Viewpoint - October 17, 2012
Letter: No need to build expensive county jail
I am chagrined but not surprised to learn that San Mateo County public officials are neglecting to consider three reports that they themselves commissioned regarding solutions to their jail overcrowding situation.
Most poignant is the July 2011 report by a research group of the U.S. Department of Justice which found that 73 percent of San Mateo County's jail inmates (700 inmates on any given day) are not convicts, but people awaiting trial who cannot afford bail. Maybe they have an explanation, but San Mateo County public officials need to make clear why spending $100 per day incarcerating non-violent pre-trial individuals is superior to spending 75 cents per day keeping them on electronic monitoring.
Residents deserve an answer to this question before they spend $155 million on a new jail and $30 million per year to run it.
Kaia Eakin, Redwood City