Monday, August 2, 2010

Facing Jail Closure, GOP Chairman Calls For Alternatives

House arrest bracelets, even for violent offenders much cheaper

(See The Legendary for Jan. 6 for a complete report on Bosque County's continuing difficulties satisfying State of Texas authorities on jail standards.)

County Republican Chairman Tom Bratcher told The Legendary that he thinks it's high time to open up a dialogue between County Commissioners' Court, law enforcement, judges and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to find an alternative to financing a new, 96 bed, $10 million jail.

Voters will make a decision on a general obligation bond issue on November 2, something the GOP official, a Professor of Statistics at Baylor University, predicts will not pass.

County Commissioners passed on a proposal to issue certificates of obligation under their own authority a few months ago.

Seymour Detection Services, a start-up company out of Moody, proposes to furnish house bracelets that monitor for alcohol consumption and through GPS tracking show police the whereabouts of a domestic violence offender – at the expense of the violator, under a new state law. The cost differential is $12.17 per day to be paid by the offender instead of a cost of housing in another county's jail at $45 a day to the tax payers.

We visited Dr. Bratcher, who was a member of a 10-member citizens' committee that studied the cost and feasibility of building the new law enforcement center, to get his take on what it will take to solve the problem.

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