A jail by another name is still a jail

TOWNSHEND — A detention center - a jail - in Bellows Falls is without a doubt a very bad and (I might add) ill-conceived idea.

Bellows Falls has no hospital. Inmates will need support services such as a fully staffed emergency room when violence erupts inside prisons walls. Guards will need immediate emergency medical attention also.

Bellows Falls only has a small fire department. The private contracted EMS provider endures more than 900 calls in the village alone. The village fire department wants to get in the ambulance business; no one has addressed any of these costs.

The budget for the police department in Bellows Falls is over $1.3 million; that, coupled with the fire department budget of $700,000-plus, takes 94 percent of the total annual village budget.

No one talks about the actual cost this ill-proposed jail will cost this village of Bellows Falls.

Might I suggest that both Windham & Windsor counties build a new jail at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield? Springfield has a hospital and a fully staffed police department and fire department.

I would suggest that the respective sheriffs travel to Berlin, N.H. The Federal Bureau of Prisons runs a federal prison, and the state of New Hampshire also maintains a prison on that same site. Berlin has a hospital. Again, Bellows Falls does not.

A jail by another name is still a jail.

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