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Todd Road Is Wrong for Jail

February 24, 1992

Having lived most of my life in rural areas of Ventura County, I have always supported and admired our Sheriff's Department. I believe the department's concern about overcrowding in our jail is sincere. It is a lamentable but logical consequence of growth.

Our Board of Supervisors has taken on the task of providing our sheriff with an answer to his problem, and a major new jail facility is proposed.

Unfortunately, the Board of Supervisors (with the exception of Supervisor John K. Flynn), in their haste to take advantage of $31 million in state funds, has not sufficiently studied the serious ramifications of building at Todd Road. Nor has the board seemed to consider progressive alternatives to incarceration for minor offenders, which would alleviate some of the overcrowding.

Ventura County is in a crisis with respect to remaining irrigated acreage levels. As of April, 1989, acreage had plunged to 99,450. Current estimates are closer to 80,000. When the agricultural industry folded in Orange County, its acreage was 70,000. We are rapidly approaching that level.

According to documents, there are 6,000 acres in the county designated for "institutional use." Could not 43 acres for a jail be found somewhere in this 6,000 acres?

JULIE W. TOVIAS, Santa Paula

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