Our view: Closing city jail
by Daily Mountain Eagle
Dec 02, 2012 | 1064 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The closing of the Jasper City Jail is scheduled to be a topic of conversation this week for the Walker County Commission and the Jasper City Council.

Jasper council members have already voted to allow Mayor Sonny Posey to enter into an agreement with the county that would move the city’s inmates to the county jail.

Jasper Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe and Sheriff John Mark Tirey are expected to address commissioners Monday morning concerning the possible agreement.

The contract being discussed would have Jasper paying the county $32 per inmate, per day to house the city’s inmates. The county already has similar contracts with smaller municipalities, such as Cordova, Oakman and Sipsey.

The way we see it, the closing of the city’s jail is a “win-win” situation for everyone involved.

The county is already in the jail business. The Walker County Jail is a great facility that is built to hold inmates. The county jail has plenty of room to hold the Jasper prisoners, and this deal would bring more funds to the already cash-strapped county.

The city shouldn’t be in the jail business any longer. It’s facility is in rough shape and is now a liability issue. If the city doesn’t close its jail, the cost of refurbishing the facility would be astronomical. Rowe has said closing the jail could save at least $100,000 per year.

With the jail topic to be considered this week, the Eagle wants to push for area officials to work together and make this deal happen. A good working relationship between the city and the county will be a key to future growth for our area. This issue is a good place to start showing how cooperative the two groups can be.

- Daily Mountain Eagle