The proposed jail tax more than doubles funding for criminal justice operations in Larimer County for the next 15 years!
In 1997 voters approved two 0.2 percent sales tax issues which are about to expire. The first 0.2 percent was to construct buildings. That 0.4 percent will be replaced by 0.375 percent for jail operations only. This about doubles operational funds while supposedly jail occupation is decreasing due to alternative sentencing.
Criminals convicted of serious crimes such as murder, rape, and burglary are housed in state prisons. Many misdemeanor cases housed in the Larimer County Detention Center are awaiting trial because they could not make bail. Some might be innocent who will lose their jobs while awaiting sentencing. Instead of building more prisons, bail policies in Larimer County should be evaluated.
Recent laws partially eliminated the bail bondsman industry which handled bail negotiations keeping suspects out of jail while awaiting sentencing. While sitting in jail, losing their jobs, people with petty crimes lose the ability to be self-sustaining individuals. This creates a class of people who cycle in and out of prison. The criminal-industrial complex is responsible for 25 percent of the U.S. population now in jails.
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Meanwhile, the ballot initiative supported by Sheriff Justin Smith to close down legal, regulated, sales-tax-producing medical marijuana dispensaries will require police hunting underground medical marijuana suppliers — increasing incarceration.
VOTE NO on long-terming funding of our jail operation.
VOTE NO on 300: Stop the Ban. Keep medical marijuana regulated.
Dolores L. Williams