Let’s play name that jail

Published 6:20 am Thursday, April 29, 2010

I was sitting in church last Sunday, noticing all the CEOs.

You could tell them by their absence. Too many Christmas and Easter only worshippers left a few pews empty.

By the time the service started, I lost concentration and my mind wandered, finally settling on an idea: What are they going to name the new Mower County jail?

Talk about God working in mysterious ways, this was it.

Actually the idea surfaced a couple weeks earlier from a friend, who is on the Windom Township Board. He took a tour of the new Mower County jail nearing completion in downtown Austin. He said Craig Oscarson, county coordinator, conducted the tour for township officials.

The jail is due to be completed late this summer, ending a years-long struggle to find a solution to jail over-crowding problems. District court security issues were added to the laundry list of public safety concerns.

The price tag is expected to be near the announced $27-million figure officials have claimed.

My friend (I can’t mention his name, because his wife might get mad) told me that it’s going to be something else. State of the art everything. Craig said it would last us a long time.

I think they ought to call it the Mower County Farmers Jail because were the ones who are going to be paying for it, he added.

Ag land valuations have gone up and with them, property taxes. When valuations go up, more property taxes are collected.

Nobody likes to pay more taxes, when they are struggling to get by with what they’ve got; especially when it’s for a facility that will provide miscreants with free food, dental and health care, lodging better than they could provide for themselves, cable television, Internet and a fitness center all in the name of restorative justice.

I am suggesting the Mower County Board of Commissioners allow citizens to name the jail and justice center.

That could ease the pain taxpayers feel.

Calling it the Mower County Farmers Jail has certain logic to it, but the possibilities are endless.

Let’s play Name That Jail and exercise our First Amendment rights:

Here are some suggestions:

The Mower County Hillier Hilton.

Named for Third District county commissioner Dave Hillier, it would feature a butler with a Tazer.

Langskis Room and Board for Offenders. Named for Dick Lang, Fourth District county commissioner. The bar-owner would run a non-nonsense place.

Gabrielson Bed and Breakfast. Named for First District county commissioner Tim Gabrielson, all convicted insurance agents would be forced to sit though a lecture on term life insurance or lose their telephone privileges.

Tuckers New Windmill Inn. Named for Second District county commissioner Ray Tucker. There would be wind turbines on the roof and work release jobs at a certain concrete mixer plant at Dexter supervised by the DCA.

Ankenys Mini-Mart Correctional Facility. Named for Fifth District county commissioner Mike Ankeny. No pin-ups would be allowed in prisoner cells; just pictures of Buffy the Cow.

Not a bad start, but there’s more.

How about the Austin City Council Work Farm. Prisoners would be required to sweep the streets with brooms and sleep in trees around the Hormel Historic Home to scare away crows.

Heres another: The Austin Chamber of Commerce Were Better Together Spa. Forget double bunking. Let’s see how many prisoners will fit in one cell. No deodorants.

The Austin Police Department Wish You Were Here Instead of on Probation Gray Bar Hotel. Do the crime, do the time. A cot and three hots for everyone.

The Mower County Sheriffs Department Home for Stupid Behavior.

The Mower County Humane Societys Human Shelter. Let’s see if anyone will adopt these offenders.

The Austin Eagles Pay As You Go Club. Any income earned by prisoners would go to an organization that has for decades worked to make life better for everyone.

Spruce Up Austin Turn Yourself In and Save Us The Effort of Chasing You. Each prisoner would be given a seedling in a pot. When it grows to maturity, they would be released.

Mower County Recycling Center for Idiots and Miscreants. Prisoners would be required to read old Lee Bonorden Columns by candlelight Hey! Wait a minute, that’s not nice.

Curves For Women, Bread and Water for Men. Exercise classes for female prisoners, a diet for males that would make Sheriff Joe proud.

Reverend Leroy’s House of Perpetual Confession. The motto: We Can Save Your Soul, but Your (Fill in the blank) Belongs to the Judge.

The I.C.E. House. Need I say more?

Oh boy! I know you’ve got some great ideas of your own, so write them down today and send them to the Mower County Board of Commissioners.