About the prison

I’m appalled by the price tag of $40 million to build a new county prison. The Sun-Gazette editorial of Feb. 13 mentions the existing prison “has 255 beds and no room for expansion.” Why wasn’t this relatively new prison designed with possible future expansion in mind?

The editorial also states that the Pre-Release Center has 137 beds. Add 137 and 255 beds for a total bed population of 392. The 2027 prison population projection is 468. That’s a 76 inmate increase. That’s 40 million to house an additional 76 inmates!

But wait, 137 divided by 468 (or about 29 percent) of that 76 increase or 22 inmates will be at the Pre-Release Center that I assume can be expanded.

That yields 54 additional inmates at the prison, so that’s 40 million to house an additional 54 inmates over a projected life of 50 years for a new facility. This equals $14,815 per inmate per year. Keep in mind this is just the housing costs. Is this housing cost considered to be normal?

Add in the cost of maintenance, heat, air conditioning, water, sewer, food, medical care, guards, administration, lawyers, etc., WOW!

I hope the new prison allows for future expansion. I believe there is a federal prison in Brady Township that sits empty. It might be worth a look.

Robert Sonntag


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom