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A Big Beautiful Kid’s Jail – Welcome to Downtown Omaha
You heard that right, there’s a big friggin juvenile detention center going into Downtown Omaha. Right on 18th and Harney. First thing you are probably thinking is, “What a great goddamn idea!” The more parking lots and prisons we can squeeze into Downtown Omaha, the better our city becomes and the more attractive it becomes for great companies, people, and parking lot attendants. But that’s not all, it will also cost $120 million dollars, and we will pay for it with our tax dollars without a vote, because voting on it would not have gone well. Good stuff right?
In fairness, I will try and lay out the pros and cons so far :
Pros of the Kid’s Jail-
- It can provide efficiencies and better services to the kids in the system because the courts are also downtown, and they won’t have to drive back and forth to 41st st, where the Douglas County Kid’s Jail currently is.
- It will help create a “campus environment” between Attorneys, juveniles, and other court services
- Someone is probably making a lot of money from this deal and you don’t need to know anything about that.
Cons of the Kid’s Jail –
- It’s another friggin’ jail in downtown. Just 2-3 blocks away from Douglas County Corrections. Also a jail.
- It costs $120 million dollars, could that money be used in other ways to help the county’s youth?
- the Police Union opposes the jail saying it’s too small
- Plans by Jim Cavanaugh have been proposed to simply renovate and expand services in the current detention center, at half the cost.
Regardless of where you are on this one, Omaha, I think you should know that it’s happening. See news articles here, here, and here for a good rundown of the two sides of the issue. For me personally, fuck this jail. It feels unnecessary and it feels like a bloated project where the money could be used elsewhere. No more prisons, and no more parking lots. Fixing the potholes and helping the homelessness problem would be a good start if you ask me.