Let’s not overcomplicate this. If you can’t keep people alive in your jail, you have no business incarcerating people. That goes if you’re the federal government killing kids at the border and it goes if you’re Armond Budish too.
Look here! Last May it was brought to public attention that medical care at the jail was “plain dangerous.” Budish’s response was to reach around the contract his administration had with MetroHealth and get the complaining nursing supervisor fired.
Judge Michael Nelson has responded by simply refusing to jail anyone for nonviolent offenses. This is a great idea; it should be followed by all judges and juries anyway, on the general principle that we shouldn’t be jailing people who aren’t creating an imminent danger—but also because our jail in particular is inhumane and unreasonably dangerous.
It can’t get any simpler than this. You put people in a cage, you become responsible for them. Budish not only failed to maintain the absolute minimum level of safety in the jail, he also made it his business to fire the whistleblower.