Sunday, August 17, 2008

City: "Secret" jail tough enough for men, made for women

Activist groups say the converted warehouse poses a threat to civil liberties. The city maintains the facility is needed in case of mass arrests during the Democratic National Convention.

"The public was never going to view this place, it was just found out," Spagnuolo said. "They got caught with this place [so embarrassing to be caught with a warehouse concealed about one's person]. They told our lawyers in negotiations that this place didn't even exist."
Strange, in that case, that there's no threat of a(nother) lawsuit.
The makeshift holding center, dubbed "Gitmo on the Platte" by activists, is located on city-owned property near Steele Street and 38th Avenue. Newly-installed security cameras guard the exterior, chain-link fences and barbed wire form cells inside.
No dogs? I'd have dogs, too.

"This was never a secret site," said Undersheriff Bill Lovingier, the city's director of corrections.

Lovinger said the city had long planned to build a new holding facility for the DNC, which triples the processing speed of the city jail. Lovingier said the Steele Street warehouse will be able to process 60 arrestees an hour.

Triples the processing speed. America: still the most productive country on the face of the earth.

"This center is designed as an arrest processing site," Lovinger said. "There will be no housing or long-term detentions."

Activists said that claim was doubtful.

"What's going to happen here is police are going to detain people for an inordinate amount of time," said Unconventional Denver organizer Ben Yager. "They're going to use this as an excuse to keep people out of the courts and off of the streets."

No, they're going to use the excuse of busing people from downtown to the jail at Havana and Smith Road, ten miles away, and dumping them.

And what if they did keep protesters at the "makeshift" facility, anyway? It'll have all the comforts of home:
Lovinger said air-conditioning has been installed [my house doesn't have air conditioning] and the Denver Fire Department has certified it meets fire codes [my house doesn't meet--never mind].

"We've provided for restroom facilities [What? I didn't say anything], water, medical assistance," Lovingier said. "We tried to mirror in this facility what we do every day in our city jail."
But what about the voting machines? Won't somebody think of the voting machines?
Protest groups questioned whether the makeshift facility would be suitable for inhabitation after years as a storage facility.

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