Letter: Liberty Mill not a good deal for Bellows Falls

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Liberty Mill not a good deal for Bellows Falls

Editor of the Reformer:

As I have read about the so-called Liberty Mill Justice Center in Rockingham, I have been disturbed to learn that while the idea of an enlightened approach to justice is appealing, there are no guarantees that this large facility will remain a beacon of hope. Over 120 people will be detained there at any given time. Most of them will be receiving no rehabilitative treatment whatsoever, but are merely being warehoused in order to provide an income stream of $90 per day per detainee.

The sheriff's office stands to make 5 percent on each warehoused human — over $500 per day! And rehabilitating prisoners isn't going to generate revenues; instead those programs will be a significant expense.

Who is to say that a few years down the line, the "enlightened" approach will not be jettisoned and the detention capabilities vastly expanded? Would not a good businessperson try to maximize revenues? We will have a state-of-the-art detention facility that could easily expand to hold two or even three hundred detainees. The sheriff is an elected position. The siren song of being able to legally pocket well over $1,000 per day might draw some very unsavory attention.

Citizens need to act now to put the brakes on what could become a very dark future.

Bonnie Northup, Bellows Falls, Jan. 25


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