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Letter: Choosing 'reactionary measures rather than preventative measures'
October 01, 2012, 05:00 AM

In response to San Mateo County Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson's guest perspective entitled "Moving from jail to a job” published in the Sept. 26 edition of the Daily Journal, I want to remind my fellow residents of the contradictions that the board is putting forth.

Supervisor Gibson claims that we will do better on the local level compared to the state. Yet, San Mateo County should not place itself alongside Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County and San Francisco County. These counties have chosen alternatives, unlike San Mateo which has decided on a jail as the best use of an initial $44.2 million.

Furthermore, Supervisor Gibson reminds us that the board does not put people in jail but has the job of providing programs and services. It is these programs that will keep people out of jail. I am tired of hearing the board claim they have no control when they have the legal authority to reduce the pretrial population and expand alternatives.

In addition, Supervisor Gibson mentions Achieve 180 and the need for more programs. The report from the Institute for Law and Policy Planning wrote that Achieve 180 should expand its caseload as a way to avoid unneeded jail beds. However, the board is so set on this jail to listen to research from the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, ACLU of Northern California and San Mateo County's own government.

It is upsetting that our board would like to allow individuals to hit "rock bottom” and choose reactionary measures rather than preventative measures.

Bernadette Rabuy

South San Francisco

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