“We’ve just run out of ideas,” said Escambia County administrator Jack Brown, speaking during a press conference held Friday at Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Brown was speaking to reporters about a plan by the county to enter into an agreement with the National Park Service to officially reopen Fort Pickens as a county detention facility.
County officials hope the action will alleviate stress on overcrowding at the county’s main jail, where capacity is already at 330%.
“Here we are dealing with overcrowding and sending inmates to other counties, and we have a perfectly good fortress just sitting out there,” said Brown.
“If they brought Geronimo here back in the 1800s, why can’t we bring the dope smokers and vagrants we picked up on Palafox Street this morning,” asked Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan. “This fort was built to keep America safe, and it’s time we make America safe again.”
The historic fort, once known to house the most dangerous and hardened enemies of the United States, is currently an attraction for cliché engagement photos, annoying children, and teenage pot smokers from Gulf Breeze trying to “find themselves.”
Officials say the nearly 200-year-old fort will undergo a major overhaul.
“We plan to rebuild the north side of the fort, which was destroyed during the Civil War when a drunk Union soldier misfired one of the cannons into their own fort on a dare,” said National Park superintendent Dan Brown. “The federal government used slave labor to build the fort in order to keep costs low, and we’ll be doing basically the same thing by using prisoners to make repairs.”
Several members of the public attended the press conference, including Gary Sansing, resident of the city and the county and a citizen of earth.
Sansing, a tireless advocate for the “good ‘ole days,” said locals should welcome such an innovative idea.
“You know, I’m proud to live in the City of Five Flags,” Sansing abruptly shouted at county officials. “This prison should have been reopened years ago!”
“Both our guards and our prisoners are very excited about the new facility,” said assistant county administrator Chip Simmons. “I think it’s going to make for a much more rustic, dynamic incarceration experience. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Simmons explained to reporters that, in place of hundreds of individual cells, the old penitentiary will be modernized, featuring a free, nonrestrictive open arrangement of ergonomic beds, separated by short panels of frosted glass.
The jail will allow prisoners to share a collective space and a sprawling three-acre open area in the middle of the fort, where inmates can learn about the rich history of the fortification.
“When we thought of this whole idea while enjoying drinks at the Azalea Lounge one night, we sketched the whole plan on the back of a used cocktail napkin,” said Brown. “We came up with so many great ideas.”
As part of the plan, the name of the fort will officially change to Fort Escambia. Officials estimated Fort Escambia to be operational by Spring 2017 and expect a smooth transition as inmates are ferried over to the Civil War-era facility.
“Sure, some inmates might not be happy and the entire prison might erupt into an uncontrollable riot, but these are just minor drawbacks,” Brown said. “Once our inmates consider the numerous advantages of this new facility, I’m confident they’ll come around.”
“And if they don’t, it’s not exactly like they have a choice,” Brown added.[divider][/divider] The preceding has been completely fake news produced for satirical purposes only.