Sheriff’s spending spirals out of control
Costly jail project misses the mark on county’s long term needs
New Albany, October 4, 2018 – Sheriff Frank Loop’s uncontrolled spending continues to cause heartburn for Floyd County taxpayers – this time in the form of a new tax which went into effect this month. To fund the Sheriff’s requested $15 million jail renovation plan, County Auditor Scott Clark advocated for and the County Council approved the new tax in August, which will amount to around $100 a year for a resident earning $50,000.
Since Frank Loop entered office, we’ve watched the Sheriff’s budget spiral out of control, increasing over 130% in just under four years,” stated Floyd County Democratic Party Chair Adam Dickey, “This new tax adds an additional burden on our taxpayers and fails to address the true needs of our community.”
Dickey and other Democrats such as Sheriff candidate Darrell Mills argue that with Southern Indiana facing an opioid addiction crisis, the county should be focusing instead on the lack of a long-term inpatient rehabilitation facility. Such facilities have proven effective in addressing addiction issues and, with alternative sentencing programs, reduced the jail population in other communities.
“Our community can’t incarcerate our way out of this epidemic,” stated Dickey. “Opioid addiction threatens families throughout our community regardless of income, education, social status, or location.”
The renovation planned to the Floyd County jail will add 110 new inmate beds to the facility, but at the current incarceration growth rate, the facility will be overcrowded by the time the renovations are complete. While the $15 million price tag will cover the renovation expenses, it’s still unclear what additional annual expenses the county will incur due to increased operations costs required at the new facility. Such costs include additional manpower to operate the facility.
“Instead of focusing on treatment and rehabilitation for those struggling with addiction and on solutions such as community corrections, Sheriff Loop is spending the county into debt and higher taxes,” added Dickey. “It’s past time rein in Loop’s reckless spending and take a different approach focused on people instead of pet jail projects.”