Prison is right for Adams County

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, February 20, 2007

This morning, county residents will hear from — and ask questions to — two groups seeking to bring a new federal prison to the county.

A public hearing will be at 9 a.m. at the Adams County Board of Supervisors meeting room inside the old county jail building.

Some people are likely to cry foul and point to all of the big, scary concerns people have about having a prison in the county.

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“What could be worse than having a prison in your county?” critics will ask.

Fears of escaped and violent criminals roaming the streets are enough to scare almost any one into being concerned.

Many of those fears, however, are more likely rooted in television and film portrayals than actual truth.

Nearly anyone who has driven to Baton Rouge in recent years has driven past the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility on the north side of Woodville.

Look at that prison’s great track record of safety, and the boiling concerns and worries over Hollywood endings, evaporate relatively quickly.

Sure, we wish our community didn’t need the economic bump that the prison is likely to bring. Heck, we wish our country didn’t need so many darned prisons in the first place. But neither is the case.

If things were still flying high in the Miss-Lou in terms of heavy industry and manufacturing, perhaps, our community would have the luxury of being able to say “no thanks” to the notion of a new prison in the area.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The world has changed significantly in the last decade and our economy has changed with it.

We need the prison and the jobs it can bring. All we need to decide is exactly where we, as a community, want it located.