two both say they support Brizzi's plan to lease additional jail bed space from Corrections Corporation of America, the private contractor which runs Marion Co. Jail II presently. The Star's Vic Ryckaert writes:

“We cannot have partisan bickering when it comes to solving our jail overcrowding problem,” Kennedy said today. “This has got to stop.”

Kennedy’s opponent, Republican Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, announced the idea at Wednesday’s meeting of the City-County Council’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee.

The facility, operated by Community Corrections of America, could house an additional 200 inmates for $42.75 per inmate each day, Brizzi said. The company could also rebuild the jail to house 220 more inmates.

The report doesn't indicate how the Democrats propose paying for the additional jail bed space--a key reason they gave for rejecting Brizzi's $1.5 million plan to lease space from the Department of Corrections. Kennedy released a press statement today calling for a long-term, comprehensive approach to jail over-crowding, which will cost $3.5 million. She wants to hire more prosecutors, public defenders and establish a night court--all ideas previously suggested by Brizzi.

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