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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Stoffa & McHale Differ on Jails

About 65 cents of every real estate tax dollar is spent on our courts and jails. Does it have to be that way? Eighty per cent are there for drug and alcohol charges. Nearly 70% of all inmates will return to Chez Northampton. Doesn't it make fiscal sense to reduce that figure? That, and a common sense of decency, is what is behind John Stoffa's proposed treatment center and work release facility in Bethlehem Township. McHale claims it will fail.

John Stoffa: "We have four people in a cell, four bunk beds, a commode and a hopper, and it is disgraceful the way we treat our people in our jail."

Ann McHale: "A facility in the industrial park is not the answer."

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

What was it that Stoffa wanted to respond? When he asked if he could respond, Ann's husband yelled out, "No you can't." That's why he looks over into the audience.

Anonymous said...

It is easy to understand the Abe Atiyeh connection. Go to Bethlehem and see the huge John Stoffa sign next to the Atiyeh Senior living sign.
Nice P2P. in politics one hand washes the other. Stoffa gives Atiyeh a nice fat work release contract and Atiyeh does the Stoffa campaign.

The pictures of the signs came out great.

Dan

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stoffa will not accept a nickel from Atiyeh or anyone connected to him. That's more than John Morganelli, Lamont McClure and hald the politicians in the LV can claim.

Stoffa wants this time because something needs to be done. Or would you prefer more 65% yax increases to pay for repeat offenders?

Anonymous said...

So now we have a candidate who welcomes contributions but hears crickets at her fundraiser and another who won't take contributions and has to worry about people doing his campaigning for them without his knowledge or permission. I'd rather have the second problem.

Anonymous said...

What is Ann's answer? I played it four times and I'm still confused what she proposes. She went to Delaware and saw an operating treatment center, you can't treat 300 people at once it's too many, we already have some kind of drug and alcohol counseling through another program that has a 10/46 completion ratio and a treatment center in BTownship that includes assault and battery offenders is not the answer..... so.....then.......what is?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I hope you are the first to be placed in the new Northampton County facility. You deserve to be there, as you continually lie on this blog about what really happens in the County. Northampton County is not what you profess it to be. This was a progressive County until John Stoffa was selected (not elected, I just didn't like Reibman). This County has an opportunity to be the gateway to the people of New York and New Jersey to take up roots here and make it a vibrant area in which to live, not condemn them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This blog is about our jail population, not on attracting more New Jersey and New York residents. Who the hell has condemned NYers?

I also find it interesting to hear that Stoffa was "selected." As near as I can recall, he has pretty much bucked the Dem machine and has taken his case directly to the people. He has relied on their endorsement over a small group of thugs who meet in back rooms and try to tell us all what we must do.

Dave said...

McHale is lying. The prison advisory board meeting notes prove she knew what this facility was and she was for it 100%.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree with John Stoffa. Four inmates in a cell is not disgraceful. I support putting violent offenders in tents. Rehabilitation is strongly encouraged by the prospect of unceasing discomfort. Perhaps we should try a new approach to the current coddling that delivers appalling recidivism rates. And it's not Stoffa's fault that we continue to struggle with the cost of locking up non-violent druggies. The drug war is a phony government jobs program that has failed miserably, created more addiction, and cost billions.

Dave said...

Translate 10 out of 46 to 200 addicts and you get what? 25% success rate..pretty good as that will cut into the near 70% recidivism rate. It's a start and a good one compared to building another jail for millions of tax payer dollars!

Dave said...

Tying the work release and treatment center into one is for a reason. The inmate has to complete the treatment end before he can gain entry to the work release part. You have to EARN IT! Strange concept..eh?

Dave said...

Coddling? You wouldn't survive one night in the old jail cells built in 1871! You'd be crying like a baby girl to go home! The county seal says..Justice AND Mercy. Try a little mercy for a change.

Anonymous said...

keeping jails uncomfortable isn't a bad thing,maybe it will be a deterent. it shouldn't be a hotel.

LVCI said...

Bottom line is you lock up a 1st offender in a cage with a bunch of career animals and you get what? America has the largest number of caged people of any other nation.

Why? Because we tend to put people in a cage void of any rehab. Prison is supposed to punish and reform. Instead we left the reform part out of the equation. Those who, in many cases, are in for such nuisance crimes should as failing to provide support, drunks, scofflaws, trespassers, marijuana users, etc. These are ripe for reform and are treatable. Otherwise they get mixed up with other jerks who only teach them the ropes rather then influenced by showing them another way.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You don't rehabilitate people by treating them like animals. You just turn them into animals.

One of my objections to Bush is the way he treated suspected terrorists. Some call it torture, but they were certainly abused. Now Bush could make the case those measures were necessary to extract information. i completely disagree, but what justification does a county jail have for treating people like animals?

Do the same people who support McHale and harsh inmate treatment support the previous policies of George Bush? Is this the Democratic party in Northampton County?

No, you treat people like people. In the long run, it ends up saving taxpayers money.

I realize the politically popular thing is to act all macho and talk about being tough on crime. Stoffa is more interested in doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

From

http://thevoterguide.lehighvalleylive.com/

The County needs a new prison. Do you support expanding the current prison or building a new one? Where could a new one be built?

Ann McHale: The candidate has not responded to this question.

John Stoffa: Long term projections suggest that Northampton County will need 1,125 prison beds by the year 2010, 1,488 beds by the year 2020 and 1,851 beds by the year 2030. At this time we have 822 beds available. The present site would never be able to handle the additional beds with the limited space available and the inadequate water supply. This does not include the fact that Northampton County has the oldest prison in the state, built in 1872. Its antique configuration and layout does not allow for the efficient use of personnel and space that other counties with more modern prisons enjoy. It is obvious that a new site is inevitable either on County owned property or on property to be purchased. Furthermore, expansion at the present site would necessitate the expensive process of transferring and housing the 822 present prisoners to other jails while the expanded prison is built on top of what exists now. It is more efficient and less costly to build a new jail at a new site.

Anonymous said...

Having a dungeon for a prison or jail or whatever will definitely keep those 80% of drug and alcohol offenders from abusing drugs and alcohol in the future. Norco is paving the way for the Commonwealth, the envy of the other counties.

Anonymous said...

I hired a general laborer once from Bethlehem who talked about getting out of the prison. He said he "was one of the guys that got the disease that ran through the prison and is suing the County" and is suing." He explained a little more about it and I asked around and now learn that we might be paying millions for court cost and retribution for whatever this prison virus thing is they got. Money well spent?

Anonymous said...

I like the anon's tent city idea. Put all the new people (murderers, rapists and marijuana users and DUI) in a tent city in Bethlehem Township, keep the prison just change the name to Andersonville.

Anonymous said...

disagreeing with stoffa does not make a person a mchale democrat, i for one hate labels, bush tortured no one after 9/11 i think we did what we thought best,i have no symphathy for them at all as far i'm concerned we should of profiled them all and sent them packing. they don't mess with americans!!!!!!!!!!!!! they hate us and likewise right back at them.

lighthouse said...

I'll leave the pros-cons of this specific proposal to another time.

That said, I have to respectfully disagree with the concern that, "We have four people in a cell, four bunk beds, a commode and a hopper, and it is disgraceful the way we treat our people in our jail." In college, we had some dorms like this due to overcrowding, and we had to pay for the privilege of living that way. Jail is supposed to be punishment for those convicted of "victim" crimes. So what if there are four in a cell. And, "assault" is not a victimless crime.

Regardless of the merits of this specific proposal, if the County was really concerned about both recidivism and financial costs, it would have gone in with Lehigh County. Instead, the Exec and Council want to pay a private company to do the County's job? And, if there are empty beds in either this "treatment center", the threatened "private prison", or whatever spot is next, logic would say that a private company, needing to make a profit is going to farm out for all of Philly's excess, or beyond.

Honestly, I don't like either candidate on this issue.

lighthouse said...

Unfortunately, a lot of the problem ALL counties have to deal with is the high number of those incarcerated for victimless crimes and three-strikes-out sentencing. That, however, is a commonwealth-created problem.

I agree in principle with the idea of rehabilitation for first time, non-violent, offenders.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lighthouse,

Stoffa (and I) would actually love to see LC as a partner and would want to join with their new facility. But the judges made very clear they had no interest in a joint venture w/ LC. While the judges do nt run the county, i think we have an obligation to consider what they say very carefully when it comes to disposition of offenders. But in an ideal world, i think that is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is no leader and caved to the Courts. He is doing this and Atiyeh is pushing Stoffa on all his properties. P2P.
Good old Dave is back, hey Dave why not start "Adopt-a-Con", you could be the President of the group. You take these poor misunderstood druggies into your home and we will reinburse you. Didn't think so.
The BS studies you cite are from selective homogenous groups. The facts are an addict forced to therapy has a high rate of recidivism.
We will still need more prisom cells regardless.
Stoffa said one of the dumbest things uttered. The Easton site can't supply the water to a bigger prison. Out at Gracedale they can? What a goof. I am sure Nazareth would have an interesting take on the fractured science of Stoffa.
Now it is time for O'Hater to cover his ass again. You too Dave. Tell us how we will save millions. You guys are really nutz.
This blog is fun, it is like the Bobby Gubber Walsh Show online. Rightwingnuts and all.

Dave said...

Same old R tactics..attack ads but no counter solutions offered! Pathetic stategy for a bunch of Bush losers. Come back when you actually have an IDEA! Mr. Stoffa is still at the helm and until otherwise relieved of duty..we go where he goes!

Anonymous said...

hardy har har !!!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Only in Northampton County can people who advocate for the humane treatment of prisoners be branded as rightwing nutjobs. People like Dick Cheney would fit in quite nicely with the Dem party machine.

That's why a group of New Domocrats> is forming, elected leaders and other Democrats who are upset at the direction in which Bosmman Long has taken his party. You will hear more about them after the election.

Anonymous said...

What are DOMOCRATS?

Bernie O'Hare said...

New Democrats. Sorry for the typo.

Anonymous said...

Lighthouse went to a college where the hopper was in the middle of the dorm room so everyone could watch him do his business? Where the heck was that?

Bernie O'Hare said...

PU

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave the guy did offer an alternative. He suggested you tutor the con addicts at your home. Like a foster parent for a druggie. sounds like a decent plan. since you know so much about these clowns you should be great at it.
Save some county money and save the addicts, win win. You can even read them Bible passages and make smores.

Dave said...

Exactly my point..no solutions..only vitriol..as usual. Get back to me when you see your tax bill when the new prison goes up. Careful..make fun of God..suffer thr consequences!

Anonymous said...

CUCKOO!!!CUCKOO!!!!