More Jails

For weeks, The Times has been featuring articles about the reduction of services and residential centers for retarded and mentally-ill people as the result of the shortage of funds. But now The Times is editorializing about a need for more jail cells (“Jails: Fast Turnover,” editorial, March 3).

Can’t you see the connection? The enormous expenditures poured into building and operating prisons and jails are one of the reasons why funds are inadequate for badly needed human services.

People sentenced to 30 days have not committed serious crimes. They would be good candidates for community service sentences--and a switch to such sentences would save jail space for those who have committed serious crimes.

Instead of investing in more costly jail beds, our tax dollars would be put to better use by expanding the Probation Department so that those sentenced to community service can be supervised adequately.