June 7, 2017

WANT ROCK PILE FOR DRUNKARDS TO WORK OUT FINES

During a short informal debate last night every member of the city council and Mayor Gates expressed himself vigorously as favoring the strict enforcement of the state bone dry law, and as in favor of compelling all intoxication prisoners who are unable to pay fines imposed to work out their fines in some sort of employment for the city, and commented also that prisoners be made to tell where they got their liquor.

The debate was precipitated by the monthly report of Police Judge Taylor, which showed that three men arrested for intoxication and who were unable to pay their fines had been released. The entire discussion was brief and informal, but it is probable that in the near future steps will be taken by the council to compel a more strict enforcement of the law.

Police Judge Taylor politely stated Thursday that he was doing his part and that the councilmen should do theirs before talking wildly about compelling prisoners unable to pay fines to work them out for the benefit of the city.

"I am perfectly willing," he said, "to make drunks work out their fines if the city will provide work for them to do, and always have been. I think from now on I will put the issue squarely up to the council by sending every man to jail who is unable to pay his fine. That is all I can do, and it is then up to the city council to provide work for the man.

"For years I have advocated that the city have a rock pile or something like that at which prisoners can be made to work out their fines. The county, too, should have the same thing.

"Under the law offenders must either pay their fines or work out their sentences in jail at the rate of $2 a day. A judge, of course, is always supposed to use common sense judgement in imposing sentences or remitting them. The odd part of this council flare up last night, as I heard it related, is that a number of the councilmen have repeatedly told me not to send prisoners who were unable to pay fines to the city jail, because such procedure was only an expense and bother to the city as the city had no way of letting them work out the fines."