People should be treated humanely

To the editor:

I have written in the past on this issue and several years later we as a community we are again faced with the need to vote to modernize the jail, and increase its capacity to meet the needs of both the inmates and jail personal.

Over the past years the financial cost to make these changes has continued to escalate as the issue is debated endlessly. There have been multiple studies done that all seem indicate this situation with the jail is untenable as it currently exists, and that it is frequently over crowded.

The most frequent comment I have heard seems to indicate that a person that is incarcerated gives up the right to be treated in a humane manner, and that jails are not meant to be comfortable but are a punishment for the inmates behavior for the crimes they have committed. This mentality has not proven to be helpful to address the situation, and in fact increases the likelihood of things remaining the same.

I agree that persons who are engaged in criminal behaviors should be held responsible for their actions, but they should not lose their right to be treated humanely. The fact remains that these individuals return to our communities upon their release, and the time that is spent incarcerated should not be responsible for increasing their aggressive behaviors due to be in cramped quarters leading to increased anger.

The current situation will eventually lead to either an inmate or a correction officer getting seriously injured. Are we as a community going to continue to debate the issue and wait until a traumatic event occurs that could have potentially been avoided before we act or are we going to be proactive and address the needs now?

It rest on each of us to look to our own sense of community, and vote accordingly.