Measure S is about changing the way we do business concerning incarcerating individuals. We can offer treatment known to be extremely effective at reducing recidivism, which in turn will reduce the need for having to build more and more jails in the future. Santa Barbara County can lead the way.

The new jail is designed to offer treatment in all housing areas, for everyone incarcerated.

This can and will be accomplished in the new jail. It costs about $1200 per inmate to provide him or her alcohol and drug programs through the Sheriff’s Treatment Program (STP). My staff in STP has provided treatment to over 8,000 inmates in the last 12 years—all inmate-funded, through the Inmate Services Fund, not taxpayer funded. I am proud of what we have been able to do under some extremely trying conditions in a facility that was never meant to provide treatment of any kind. The recidivism rate for those who participate (about 800 inmates a year) is 30 percent.

The reality is that 90 percent of the people incarcerated today will be our neighbors in the next year. How well do you want them to be? Would you like to have your next door neighbor be a person released early without any kind of treatment for addiction or anger or other mental health issues because there is no room at the jail for such programs?

If you want to live in a dream, thinking we should be able to lock these folks up forever, or locking them up like that character in Arizona does will solve all these issues, then vote no. But if you are trying to look at this in reality, then vote yes on Measure S.-Chuck McClain, Carpinteria


If you want more jobs, real worker construction and service related jobs, vote yes on Measure S (it would create about 300 local jobs). If you want the state to pay us instead of another county $56 million to help finance those jobs, vote yes on S. If you want to increase our safety and that of our friends and families, vote yes on S (it would build a new county jail ending the current practice of letting convicted criminals out early).

If you want to create programs that would greatly reduce the risk…currently 70%…of jail inmates committing crimes again and again, vote yes on S (it would fund proven anti-repeat-offender programs). If you want to increase our overall local public safety, vote yes on S (it would create additional fire protection and police services countywide).

Yes, it requires a 1/2 cent sales tax; but Measure S would not take effect until after a full 1 cent sales tax reduction – resulting in a net 1/2 cent sales tax decrease while still increasing local jobs, building a new jail, and creating crime reduction and fire protection programs.

It is time to take back control of our priorities and direct how our tax money is spent. It is time to create jobs, enhance the local economy and increase neighborhood safety. Please join me and a host of residents in voting yes on Measure S.-Jim Laponis


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