To The Daily Sun,
Thanks so much to Michael Kitch for showing us just how truly deplorable the conditions are in our county jail. Now I know that the County Commission was not just crying "wolf" again. That place looks like a Russian gulag. After seeing these photos in his July 26 exposé, how can anyone not support the $43 million funding the commission seeks for a new state-of-the-art facility? Our criminals deserve nothing less.
From the huge photo enlarged to take up half of the paper's front page so we can see all the gory detail, is it obvious that the facility must have no air conditioning, and the criminals need to rely on electric fans, some made of plastic, to try to stay cool as they sleep. And I notice that each criminal does not even get his own personal fan, but must share a fan with other criminals who might not want it on the same setting. How's that supposed to work? And those TV's are not widescreens. Geesh. I bet they don't even get HBO. And those beds! Don't even get me started about those beds. Can't we at least afford to give our criminals full size beds? Are those sheets even cotton? They look like a polyester blend, and we all know what a polyester blend feels like on a hot summer night.
Then there is the picture where you can see that some of the paint on the floor of the booking room appears to be peeling. And some of the ceiling tiles in the gymnasium appear to be yellowing. How can we subject these poor criminals to such unappealing surroundings? Hasn't anyone heard of drapery or carpets? And the color scheme... all white. What is this, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"?
What kind of message are we sending to our kids with a jail like this? Let's just hope that if they take up crime, it is not in Belknap County. Our criminals deserve better than this.