This is a copy of a rant I posted to a local message board today. According to this story everyone processed into the Dane County Jail will be charged $25.

Apparently, the guilty are an undertaxed population. Let’s really go after them.

We don’t charge people money who are arrested at night when police officers have to use their flashlights to apprehend them. Why not charge those arrested a fee to reimburse the city/county for the batteries used?

How about charging people for the cost of the disposable handcuffs used to arrest them?

Maybe we can also charge the guilty a fee to cover the cost of the office supplies used to move their case through the justice system. The more appeals they file, the more office supplies used, the greater the fee. That would discourage appeals and unburden the overtaxed justice system.

With the cost of gas going up, we also ought to charge the guilty for the cost of the gas used to apprehend them and transport them to jail. We could then also charge them for the cost of transporting them to and from the courthouse.

We could also charge the guilty for the food they eat while in jail. That would save us a ton of money.

Utility costs could also be charged back to the guilty. Just make some formula that takes into account each inmate’s average usage of water, electricity, and the like, and then bill them a percentage of the jail’s utility bills. Why didn’t we think of that sooner?

What a fatuous proposal. Then, it is proposed in terms of “Gosh, if we had all this money, we could do all these things with it.” Sure, if the County had big piles of money coming in, it could do great things with it. That’s a no-brainer. The real question is “From whence does that money come?”Note to the Dane County Board: using ill-gotten gains to do good things does not whitewash out the stains of impropriety.