There is a phrase that pops up every day or so on the news, and on You Tube, “Bless their hearts, what they are forgetting, is that Smith county is still under a remedial order by the state of Texas.”
This is the statement made by Commissioner Fleming during a couple of interviews on local television. It is a pat answer intended to condescend to and shame any poor unlearned, ignorant souls, you know, like, anyone who would oppose the new jail plan.
Well, bless her heart, she has forgotten that the remedial order does not say that we must reduce overcrowding by building a new jail.
This would be sort of funny were it not so sad. The Commissioners Court has had ample opportunity to exercise it’s authority and bring about the changes that are needed to provide a long term solution to the overcrowding problem. Had they availed themselves of such opportunities, we would not even be talking about this issue now. The problem would be only a bitter memory. It is their failure as a court to take such actions that puts us in this awkward position today! Sadly, we are putting incarceration ahead of justice.
Lest you think that it is only liberal, left wing bleeding hearts who believe this, (I am a Libertarian myself) take a look at the people who have been proposing the alternatives. Truly, one example will do. Judge Kent, and other jurists who could hardly be seen as being soft on crime, have presented us with some well thought out ideas that not only will work, but have already been working, right here in Smith county. The Commissioners court has shown gratitude for this near heroic effort by eliminating funding for one of the ideas, before the bugs were worked out. It is their obstinacy that stands in the way of fulfilling the demands of this remedial order!
And, for the record, I don’t mind being condescended to, I have reached a stage in life where I realize that condescension of this type shows the lack of understanding in the one doing the condescending.