The opinions of Laurence Severance and Pam Flynt Tambo in “How to Increase Staff Hiring and Retention at Santa Barbara County Jail” need to aired. The authors have credible backgrounds and seem to have done the focused research that suggests a different management approach can produce better results, i.e., lower costs and reduced recidivism, without jeopardizing public safety.
None of us knows if a different approach will work, but this we do know: County taxpayers cannot afford continued cost overruns of tens of millions annually with no resolution in sight. How many managers in any organization or business can repeatedly run budget deficits and shrug off calls for improvement? Apparently because the Sheriff is independently elected, the County Supervisors have little to supervise in his department. If true, the disconnect will harm us all as other worthwhile county programs are cannibalized to cover the unrestrained expenses of one.