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Why do you think the Douglas County jail is consistently overcrowded?

Asked at Hastings, 1900 W. 23rd St. on March 11, 2005

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Photo of Peter Williams

“I just think they are basically being too harsh with their sentencing.”

Photo of Jon Breeding

“My guess would be the enforcement of minor-in-possession and other drug laws.”

Photo of Junko Young

“The large number of college students probably has something to do with it. I always see cop cars up on campus and in the surrounding areas.”

Photo of Joe Atkinson

“My best guess is that they probably didn’t properly estimate the amount of space they would need when it was built.”


Richard Heckler 13 years, 3 months ago

It's a money making operation. They house prisoners from other counties. Considering this it might mean our tax dollars are no longer nesessary in which case let's borrow that money to the public school system for teachers pay. Hopefully they are managing the jail funds to cover the expenses for sherriff deputies. I hope tax dollars are not being used for the expansion.

jonas 13 years, 3 months ago

Bowhunter: The problem with the idea, while ideologically viable, is that there has to be some way for the incarcerated population to blow off steam in some way, or they are going to escape control. . . a lot. Having to pay for the extra security to bring down daily riots would be more costly than throwing in a basketball hoop or some excersice equipment. Of course, you should probably draw the line at playstations with Grand Theft Auto and the like.

As far as the pay for prison, meh, it sounds good, but it's like saying "We should all get along and there should be no war." It sounds really good until practical application reveals it to be impossibly problematic and unworkable. But by all means, fantacize about it all you want.

acg 13 years, 3 months ago

I'm a liberal and I don't see a thing wrong with cracking rocks with hammers. That's a hasty generalization about an entire group of people to assume that we all think there shouldn't be tough prison sentences and tough prisons for the lawbreakers that deserve it.

tell_it_like_it_is 13 years, 3 months ago

Geez it couldn't be because we put to many people in jail for stupid victimless crimes could it?

mrcairo 13 years, 3 months ago

Hey Bowhunter, it's us Liberals that have been wanting to see people in jail get some kind of training and education. It's the right-wing conservatives that have been against it. Not sure tho if I'd want an ax-murderer to be a Telemarketer tho... you know, getting my name, address, credit-card number.

Perhaps you're a Liberal after all.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 13 years, 3 months ago

I know this might seem like a novel idea, given everyone else's posts about "overzealous cops" and "stupid, victimless crimes", but maybe it's because the crime rate in Lawrence is going up! Lawrence is NOT the dinky little town that many people seem to long for, nor is it an innocent "college town". At this very moment we have two people standing trial for murder. There are some seriously BAD PEOPLE in this area. The jail is not chock-full with college students who have been taken for minor in possession as Mr. Breeding would think. M.I.P.'s receive a Notice To Appear instead of being physically arrested.

If you don't believe that Lawrence is getting more dangerous, you're turning a blind eye to reality. Heck, just walk down Mass Street some morning. Yes, there are some unique storefronts, but there are also a fairly large group of complete nutballs walking around. All you've got to do is open your eyes...

indythinker 13 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm...I see...let's blame the cops and the judicial system for people being stupid enough to put themselves in the position to be arrested and convicted in the first place. That's logical.

How about this...The Douglas County Jail is overcrowded because there are plenty of people in Douglas County who choose to do things that will get them incarcerated.

MasterBlue 13 years, 3 months ago

I think I would agree with many of the people here. The system and "overzealous cops" are not the cause of overcrowding, it is the fault of the criminals. If they wouldn't commit the crime, they wouldn't be there in the first place. If you don't put yourself in the wrong situation, you won't end up in the wrong place.

Lulu 13 years, 3 months ago

Who are we to judge people and who are we to judge what is right and wrong? Do people really need prison as punishment? If we didn't live in a police state, there wouldn't be prisons and there wouldn't be crime.

It's "the man" swinging his hammer down. This is supposed to be a free country. Do away with prisons all together and start rehabilitating these people that supposedly do wrong against society. That's the answer to the overcrowding.

MasterBlue 13 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, but I forgot this part. Maybe if there was harsher punishment, people wouldn't commit crimes. I'm not talking death to shoplifters, but definitely to all murderers, rapists, and child molesters. Maybe Hammurabi was right, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life. I would be all for my tax money to go towards a couple max security prisons, and a few more electric chairs(they get burnt up eventually).

simple_simon 13 years, 3 months ago

Lulu, please! I beg of you! Do check in next Thursday when we all celebrate St. Patrick's Day! I want to hear you spout off about how St. Patrick was a misogynistic, racist, homophobe. I'm sure I'll need a good laugh by then!!

Jay_Z 13 years, 3 months ago

Lulu, please check yourself into your local INSANE're killing me with laughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

topflight 13 years, 3 months ago

LULU. WHAT A NUT JOB. Here is your rationalization of things. Somebody accidentally rear ends your car (although i am sure you do not have a car since you are a hippy and walk bare feet everywhere with you honk for hemp sign on MASS. St.) SHOOT THEM, there are no cops, no courts, no punishment. Someone calls you a name, SHOOT THEM, no cops, no courts, no punishment. Drive drunk everywhere everyday, no cops, no courts, no punishment. Smack your respective wife/husband (domestic abuse) no cops, no courts, no punishment.
Man, that sounds like a great society, give everyone free reign of everything. Maybe i like my neighbors TV better than mine. I think i wll just go take it.

missmagoo 13 years, 3 months ago

Wayne is up for the Senior C.L.A.S.S. award that goes to a senior that is involved in the community, has high academic acheivements as well as athletics. You can vote once daily at this website. Go BIG W!

TheBowman 13 years, 3 months ago

If overcrowding is becoming an issue, then the County has three options:

1) Build a larger facility. 2) Provide alternative sentencing measures for NON-VIOLENT offenders, or 3) The combination of both points.

As Lawrence continues to grow, expect the crime to increase proportionally. Given that, then measures must be taken to anticipate this.

Lulu 13 years, 3 months ago

One of my saving graces being a teacher were the 5 children I recommended be tested for Attention Deficit Disorder. Sure enough, school counseling realized my concerns and all 5 were eventually put on Ritalin by a physician. Two parents didn't like, so the state forced the issue. Not wanting to face the consequences, the parents obliged.

My job got easier to partake and the kids were very happy. Perhaps some of my detractors on here should get tested and be put on meds. Then you would realize the idiocy you exhibit.

MasterBlue 13 years, 3 months ago

Lulu- You astound me. What you say makes no sense! I believe that topflight has summed you up perfectly. No cops, no courts, no punishments, what a joke. Your little story made no sense whatsoever. At least those little kids weren't born liberal, which would be worse than spending a few years in a comfy, luxurious, 5-star penitentary. People who are in a federal penitentary are treated better than soldiers who are court-martialed. I would rather kill 2-3 people in cold blood in the US than accidentally kill an unarmed terrrorist in Iraq or Afghanistan. If you go on a killing spree here you can blame it on videogames or some other nonsense. If you fire on a terrorist, the public and media goes berserk and tries to have the soldier put on trial. Damn hippies.

ms_canada 13 years, 3 months ago

Now.... let.... me... see......... could be one of the following a) too many prisoners b) jail too small c) over zealous cops d) something wrong with the system e) all of the above Now be careful. This puzzle could cause your brain to fry.

Liberty 13 years, 3 months ago

A study of more laws to violate vs. the increase of prisoners would be interesting.

Perhaps we could replace the newly generated laws that contribute to higher prisoner counts with a relationship with God instead, so that we are accountable for our actions to Him. When people retained God the Father and Jesus and the Holy Spirit in their thinking, our city and nation was a much more peaceful and happy place, and much fewer laws were needed.

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