Letter: Voters give the gift of healing with extension of Jail District tax

In this season of giving, I want to thank the voters of Coconino County for making possible a powerful gift of healing to our communities and our county. With the passage of Proposition 445, authorizing the extension of the Jail District Sales Tax, we are making a measurable difference in the lives of our neighbors and ourselves.

The approval of Proposition 445 offers a fighting chance to those who have become ensnared in a difficult lifestyle that has included substance abuse, crime and incarceration. These are people who live in our communities, attend our churches and love their families. They are our neighbors who have become trapped in the ugly cycle of addiction.

Voters have given them the gift of hope and help, and in doing so, are strengthening our county’s families and communities.

Those of us in law enforcement and the criminal justice system are well aware that access to mental health services, opioid and substance abuse education, life skills and job training, employment and health care is key to helping individuals recover from addiction, return to their families and communities, and live productive lives away from jail. As we’ve witnessed through years of providing these services, made possible through funding from the Jail District Sales Tax, we have seen a significant decrease in the jail population and many joyful success stories.

I cannot emphasize enough the heart-warming satisfaction of seeing those who have repeatedly been in the courtroom and the jail system now happy, healthy, employed and grateful for a second chance at life.

No matter how you voted, I want to thank all those who took the time to become educated on the issues and cast their ballots in the November General Election.

And please know, the extension of the Jail District Sales Tax means more lives will be changed in a positive way. The healing will continue. This action we’ve taken as a county truly is a gift to ourselves, as together we are changing lives, restoring families and strengthening communities.

I wish you the happiest of holidays.

Jim Driscoll,

Coconino County Sheriff

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