Here’s an upbeat (if rather bizarre) story from a California jail. When faced with an inmate security problem in the jail, there was the $20,000,000, two year government solution, and then there was the $761.24, one week Costco solution. Kudos to the sheriff for making the right call, and putting it on her own credit card!
But sadly, this story has a dark side. The prison guard union president decried the sheriff’s purchase because “it hurts morale.” Not clear why. Never mind that the guards recently had beaten a mentally ill inmate to death under questionable circumstances and away from cameras.
Perhaps even worse, the county is STILL going to install the $20,000,000 “Cadillac” surveillance system! After all, the money is already budgeted. And what government bureaucrat would rethink this spending — perhaps putting in a comprehensive camera monitoring network for one-tenth the cost (a “paltry” $2 million dollars).
NOTE: I first saw this story in the free weekly blog “This Is True.” But for copyright reasons, I’ve changed the reference to the Mercury News story covering the incident.