Archive for Friday, March 16, 2018

Letter to the editor: Jail tour enlightening

March 16, 2018

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To the editor:

I attended one of the recent tours of the county jail. I learned that Sheriff’s Office employees are working hard not only to oversee the inmates placed in their supervision, but also to keep as many as possible out of jail and to address problems that led to their confinement. However, limitations placed on them by overcrowding were obvious: The safety of the officers is compromised, resulting in an increase of calls for assistance; those who administer programs aimed at behavioral or addiction issues are often unable to do so because program rooms have been converted to cells; officers must spend time driving prisoners to distant county jails; the women’s area is so overcrowded that facilities are inferior to those in the men’s areas; prisoners held in other counties are not able to participate in the programs aimed at reducing recidivism.

Our county is growing, and with growth comes responsibility to provide additional services of all kinds. Our county jail is no different. We have outgrown our jail and the need to enlarge is urgent. The county is employing effective strategies for nonjail alternatives when public safety allows, but the dramatic increase in felonies limits their use. The majority of prisoners will return to our community, sharing our roads and sitting beside us at restaurants or sports events. It is in all of our interests that they be treated humanely, and that they receive help that can turn them into contributing citizens.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 month, 1 week ago

I say if the local government can afford to build more space to lock people up why can't this same government afford to sponsor jobs that allow people to sustain themselves instead of supporting subsides for corporations that do not pay wages that will sustain families?

Low wages bring on depression big time. Depression brings on a variety of issues that we taxpayers cannot afford.

The minimum wage CANNOT sustain a family and promote home ownership. Let's get real.

Locking people up does cost taxpayers a ton of money that would be better spent promoting good wages. Perhaps sustainable wages would diminish the need for more jail cells?

Let's focus on wiping out depression and low wages? Bring in only high wage employment!!! HIGHER wages pay back..... jail cells never pay back!!!

Francis Hunt 1 month ago

Richard the person who wrote this letter to the editor took the time to tour the jail and learn. Have you? My guess is no. Why don't you get out from behind your computer and go tour the jail?

Sharilyn Wells 1 month ago

or get a drug and alcohol treatment center

Francis Hunt 1 month ago

Sharilyn, you really need to do your homework. Have you toured the jail? I'm going to guess no you haven't. Why don't you take the time to actually go tour the jail and learn about the needs like the writer of this letter to the editor did.

Sharilyn Wells 1 month ago

I think there are serious problems in Lawrence but I think it could be better spent some other way.

Francis Hunt 1 month ago

You didn't answer my question. Have you attended the presentation and toured the jail? If not then you are right you "think" but you don't actually know.

Sharilyn Wells 1 month ago

My little opinion is not going to make much difference< I have been deeply dismayed by what went on after mental health reform. We have people living in sleeping bags hiding from whomever and yet 44,000,000 can be found for a new jail. all along we were told what a great mental health system.

Francis Hunt 1 month ago

Your opinion does matter so why not be informed?

Steve Jacob 1 month ago

Same people who are against the jail are upset about the guy getting probation for a stabbing. It's like non violent offenders who keep getting arrested deserve a break and an alcoholic who stabbed a guy in an agreed upon fist fight should rot in jail.

Sharilyn Wells 1 month ago

No one seems to know why they do not let nonviolent offenders out.

Francis Hunt 1 month ago

Yes they do criminal history, past failure to appear, flight risk, previous violations are some of the reasons that judges have provided.

Jeanette Kekahbah 1 month ago

Thank you, Terry L. Smith, for taking the time to learn and to share the facts.

Jail No tour?

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