Here are four reasons why the No side convinced me to vote Yes for a prison. I attended the latest forum on the prison debate, focused on listening very closely to the concerns of the No prison group. The moderator did an excellent job of allowing the No side to be heard and I expected that since this was a key event to get a persuasive message out to all the undecided voters that the No side would present their strongest case. Those four key points of their case is what finally tipped me to the Yes a prison makes sense side?
They stated we should be trying to be like a Napa Valley north. I researched this item and discovered that the city of Napa is to the Napa Valley what Penticton is to the Okanagan Valley. More importantly I discovered that Napa has had a correctional facility since 1975. In fact, it is located in the city within blocks of shopping, the public marketplace and schools. They have had this facility for 30-plus years and we all know how their wine tourism has grown over this time. If the best example the No side can give me to object to a prison is to say we need to be like a location that has successfully incorporated a prison into their region, then in fact to me this means a prison is not a negative to tourism.
They continually refer to a reports titled Economic Impact Of Prisons In Rural Areas and Big Prisons, Small Towns: Prison Economics In Rural America. I researched organizations that wrote and provided funding for these reports. Boy was I surprised at what I found. The writers of the report work for a organization whose mandate is to ‘promote alternatives to putting criminals in jail’. No wonder the report is negative on building prisons as the mandate of the authors is to eliminate prisons and rehabilitate criminals in the community. As well, the funding for the report comes from another foundation that provides money to organizations deemed ‘extremely radical’.
I find it ironic that the No prison group is adamant about the fact the prison will increase crime in our city and they use a report funded, written and promoted by a group that wants to put criminals in the community. If from the entire universe of knowledge on the internet all they could come up with is this to support their case, then to me they have invalidated their argument around safety concerns.