newser: Money’s tight for many a local government these days, and Western New York’s Erie County is looking to squeeze a buck or two out of an unlikely place: its jail. The county is selling jailhouse advertising to bail bondsmen and attorneys on high-def TVs outside its booking area and in a waiting area for friends and family
Makes sense right? What else are people going to do in a holding area- start warm fuzzy conversations, turn on the boombox (they can’t) or just look blankly at the empty walls? Empty until now that is….
But of course not everyone is happy.
The initiative, which should generate between $8,000 and $15,000 annually, is being decried as taking advantage of a vulnerable audience. “I wouldn’t do it even if I was subsisting on Ramen noodles,” says one attorney. “It’s just poor taste.” “Inmates should not be used to generate funds for the county’s jail operations,” says a former corrections official.
Which ultimately begs the question, what’s a society to do to mitigate the expenses of running a jailhouse or any other entity when tax receipts aren’t forthcoming? How ironic that ethics and morals are called into question, when those in jail have been found guilty of the very same grievances.