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Custom Morris County Freeholder Board Memo Essay

This memo is to inform the Morris Board of chosen freeholders, Morris county staff as well as the general public about the progress of jail sitting committee in the site selection process. This process is aimed at identifying the most appropriate place to build a new jail so as to decongest the present jails.

From 1988, Morris board of chosen freeholders started the process of site selection to build a new jail with the aim of reducing massive congestion in jails. Many jails were in miserable condition because they accommodated many people than their normal capacity due to the increased number of people taken to jail due crimes such as drug abuse, domestic violence among other crimes in Morris County. Morris County Board appointed a jail sitting committee that was charged with the responsibility of selecting the most appropriate site where the jail could be constructed. The committee was charged with the responsibility of selecting a site that was easily accessible and accommodate future expansions, as well as a site that has easy access to basic needs such as water and other amenities.

The selection process.

The selection of the site is always a hard task to a committee mandated to carryout the process since the identified site must be approved by all stakeholders. Therefore, there has to be effective communication between the member of the committee and all stakeholders before making a final decision on a site to be selected. According to Morris county policy, reports by committees must be communicated to the citizens so as to enable them to follow the operations of the county government.

The site identified by a committee can be objected by the members of public due to diverse reasons. For instance, the selection of Grestone complex as appropriate site for constructing a jail faced unanimous criticism from the members of public, advocates, politicians, as well as medical fraternity. Many people raised safety concerns especially the safety of patients and hospital workers who feared possible harm from inmates who might escape from jail.

Another problem that a site selection committee might face include public pressure and political influences, and this delays the site selection process. For instance, the jail sitting committee also faced problems in other selected sites as a result of public pressures and political influence from politicians whose main aim was to gather maximum support from citizens. For example, although the committee had identified Washington valley Site as appropriate to construct a jail, there was opposition from the public who claimed that the site was near residential housing, thus could interfere with their normal lives since that place was used for recreational purposes by the residents. There was also considerable objection from the environmental firms who opposed the decision to build a jail in that site to avoid harming the endangered wildlife, and this led to the abandonment of the site by the committee.

In site selection, there has to be continuous review to ensure that the selection criteria are effective and appropriate. This is done to meet the deadline, ensure that all the requirements are met, and save the cost incurred in the site selection process. For instance, in the committee’s quest to identify the most appropriate site within a shorter time, the freeholder board appointed another committee that comprised of senior county staff in order to hasten the site selection process. This committee identified a privately owned land which was referred as Wharton site. According to that committee, Wharton site had significant utility access and was near Morris town. Then the board focused on the review of that site to ensure that all requirements were met. The committee decided to select the Wharton site although it had some problems like well water contamination, as well as inadequate sewer capacity. There was massive opposition from citizens who complained about the safety of their children as a result of possible escape by inmates, as well as deterioration of quality life. This outcry made the committee abandon the decision.

Although the selection process may take more time, the committee should be given a freedom to proceed with its work without interference to ensure that the selection process conforms to plan. For instance, despite the committee’s effort in site selection, an architect was given a mandate of determining the possibility of building a jail in a limited space near courthouse complex. The county administrative officials were against this initiative because it could interrupt the operations of the county which were already ongoing as well as prevent future expansions because of the small space.

After analyzing all the alternatives, the committee is expected to select the most appropriate site by considering all requirements. For instance, the jail sitting committee finally settled on John street site which is located in Morris Township. Although this site was not the best compared to other rejected sites, it was appropriate due to its accessibility in terms of public transport, emergency services are close and also it is near a courthouse.


This process took more time than it was expected due to opposition from the members of the public who thought that if the Prison was built on their neighborhood, some social problems could arise. For instance, many citizens were worried about the risk of possible escape by inmates thus causing security threats to their family. The Morris County had already incurred a substantial amount of funds in the site selection process due to public pressure and political influence. Although the selection process took a long time, Morris county board proved its ability in respecting the welfare of citizens and environmental policies. This was because the board rejected sites that raised concerns from the public.

In addition, the board was able to come up with the most appropriate site for constructing a jail. This is because the selected site has excellent accessibility, thus making public transport and access to emergency easier. The site is also in a less populated area thus people feel more secure than if a jail was build in residential places or near hospitals. The committee appointed by the Morris county board also met the selection criteria which required them to select a site that can accommodate future expansion due to the increased number of inmates in jails. This was imperative in reducing congestion in jails and prisons.


The county board and the members of the public should organize meetings with citizens who oppose the county’s decision of building a jail in a site that was allocated for construction affordable housing. This will help both parties to engage in communication that will help them arrive at a common decision that will help to eliminate dissatisfaction from the public.

The county government must ensure that there is tight security within the jail so as to prevent inmates from escaping and threatening the safety of citizens. The county board must ensure that they find a suitable alternative site where affordable housing can be built so as to improve the lives of needy people.

The committee report should be released to the public enable them understand the criteria followed and ensure that the selection criteria were free, fair and transparent. The findings of the committee must give reasons as to why they decided to select a certain site and eliminate others.

Custom Morris County Freeholder Board Memo Essay

Code: Sample20

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