Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 91 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Sheriff Brown's Bogus Boondoggle: The Fraud and the Force

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   3 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kathy Swift
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

Santa Barbara County Main Jail
Santa Barbara County Main Jail
(Image by Noozhawk)
  Details   DMCA

Last Christmas, the Milpas Community Association (MCA) sponsored the Eastside Christmas Parade as part of its Eastside Business Improvement District (EBID) campaign to promote and beautify this predominately Latino Santa Barbara neighborhood.

One of the notable features of the parade was an old-fashioned paddy wagon driven by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff. An effigy of the Grinch languished in the back of the wagon as the Sheriff waved and smiled at the throngs of mostly Mexican parade-goers lining Milpas Street. When you consider that the greater portion of the county's prison population is Latino, one has little to wonder at the Sheriff's ear-to-ear grin for his future constituents at the parade.

But this little bit of Keystone Kops slapstick speaks volumes to Santa Barbara's plutocracy which does not disguise its social engineering efforts in the city's Latino communities on the Eastside and the Westside. When you recall that the defeated gang injunction was a racial profiling scam promoted by the MCA and its cronies in city hall, it is clear that these wanna-be oligarchs continue to take great interest in Mexican-owned real estate. Deceptive measures designed to produce the same results as the injunction are obviously at play in the MCA's latest campaign to make the Eastside "clean" and "secure" under the terms of the EBID (fraud) coupled with Sheriff Brown's relentless drive to build more jails and detention centers (force).

For this reason, it is worth taking a closer look at Sheriff Brown's proposed North County jail.

Of all the Sheriff's many arguments for the new jail, his most egregious is his insistence that the current county jail is overcrowded. Sheriff Brown has maintained that prison "infrastructure has not kept pace with the increasing population in our county".... (click here).

But a closer look at the Sheriff's prison population in March reveals that 74% of them were pretrial detainees. (click here).

In fact, Santa Barbara County has one of the highest rates of pretrial detainment in California, with about 3 in 4 inmates imprisoned pretrial. They have been unconstitutionally detained for no other reason than THEY COULD NOT AFFORD TO POST BAIL. That means that pretrial detainees can sit awaiting trial for months - sometimes years - even though the majority are held for petty offenses that in earlier times would have seen their release under their own recognizance. In other words, by holding so many unconvicted, low-risk defendants in County lockup, Sheriff Brown has artificially inflated his prison population with pretrial detainees in order to lend credence to his bogus arguments for another jail.

How exactly are these pretrial defendants suffering from the violation of their constitutional rights by the good Sheriff's practices? Keep in mind that the 8th amendment of the Bill of Rights guarantees that "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" in prison.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 1   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Kathy Swift Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Kathy Swift holds a PhD in Education and is a local activist, organizer, and citizen journalist. Podcasts of her programs can be found at KCSB on SoundCloud. "If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth." - Julian (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Sheriff Brown strongly opposed to California's sanctuary state law

Gentrifying Santa Barbara's Eastside

Santa Barbara News Press threatens to sue PODER

The Downsizing of America

Its time for Sheriff Kirchmeier to be held accountable for human rights abuses

Occupying the Fourth Estate with Assange

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend