It came as no surprise, but it is now official.  The County of Spokane will not be placing a construction bond on the 2012 ballot to finance their proposed new Spokane County Jail.

New Spokane County Jail

Back in 2011, the Spokane County Commission and the Sheriff’s Department were planning to place their construction bond on that years’ ballot. However, they retreated from that election year as well. There was and still is a growing public reluctance to spend tax dollars on massive new public works projects like a new Spokane County Jail when alternatives have not been fully explored.

No New Jail Coalition

“The No New Jail Coalition will continue to educate voters that a new jail in Spokane is unnecessary,” stated Linda Krogh, a spokes person for the Coalition.   “The current average daily jail population is lower now than in any year in the previous decade.   The nearly $300 million price tag is prohibitive, especially in the current economic climate.

Krogh added, “The County must explore all sentencing alternatives for non-violent criminals, find alternatives to jail for mentally ill persons and for drug and alcohol abusers and the County must address the racism evident in arrest and incarceration rates in Spokane before asking voters to approve a new jail”

Actually, the announcement by the County was made a month ago that the construction bond would not be on the 2012 ballot.  The statement was quietly placed on the County’s website, and went unnoticed until now.  We suspect the Spokane County Commission and the Sheriff’s Department will continue with their efforts to obtain financing for the proposed new Spokane County jail.

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