Letters to the editor A jail is a jail Editor: I voted against building a new county jail. Reasons? Many. First and foremost is my conceptions of crime and punishment. Jail is a punishment for crimes committed, not a place to coddle someone to preserve his constitutional rights that he forfeited when he violate the rights of the state, county or individual when that crime was committed. Jack Sawyers, correct me if I'm wrong, said that the jail would cost the taxpayers very little. When does four million dollars plus, which it will amount to by the time the original bond is amortised out at 15 years, amount to very little? Costs over run, and there always are more, will bring it closer to $5,000,000. Who pays for that, if not the taxpayers? The architect's picture of the projected jail looks more like a country club than a jail. Why? Couldn't a plain functional building be put together at less cost? I think so. I'm quite sure that a person held in a place like that would not have his aesthetic taste violated to that extent. A jail is a jail is a jail, or used to be. As the letter to the editor asked last week, "Wouldn't you feel badly to have a loved one put in a place like that?" I surely would, I would feel badly about having a loved one put in any kind of jail! Look at it this way. Nine times out of ten the person that goes to jail violated a law that was on the books for the public's safety. They wittingly took that chance so why not suffer the consequences? If the law leaves us as taxpayers open for suit by a person in our jail, then we have enough legislators; they could remedy that at one session of the legislature. Keep this in mind. I believe everyone, in jail or out, has their constitutional right, regardless of race, color or - religion, to fair but just treatment at all times and any violator of this right should be punished, not the taxpayer or institution, but those responsible for that mistreatment. When we had the last big battle over the placing of the County courthouse, the battle cry of the west enders was, "We want it all together." I haven't heard that said of the City and County (jail) building that is projected. The Iron County courthouse war designed and built to house a modern jail in the basement. That basement is there and unused. This could be the jail for hard cores and sentenced prisoners for 30 days or longer with maximum security in force there as would be needed. Misdemeanors, drunk drivers and runaways could still be housed in the existing City and County Building in Cedar City. They would not be altogether as per the battle cry, but each in a place suited to their transgressions and we would save a whole lot of money! Crime doesn't pay, the taxpayers do. P.S. I have just read the Iron County Record of post elections and find in the news and editorial pieces that I am short-sighted and not too well informed. Granted. We . always ' have been inclined that way. I also learn that jail inmates are required by law to live where they have natural light not in an underground room. Why wasn't this made public by the powers that be as an argument against the use of the courthouse basement as a jail? I also learned by the Record's own figures, if I added right, that 701 votes against the bond were cast county-wide which is more than those cast by Parowan and Paragonah, 589 against plus the 66 yes votes in these two cities. Why credit or blame it all on Parowan and Paragonah? I don't care where a jail is built if it is compact, easier to heat and functional, not an architect's dream of fantasies, frills and frippery. Vern C. Mortensen Editorial reviewed Editor: I feel compelled to respond to your editorial concerning the results of the recent bond elections. Your article adds fuel to the very fire you ask everyone's cooperation to extinguish. It hints that a feud, in the county, defeated the jail bond issue. But do the facts bear this out? Kanarraville voted down the bond 20-37; 20-37; New Castle voted down the bond 5-33 Summit voted it down by the count of 13-39 Or if you exclude the areas that are supposedly influenced by a feud, (Cedar-Parowan, and Paragonah). The bond was defeated 186-219. Add all areas except Parowan and Cedar and it lost 199-312. Wherever you look, north, south or west, the fact remains, the bond was defeated in all areas except Cedar and Enoch. ! t , j Your article hints at selfish motives, ' and nowhere does it admit that everyone has the right to vote for what they think is best. It also seems to ignore this most prominent fact. "Of the people who were concerned enough to vote, the majority voted against this bond." You have a strong voice in favor of this bond, but are you really certain that at this time, the residents of Iron County should go further into debt and spend $8 million for a jail? The county economy is poor, with much uncertainty. Many are out of work and the future isn't looking very bright. A $3.9 million bond at 12 percent interest could easily cost us $8 million. I personally don't know of anything Iron County has bought that has cost nearly that much. Yes ! we do need a new jail, but do we need something that elaborate? Can we afford it? I think not, and the majority of people who voted on it think not. I hope the County will come up with a less expensive alternative. . I didn't bother to vote last time, but if it comes up again, I will cast one more vote against it. Perhaps this is your purpose, Wake people up and get a higher percentage of people to vote on such an important issue. If so, where were you a month ago, when the issue was at hand? Please, spend less time casting stones and put your thoughts toward finding a better solution to the problem. Please withhold my name and sign me simply, Not in debtors prison and thankful for it. PTA approves Editor: The Utah State PTA commends the legislature for its consideration to purchase the State Office of Education Building. At the present time the State of Utah is spending $440,000 a year to house the office of education. The building can now be purchased for $3.7 million on the open market.