Jail cuts could reduce capacity by half in North Las Vegas

By Brian Haynes and Lynnette Curtis
Jun. 1, 2011

Faced with ever-deepening budget woes, North Las Vegas plans to cut its jail to just 400 beds, less than half of the 900-bed operation of a few years ago.

It’s a casualty of the economic realities facing Southern Nevada, but local judges worry the smaller jail means less room for the criminals they need to lock up.

“There are bad people we have to lock up,” Municipal Court Judge Warren VanLandschoot said Wednesday. “There’s a misconception that the Municipal Court just handles traffic tickets. But we get guys with 150 prior arrests. We’re able to keep that person off the street for five months. That’s a whole bunch of crime that’s not happening.”

At its May 17 meeting, the City Council voted 4-1 to close all but one of the jail’s dormitories and end a contract that guarantees up to 200 beds for federal prisoners. Even without the federal prisoners, which account for about 50 inmates a day, the city would be left with 200 beds for men and 200 beds for women.

Read the rest here.

What about preventing crime?
What about rehabilitating prisoners to stop crime from happening?
What about stopping the “war on drugs”?

One person with 150 prior arrests? What is wrong with the system, Judge VanLandschoot?! You suggest preventing crime by locking up people? What do you think happens inside? Does crime stop when someone is locked up? Does not it take a little more than just locking up people, o Judge? What happens when someone leaves jail? What happens to your job when these cells are cut, Judge, and when crime falls?

What about investing in more jobs, better education, more mentoring?
Everything costs money, Judge, only the sun comes up for free…