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Palm Coast Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 4 years ago

New 'vacancy' sign at county jail welcomes inmates to 'Green Roof Inn'

Forfeiture money paid for the signage, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office.
by: Jonathan Simmons Managing Editor

A new blinking, retro-neon "vacancy" sign unveiled at the Flagler County Inmate Facility Feb. 8 welcomes inmates to the "Green Roof Inn." A metal sign beneath it lists the "accommodations":

  • No Privacy
  • Group Bathrooms and showers
  • No meal selection
  • Free transportation to courthouse or state prison
  • Designer jewelry to wear — AKA handcuffs and leg irons
  • Free designer clothing — color coordinated jumpsuits and shoes

"Enjoy your stay," the bottom of the sign states. "Crime stops here."

Another sign at the exit states, "Thank you for visiting the Green Roof Inn, where the light is always on and beds are always available. Don't come back! But if you must commit another crime, we have a bed waiting for you! Enjoy your freedom — stay crime free! — Sheriff Rick Staly."

Media outlets that reported on the new signage include the fact-checking site, Fox News, WESH, The Miami Herald and the Associated Press, among others.

The neon sign cost $819 and was paid for with drug forfeiture money, according to the Sheriff's Office. The two metal signs were produced by the county government with scrap materials. The Sheriff's Office also produced a brief video PSA of Staly showing off the new signage and posted it to the agency's Facebook page, where it had 231 likes and about 50 comments as of the morning of Feb. 14.

"I'm waiting in anticipation for the reviews on Yelp about this fine establishment," resident Ken Bunch wrote in a comment on the Facebook post. 

"Didn't say if it has FREE WiFi? Guess not," wrote Carlos Iovannitti. "NOPE!" the Sheriff's Office's official account replied.

Not everyone liked it.

"You turned $800 that could have been given to local mental health or drug addition treatment programs into utter B.S. Neat trick," Patrick Donges wrote on the agency's Facebook post. He added a link to the county's Social Service Directory to his comment, writing, "Here's some potential places to put your forfeiture money the next time it's burning a hole in your green slacks."

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly has called the jail the "Green Roof Inn" for more than a year, and the name has spread on social media.

"The purpose of the signs is crime prevention," Staly said in a news release. "It is a warning to potential offenders that the jail is not a five-star hotel. When you get arrested, we provide the minimum accomodations as required by law. Once an offender checks in, they lose their basic freedoms. They don't decide what to eat, wear, or do with their day. ... Hopefully when people see the signs and the list of accommodations offered they will think twice about commiting a crime in Flagler County."


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