Rep. Estes gathering leaders to weigh four options
HAMILTON - Shadows of concertina wire and armed guards regularly stretch across the drive-thru lane of the McDonald’s in Hamilton.
Those stopping through the restaurant for a quick meal often get a front-row seat to watch white-uniformed state prisoners playing basketball and gardening during recreation hours--an odd experience for passers-through, but nothing out of the ordinary for Marion County locals.
It’s been this way since the Hamilton Aged and Infirmed Center opened in May 1981 under the administration of Gov. Fob James and orders from federal judges demanding the state to solve overcrowding problems. Forty years later, the circumstances seem similar. However, plans for new additional state correctional facilities mean the future for older sites like Hamilton A&I is unclear.
Marion County State House Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, says Hamilton A&I is an asset to Marion County due to the government jobs it provides. He says he is getting out ahead of the game to make sure Hamilton doesn’t get the short end of the stick.
See complete story in the Journal Record.