You see, I tried to comment on RD's latest post, but I'm not allowed on that site.
So I'll just put it up here.
Don't be surprised by this - you wrote about the exact same thing in June 2016:
That same day I put an article on my site called "why is the Missoula jail always full?" Well, a big reason is that of the 370 jail beds, 146 of 'em are sold to the Montana Department of Corrections to house their overflow prison population.
15 years ago the Monana Board of Crime Control told us the main reasons why Montana jails are full and often overflowing:
- An inadequate public defender system
- Little use of pretrial release
- Lack of risk and needs assessment tools
- Few instances of pre-sentence investigations
- Little in the way of community-based interventions
- No comprehensive statewide re-entry planning
Something else that troubles me is the mugshot of this man. One look and you can tell he's probably not from around here; we just don't have a lot of black people in Missoula, 0.6% actually.
No, I suspect he's from out-of-state...like many of our transient bums and junkies are. I differentiate the homeless from the bums and junkies. The former often want to change and make their lives better; the latter want nothing more than to abusingly-live of the generosity of others so they can stay drunk and high all day.
You said so yourself yesterday - lots of pot smoke coming from the enclosed POV fenced-in area. Well, here's people that want their free bed and free meals but don't want to clean up their act. They don't want to change. And why should they? Clearly the POV doesn't care.
I feel Johnny Lee Perry II falls in the bums and junkies camp. It could also be he's just lazy and doesn't want to work. Far too many young Americans have this attitutude today, and far too many of our municipalities enable this behavior.
It does profit the non-profits, however. For many of these outfits, it's critical they keep 'busing them in' so that the grant money keeps coming in and those high non-profit executive salaries can be paid.
Also, when we invite a lot of homeless people with no work ethic and no skills, we not only get lots of grants, we also have a chance to decrease the supply of affordable housing further by getting them into 'transitional housing,' which in this tight market, means just about anything that's the cheapest. Currently students, working stiffs, and refugees are all scrambling for the same thing...hopefully on a bus line.
This last point is very important for the powers-that-be here in Missoula: decreasing supply. If we can get the supply of affordable housing to record low levels, then prices for existing houses and condos and apartments will continue to go up.
This helps out the realtor and landlord class a lot, making them even richer. The city and county benefit because if your home is worth more, they can tax you more. Both government entities are desperate for money, so much so that they foam at the mouth over a sales tax.
And if the affordable housing crisis becomes even worse, chances are good the city and county can apply for even more grant money to 'make the situation better.'
Sorry, but it's hard not to be cynical about what we see happening in the Garden City.