The jail on the bayou, revisited

Bayou2

The Chronicle looks at the failed jail bonds:

County Judge Ed Emmett said Wednesday that he still was analyzing the loss — the first defeat of a county bond request in 20 years — and will consult with Commissioners Court on whether to hold another referendum for the jail project, possibly as soon as next year.

The Chornicle’s sources point to doubts about the need for jails as the cause:

Franklin Jones, a Texas Southern University political scientist, said jail referendums often do not fare well among some African-Americans, who believe society should invest more in education and other programs and less on jails.

That’s a variation of an argument that’s been made online by Kuff, Grits, and others.

It seems reasonable that those doubts played the major role in defeating the bonds. But I’ve also heard from people who say they voted against the bonds to protect the bayou, and in a close, low-turnout election the county couldn’t afford to lose those votes, either. Seems like the county take both of those questions seriously.

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