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Hard cases changing tenor of jail population

Original post made on Oct 11, 2012

A year into a cost-reducing measure to selectively relocate some state prison inmates to county jails, the population at the San Mateo County jail is seeing changes to its collective attitude and to its demographics.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 11, 2012, 9:19 AM

Comments (3)

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Posted by downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Why do inmates have money to fight over? Shouldn't cash be kept held with their other personal property?

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Posted by Susan Smith
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 14, 2012 at 7:25 am

Well, if one can't do the time, don't do the crime. We pay professional jail personnel a MASSIVE amount of money, with life long benefits, to manage this vey problem. We also, as taxpayers seem to pay and pay and pay....I am getting tired of paying for larger county facilities for more jobs that inclue massive, unfunde benefits. Plain tired.

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Posted by Bob Cushman
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

This article disturbed me. There is another way to look at what happened in E dorm. A long time ago I was employed as an inmate supervisor at a state correctional institution. One thing I learned quickly is that inmate behavior is directly related to the "climate" of the institution. Establishing and maintaing that climate is a responsibility of Jail Administration. The article reads as if the changing tenor of the jail population is inevitable and beyond control of the Jail staff and administrators. More sophisticated inmates may pose a managerial challenge ; however, allowing them to change the culture of the institution represents an abdication of responsibility. It gives inmates too much control.

In the case of E dorm, we have created a pressure cooker by packing 50 troubled and troublesome women in triple-tier bunks and isolating them in a small space designed for 15 women - a unit buried within a secure jail for men. No wonder they misbehave.

A former Director of the US Bureau of Prisons once said: " Give me the right staff and program and I could run a good prison in an Old Red Barn". He wrote a book by the same title. A new jail may improve the situation. But well-trained staff, experienced at managing women inmates, accompanied by good programming in a separate, community-based facility for women will do much more.

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