Thursday, July 22, 2010
Officer WILSONS? Are You There? GOP California Gubernorial Candidate "WALL STREET" Meg WHITMAN Wants to Know
(If one looks closely at the picture to the left, one can see an 'Officer Wilsons' in the tower doing his job.)
Argentina has fallen on hard economic times in recent years and government funding for public safety has been severely cut, including prison funding. Yesterday, two prisoners escaped a maximum security prison without notice after discovering the guards in the watch towers were actually 'dummies' with Wilson Footballs for heads, clad in hats and armed with wooden weapons. The dummies were referred to as Officer Wilsons. No video of the escape was available as cameras had failed some months ago.
Right now, California is faced with a 2010/11 FY deficit of somewhere between 22 and 27 billion dollars, depending on which numbers one accepts. These numbers are not expected to change over the next several years, given the economy and anticipated revenue. At the same time, GOP California gubernatorial candidate "WALL STREET 'meg' WHITMAN" is proposing building 10 new prisons 'to keep California safe'.
What is crystal clear with Meg's proposal is that she and those advising her don't have a clue about the costs of public safety, the costs of funding law enforcement, the judiciary and the corrections systems.
Here's the financial story of what 'meg' promises in her campaign for governor. To build a medium size, medium security prison costs from 75 to 100 million dollars from the ground up. Each prison has about 60 to 80 post positions covered by correctional officers. Each post position requires a minimum of 5 officers to cover it 24/7. Each officer costs about 150k in salary and benefits. Add to this, clerical support staff, administrative personnel, parole agents, social workers, medical staff and food service workers, each with salary and benefits, plus utility and supply costs, after the prison is built, we find a yearly operating cost of each prison at about $1 billion. Multiply this cost by 10 and we have staggering tax burdens to pay for them.
Of course, in her need to cut prison costs, Meg may need to call upon Officer Wilsons to come to her rescue.