Not the hotel for me
I would like to respond to recent letters in the Public Forum that liken the Douglas County Jail to a hotel, and the free rides writers think the inmates get.
Those inmates would surely welcome a hot shower and a hot meal. The jail provides them with the orange, blue, or black and white attire they wear. Friends and family pay for most inmates’ commissary items, which include socks and underwear (not provided by the jail). They also buy food to supplement the meals the writers think are sufficient. They purchase pencils and paper to write their families and lawyers. They also pay for their own hygiene supplies. By the way, a pair of boxers is $4, a 4-ounce pack of instant coffee is $5.10, one package of Top Ramen is $1.30. Families pay for the inmates’ phones calls at the rate of $3.01 per 20-minute call. These inmates are lucky to see outdoors on the roof maybe every two or three months.
Anyone who listened to the news recently would have heard Sheriff John Hanlin explain that visits, phone calls and commissary are privileges that are used for disciplinary tools. And they do use them!
Inmates do work while in jail; some are not allowed, but would like to. For anyone who doesn’t realize it, those are inmates in black and white stripes around town cleaning up the sidewalks and garbage dumped by the public.
The letter writers may also want to remember that some people sitting in our Douglas County Jail are still innocent until proven guilty.
If the writers’ hotel is run in the above manner, they may want to consider another place to stay. It is surely not one where I’d care to stay.