SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 4, 2013

Our view: Jail project a step forward

This week’s construction launch for an $11 million support services building at Middleton Jail, in some ways, breathes life into plans that have been on drawing boards for 11 years. But come the spring of 2014, when the project is due for completion, it should be well worth the wait — and the expense.

For the new features the facility will bring to Middleton are indeed improvements that are long overdue.

First and foremost, the new facility will provide space for Essex County to house female prisoners, rather than having to send them to the state’s female correctional facility in Framingham. That’s not just an important step for prisoners and their families who face a trip to Framingham to visit when a woman has to be incarcerated. It’s also important for attorneys and law enforcement personnel, who also have to meet with a prisoner at times, as well. And it will save on both time and travel costs when Sheriff’s Department personnel have to carry defendants to and from local courts and other judicial facilities.

Secondly, the expansion will also allow for an indoor and more secure place for transferring prisoners in and out of vans at the jail. And that’s a boost for law enforcement personnel, who deserve to have a work environment as safe as possible — on what can be a very dangerous job.

It would be nice, of course, if there were no need to expand any jail facilities. But that’s just not the case — and, sadly, will probably never be. To that end, this investment might be called a necessary evil — but with the emphasis on “necessary.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium