Smith County Officials | Why Do They Really Want A New Jail?


Something that has puzzled me for a while about Smith county officials in their self destructive quest to get a new jail, and keep the truth from the people, is why?

Once, in a conversation about the old “MAD” agreement, that is, “Mutually Assured Destruction” to those of you who might be too young to remember the cold war, I was arguing in favor of the idea. One of the other participants pointed out to me, that I would be right, except for the fact that I was thinking like a logical person, and proceeded to remind me that perhaps, not everyone who has a finger on a button, engaged in the use of such logic! How does this relate to the building of a new jail in Smith county Texas? Well, to find out, read on.

Most people know the ins and outs of creating a new jail, and frankly, for whatever reason, they don’t want one! Even the commissioners know this, and at least one of the chief proponents of the new jail has more in common with the no vote than the yes vote.

It can not have escaped the commissioners attention that the people do not want a new jail until the new methods for lowering incarceration rates have been given a solid chance to work, or that the methods put in place so far, have achieved more than anyone could have dreamed possible! So, why?

What is the reasoning which prompts commissioners to ride headlong into the windmill with jousting poles raised, in spite of the fact that they know it is a windmill and not a giant, in spite of the fact that they are riding the taxpayers horses into this imaginary battle, and committing political suicide for something that they know is wrong? For an answer to that, I have to resort to what my friend brought up about the MAD agreement. I can see no reason that would make any sense to the average person who will have to foot the bill for this foray into fantasy land, so I have abandoned that pursuit in favor of ones more suited to what I now believe to be the mentality of those in charge of the effort.

  • They want a jail to keep up with the Jones’s. That is, “Everyone else has a jail, and we want one too!” theory.
  • They want a jail to to prove that they can get one. That is, the “We will show you!” theory.
  • They want a jail because they have a cousin in the jail building business. That is the “follow the money” theory.
  • They want a jail because they think it is fashionable to look “tuff on crime”, the “Incarcarex” theory.
  • They want a jail because they plan on filling it. It goes like this:

“Hey Andy, I caught this guy spitting on the sidewalk!” “Great Barn, lock him up, we have plenty of space in this new jail! When your done, see if you kind find anyone sticking gum under the table…”

In conclusion, I am still unable to determine an exact reason, perhaps it is something that can’t be reached through reason.

I intend no malice toward the Andy Griffith Show, and only use the characters as an example since Gilligan’s Island had no related plots.


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