Thursday, December 5, 2013
Letter to the editor
I'd like to respond to the article pertaining to Somerset County's exclusion from the task force to study the "One Maine One System" corrections fiasco ("Somerset's omission from panel slammed," Sept. 8).
As one commissioner, from Franklin County, I know of a fellow Franklin commissioner who had entered his name with Maine County Commissioners Association, is vice president of that organization, and was not picked to participate. (We are mostly north of Route 2 also.) I did not enter my name fearing I wouldn't be chosen because of my efforts to have the Franklin jail be turned back to a full-time jail.
However, this whole task force idea is, in my opinion, an exercise in futility.
One thing sure, if the Legislature can't come up with a solution a "task force" will be formed to "study" the problem, thus delaying the decision process several months. The problem is quite evident -- the state can't fund its part as proposed. Something like funding education at 55 percent. What a joke.
This was a bad idea that has only become worse, in a short time. There is a saying that goes something like this: The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over expecting different results. The corrections expert, Rod Miller, has explained to the Board of Corrections and Corrections Working Group, on more than one occasion, that this idea simply doesn't work. Maine is the only U.S. state to try such a fallacy.
In a recent "Sheriff's Weekly Report" for Franklin County, we were told that transport of prisoners required 957 miles (one week).
It's time to return operation of the county jails to the counties, where it belongs.
Fred W. Hardy