10 Ways to Protect Your Government Fiefdom

By Flynn McRoberts - 2013-10-29T13:55:37Z

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

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7. Study, study, study. Repeat.

Location: Monroe and Phillips counties, Arkansas

Sometimes the best way to put off consolidation is to study it -- and keep studying it. A 1980 budget in Monroe County, Arkansas, included a $2,500 line item for a "regional jail study match." The project never moved beyond the study phase. Thirty-three years later, the southeast Arkansas region is again mulling a regional jail, this time because the state closed a 75-bed jail in neighboring Phillips County. An inspection had found broken locks, and inmates with access to jagged metal objects and human waste overflowing into cells.

Series:Small Government, Big Dollars