Justice Center will cause more foot traffic near jail

To the editor:

In 2011, a library was proposed across the street from Los Bravos. There was a chorus of voices concerned about its proximity to the jail. That referendum would go on to be defeated and no library was built at that location.

This year,the County Commissioners and Council are planning to spend $30M on a jail and $10M on a justice center that would put the Circuit and Superior Courts as well as the County Clerk, Small Claims, the Prosecutor and Probation office next to the Jail. Essentially, leaving only the Auditor, Assessor, Treasurer, and the Recorder’s office as well as some of the other offices like Coroner and Surveyor on the square. This means a whole lot more foot traffic will be routed near the jail and no corrections facility for those needing to register to vote, pay child support, adopt a child, pay a traffic ticket, get a marriage license, and some even get married at the Clerk’s office. Hardly a memorable moment when your wedding day includes a photo with the county jail in the background. It seems that using “improved safety” as a bullet point to include the new justice center in the project requires explaining how increasing foot traffic near the jail and correction center improves safety.

This “Justice Center” has been on and off and now on again throughout 2020. Let’s not spend 10 million tax-payer dollars to move the courts particularly when we already have a perfectly good Courthouse that is historic and a point of pride for the county.

—Theresa Kendall
Jasper




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