Re: Letter to the editor from Ramona Sanderson entitled “Jail is better than nursing homes.” You neglected to mention some of the finer ‘perks’ of being an inmate.
What about body searches? This includes a mandatory strip search after you visit your family.
And a room search, whenever it may strike the whim of the correctional staff. Another bonus – you may be one of the lucky ones who gets to share a 6×8 cell with another inmate.
Visitors – yes, if they meet the criteria, pass all the requirements, and are prebooked weeks in advance, but only on certain days at certain times, which may also be denied with no reason. Shucks, did they travel across the country to see you? Oh well, maybe next time.
Don’t forget the mandatory lockdowns, every day, four times a day, if you are lucky. The unlucky ones are locked down 23 hours a day, and when they are allowed to move, it’s alone with a guard as escort, to an area where you are still completely isolated from any other human being.
Movement allowed when you are told to, and only when. Speak when you are spoken to. Got attitude? Let’s try 24-hour lockdown, see if that helps.
Living in direct contact with gang members, drug dealers, rapists, murderers, and the criminally insane. Having to watch your back 24/7 in a violent and volatile community, always being aware that your life is at risk in this community.
No access to the outside, ever, unless approved for a limited number of reasons and you go with two armed correctional staff, chained hand and foot for everyone to point and look at. Did you want to go to your family member’s funeral? Sorry, not this time.
Twenty-four hour surveillance, even in the bathroom and community shower.
Personal belongings – don’t worry about it, you aren’t allowed any.
Gifts on your birthday or at Christmas, or any other time – nope, not allowed.
And the biggest perk of all – for the rest of your life, you are labelled undesirable scum, avoid at all costs.
Maybe you should step inside one of our ‘luxurious’ institutions and see what it’s really like. I have, and I wouldn’t wish the life of an inmate on my worst enemy.