The IBJ is correct [Aug. 18 editorial]. There are too many unanswered questions about the proposed half-billion-dollar criminal justice center and the little-tested public/private partnership (P3) contracting model under which a private consortium would design, build, finance, maintain and operate the facility in return for predetermined annual payments.
The proposed jail calls for 1,000 new beds and a 500-bed increase for community corrections. What is this proposed expansion based on? Did the city consider trends in reduced incarceration elsewhere, the possible impact of Indiana’s Supreme Court Committee to Study Evidence Based Pretrial Release, and calls by a diverse group of political leaders for reduced incarceration for nonviolent, low-level crimes?
Did the city consider diverting people with serious mental illness out of jail and into treatment, as San Antonio has successfully done?
What about the projected operational budget for the new jail? Has anyone seen it?
It would be irresponsible for City-County Council to OK a project of this size and a 35-year, multi-billion-dollar contract without these and other questions being answered.