Letters to the Portland Editor, November 14, 2008

Time to respect all people
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR  |  November 12, 2008

TIME TO RESPECT ALL PEOPLE
Another insightful article by Lance Tapley (see "Falling Down," November 7), focusing on abuses to prison staff, as well as to prisoners. Employees of our prisons and jails deserve better wages and in-depth training. Overcrowding, oversentencing, minimal funding, and lack of oversight by Maine people and our legislators continue to damage the futures of our incarcerated men, women, and their children. There are many good intentions spoken in committees about slowing down Maine's incarceration rate and reducing recidivism through education, addiction treatment, and alternative sentencing, but almost no action.

Most Maine people have no idea how much we are paying in taxes to support the Corrections Department and the men and women housed in prisons for nonviolent crimes and probation violations. Thanks to Lance Tapley for turning a complex, seemingly unsolvable problem into an understandable, and, based on my experience, correct description. There are solutions! And these solutions are not difficult, though they require imagination and acceptance of all people as human beings — prisoners and prison and jail staff alike.

Judy Garvey
Volunteers for Hancock Jail Residents: www.jailvolunteers.org
Blue Hill

  Topics: Letters , Criminal Sentencing and Punishment, Prisons, Maine prisons
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