Good News about the Jail
One is the effort being put into having trials for long term inmates who have not had a trial date set. During the past three or four years we have averaged about 18 inmates who have spent from six months to up to three years in the Beaufort County Jail System without having a trial date set. or even a trial. Within the past three months that number has been reduced to thirteen and it may go much lower than that. Seth Edwards, the District Attorney, is making significant efforts to reduce this long term population of jail residents. They cost taxpayers a minimum of $50.00 per day plus a significant socialistic medical program.
The second effort is coming from the Trump Administration in Washington, DC, The United States as a whole has a lot of people in jails. In an effort to reduce those populations, the US Justice Department has looked at several cures. For several years there have been suits in Texas, and Missouri relating to bail bonds. The modern theory is that indigent people should not have to remain in jail until their case is heard simply because they cannot provide a bond. Those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others or who are personally at risk because they may be a witness to other crimes would have higher bonds and perhaps be held with no bond being set.
In North Carolina all kinds of games have been played by law enforcement, district Attorneys , judges, and defense lawyers to keep individuals in jail. Now some jurisdictions may be trying to get ahead of the Federal lawsuits by making new rules relating to the fixing of bonds. I understand this judicial district is moving in that direction. That means fewer people in jail. Ever present in everyone's mind is the thought that we do not want to allow violent or potentially violent people out of jail who may do harm or others. I thoroughly support that idea.
For the past several months we have had about 70 people on the Beaufort County jail roster. Say we get the long termers who do not have a trial date set down to four or five people and then the bail reform movement now in progress gets us another ten people, we could have as few as 50 people in jail. Our jail is permitted for about 85 people. At present there is no allowance for people who could be released under the care of mental health providers. This would be another bonus.
We still need court reform to guarantee that all charged criminally get a quick trial. The jail should be used primarily to hold those who are being punished for crimes. Justice would then be swift and sure. A quick trial with immediate incarceration is a deterrent to crime. Some may even serve shorter terms.
It is sad and unfortunate that all of this progress is being made without any effort or La La Land. The sheriff is their La La Land wizard.
Those who want to build the new twenty five million dollar jail surely must be unhappy about the progress that is being made on this issue.
A new large jail would allow us to hold more people longer, play more games, ruin more lives and continue the ineffective justice system that we have.
The sentence of time served while waiting on a trial is quite different from a speedy trial and then serving a punitive sentence. A speedy trial is punishment and a deterrent to criminal activity. Waiting on trial is a joke and unconstitutional.