Before there were costly jails to build and maintain, convicts were banished from towns and cities. Cast off on the highway to fend for themselves, always a stranger; perpetrator to victim was their fate. Our compact with the convict of today is to feed and house them for a period of time. Be they mentally ill, addict, true criminal, evil, unfortunate, unlucky or stupid, we hold their fate for a period of time. My point, don’t put the jail in their hometown; banish them to an area of the state where they won’t be so familiar when they do get out. Pick a location that is a six-hour bus ride from the court house (bus therapy). If we build a jail for 1,000 inmates it will fill up, they always do. Build it and they will come. Build it to banish them and it won’t. The city and county should build a convention center and partner with a major hotel for the development of our wonderful county. To summarize: jail location — six hours away; convention center and hotel — downtown Bellingham. Build the convention center and they will come: good people, good ideas and good jobs.
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