Our tax base dwindles as Ark-type projects siphon off the revenues necessary to recruit, hire, train and retain qualified criminal-justice personnel.
Before diverting tax revenue to entice economic growth, government funding was adequate to pay reasonable salaries, provide good-quality training, encourage professional growth and reward long-term criminal justice employees with health care and retirement benefits commensurate with their dedication to public service.
But the symbiotic relationship we once enjoyed has been decimated by starving government into inefficiency. Full-time employees have been replaced with part-timers who are paid minimum wage and receive no benefits.
Part-time government and private criminal-justice providers owe the community nothing. They bring to the table little or no training, no professionalism, no loyalty and a disdain for the expendable nature of their employ. The remaining full-time employees are required to work double shifts, endure deplorable working conditions and supervise the part-time employees who have nothing to gain.
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The result: communities in turmoil. Civil servants are being torn between a dysfunctional government and a disenchanted community.
Governments cannot govern without resources; privatization benefits corporations but destroys communities as the “duty to protect” is for sale. When government spending to house inmates outpaces education funding, our future is in trouble.
Former Lexington jailer