Last month, has anyone wondered why Sheriff Jon Sandage reacted so aggressively to McLean County Council simply asking him to renegotiate a contract for tablets at the jail? The sheriff wants these tablets to be a way to significantly limit the physical mail entering the establishment.
He told the county council he was trying to tackle crimes such as witness tampering and drug trafficking by limiting the mail that is delivered. Physical mail, like photos and drawings of loved ones, is a very important touchstone for many inmates. They can read and remember these letters and respond to them at any time. Receiving a scanned mail on the tablet is limited to reading it at that time, and using the time allotted to him to respond to the letter, the time he has to pay, as well as viewing the e-mail. . Images are shredded and destroyed offsite.
And to those who argue that people in prison should not be afforded the luxury, 90% of the prison population is in pre-trial detention, which means they have yet to be found guilty in court, and people are innocent until proven guilty. guilty. The prison was expanded three years ago under the pretext of improving mental health and reducing recidivism in our community. Removing the ability to receive and send physical mail does nothing to help these goals, it goes directly against helping people have healthy and productive lives once they are released.
McLean County Board Democrats are united in bringing more transparency to prison operations, and we would like to see the Sheriff restore shelves and allow physical mail delivery. It is the right, compassionate, moral thing to do.
Sharon Chung, Bloomington