Audacious Al: still talking away
from both sides of his mouth
County Commission Chairman Al Ambrosini continues to talk at record speed
from both sides of his mouth without thinking out a real plan first. Any and every
time he talks about needing an all-new county jail, he, naturally, points to the
"inefficiencies" of the current 125-year-old structure.
One of the most troubling things he says about these so-called inefficiencies is that
the county will save an estimated $3.8 Million annually with an all new jail, simply
by reducing the number of staff per shift from the current number of two, in half,
to one staff being needed.
Most recently, he told the Herald Standard that same $3.8 Million myth four days
ago in "Ambrosini to press forward with annex, prison despite public dissension."
Meanwhile, when Ambrosini in the mood to pretend that he cares about the
prisoner's current lack of sunshine and exercise, he stresses how impossible a goal
that is to meet in the current, overcrowded digs. This shortcoming of prisoners not
getting more time or time outside was noted in county jail inspection reports.
Both sides of Ambrosini's mouth, however, leads anyone taking notes to wonder if
he's really at all concerned with negative aspects of county jail inspection reports
at all. It doesn't seem to be the case. Changes would have already been
implemented if the concern for prisoners that he has expressed publicly is genuine.
If the county cannot get prisoners out of their cells for sunshine or exercise now
with two staff working and really does care to correct or improve that negative
piece of the past inspections, how in the world will an all new "efficient" jail with
staff, cut from his proposed current two per shift down to one per shift, really
allow a reduced number of staff to spend more time with or interact with prisoners
than they do now?
It should be glaringly obvious to Ambrosini that every aspect of his plan has
major holes. He thinks it's a great plan in theory.
In practice or reality, however, his plan doesn't hold water if he truly intends to
put prisoners out into the sunshine for exercise. In practice, his plan will be the
same old jail inspection issues in a newer building with a larger kitchen -- i.e., only
with prisoners just as crowded into in a new building with every and all extra cells
rented out to capacity to other counties.
For a county lock up that holds prisoners sentenced to less than 2 years of time, all
of the support services that Ambrosini proposes to develop and implement in a
grand hall of justice are unnecessary. Those are rehabilitation programs that
usually are part of state prisons, not county lock ups. Ambrosini's proposed
rehabilitation programs for his grand hall of justice have not shown to reduce
recidivism anywhere else anyway. Why then should Fayette be special and believe
our new hall of justice could be the exceptional therapeutic model for all jails that
come after ours to duplicate?
Other than Ambrosini thinking and saying it will be different, there's nothing else
out there documented that proves that he may be right.
Day Reporting Centers, however, have helped to some degree. Jail work release
programs have also helped to some degree in other areas where those programs
are implemented. Those programs can be run in conjunction with 125-year-old
buildings just as smoothly as they can be from a grand brand new state of the art
hall of justice. Ambrosini has not one shred of evidence to prove otherwise.
Most of the big tab that the county ran up in 2013 for out of county cage rentals is
entirely Ambrosini's fault, as stated here three months ago in "County delay of
womens' jail: most of $1 Million in rentals didn't need to be."
Nothing that the man has said from either side of his mouth, since coming into
office in 2010, gives any hope that he knows what he's talking about at all.
26 Jan 14