The proposal for a new Whatcom County jail has raised many good arguments as to whether the monetary costs seem justified, however I believe another good argument can be made that the newly proposed location is problematic. The current jail is within sight of the county courthouse, a common practice that makes transporting prisoners from jail to court appearances speedy and reasonably inexpensive. If the county were to decide to put the jail off of Slater Road, how many taxpayer dollars would go towards transporting prisoners down I-5 to the downtown courthouse? Too many. Transportation for prisoners is not the only transportation issue that arises with the Labounty Drive location. It is quite likely that family members wishing to visit prisoners do not own a car and therefore rely on public transportation. The downtown bus station is about a 10-minute walk from the current jail and has buses that cover the whole county and beyond. I believe the proposed location is simply too inconvenient for those who do not have the ability to drive there. Let’s not forget that it is also moving farther away from where the majority of people in the county live. All of this being said, why not build the new jail in the enormous parking lot adjacent to the current jail and turn the old jail into a parking lot? Doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me.
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