To The Daily Sun,
This letter is a response to the article that was published on Sept. 24 headed "Commission asks Judge to force lawmakers to meet."
As an inmate here at Belknap County House of Corrections I follow up on issues such as this one.
This article in particular has my attention because this is my "home" and how I live for the duration of my sentence. I directly feel the effects of this "budget situation" as do the families of all the inmates.
Budget cuts mean not enough correctional officers to provide security for privileges as visitation, medical released furloughs, in-house jobs and in-house programs, and any other programs which require a correctional officer to be present. Due to the low staff last weekend, Sept 19th through the 21st, we inmates had our visitation privileges canceled. Although I was not directly affected because I do not receive visits outside of the jail, it did have an effect on six other inmates here because their families had to travel from outside the state and were turned away.
It doesn't stop there. This "low budget" situation has affected me the most by not being able to be out on work release due again to "low budget, low staff, low security." I make my living on the outside as a painter and before I was sentenced here I provided for my girlfriend and her two kids. In my plea I was given the work release program so I could keep providing for my family and obtain the occupation I once had. Due to the low staff here and this "budget situation" I have lost my job and am at high risk of losing my place to live and my family being tossed out on the street due to not being able to provide the money needed to pay bills.
This low budget situation does not stop at that. I know to the outside community we at the county jail are looked at as inmates and belong here for the crimes we have committed. This being true as most of us do belong here for our violations, but where in the rehabilitation stages does it say an inmate has to shower in mold infested showers, live in a dorm with exposed pipes, breath the bad air quality and bad air circulation, and sleep on poor bedding?
I feel as an inmate that a voice needs to be heard from inside the jail on this situation. I am not writing this letter to get any of the staff in trouble, I am writing this based on the facts of this budget situation and how this affects inmates, correctional officers, jail staff, and the inmates' families on the outside.
Any questions you may have please feel free contact me at the name and address given.
76 County Drive
Laconia, NH 03246
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