LETTER: Sauk County needs to seek alternatives to incarceration

LETTER: Sauk County needs to seek alternatives to incarceration

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Former Gov. Tommy Thompson doubled the number of people in prison from around 10,000 to 20,000. If they ever get out, about 50% commit a crime and go back to jail. I consider that failed rehabilitation.

Sauk County is big into the “jail business.” The cost of an inmate in the state system is about $40,000 a year. The cost in Sauk County is about $80,000 a year per inmate; $40,000 is bad enough, however, $80,000 is way out of whack. The sheriff department’s inefficiency is wasting far too much of the tax levy on a failed system.

What is the recidivism rate in the county jail and Huber Center? Nobody knows because the sheriff does not keep records.

Some County Board supervisors refuse to hold the sheriff accountable. They won’t look for better ways to save money and reduce recidivism. They seem fearful of change.

Call your county supervisor and tell her or him to support treatment and education rather than the same old incarceration system. Tell them you expect innovative problem solving and finding better ways to reduce recidivism and the high costs of the Sauk County jail system.

Daniel Holzman, Baraboo 


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