To the editor:
I had the privilege of taking the jail tour that is being offered to the community. We have an exceptional facility that is staffed with compassionate and competent staff. What was made obvious in the presentation was the serious need for jail expansion if we are to continue to serve the inmates with competency and care. Currently the women’s quarters are totally inadequate. I have been a volunteer at the women’s prison in Topeka for several years and am very aware of how volunteer programs often lead to significant improved behavior and decision-making for inmates. The Douglas County jail provides multiple programs for the betterment of its inmates but the need to house inmates in other counties greatly interferes with those services. I am a retired mental health professional who is also extremely supportive of the community’s need for improved crisis intervention services. I am the mother and grandmother of children of color for whom I worry about their safety in an often hostile environment. It is evident that Douglas County is attempting to address these needs with top-quality efforts. I am a former supporter of Justice Matters but have come to believe that their adversarial approach toward the county has become an interference in the efforts of our county to maintain our nationally recognized quality correctional system. I believe that by voting “yes” I am acting in justice and in accordance with my Christian beliefs that all people should be treated with respect and love. Please take advantage of this opportunity being offered by our jail to educate yourself on the facts related to voting.