Thursday, August 01, 2002

Oh, So Now You Want To Talk About It?

Complaints about the Shelby County Jail have been going on for, well almost all of AC Gilless' term as Sherrif. From the Federal government all the way down through the layers of bureaucracy to local citizens, the stories are shocking and horrifying. The County Jail, 201 Poplar, is a mess; a scary, metastasizing sinkhole. I work with a lot of people who have first hand experience with the jail--not Your Humble Working Boy, though, I assure you!--and it's worse than anything you've ever heard.

Stories have all focused on the jail itself, and the population within, and sometimes the guards. But this story in today's Commercial Appeal reports on a well-timed study's results and the testimony of a newly-hired assistant security chief.

Everything we're hearing has been there all along, but the source of the problem--upper management at the Shelby County Sherrif's office--has largely been given a skate. Only now, as Gilless' term ends and a new Sherrif prepares to wade into this, is real examination occuring. It's sad that this all had to wait, for whatever reason, for so long. The CA can marshall and deploy considerable resources and effort when it's something important, like the Grizzlies, but for things like the jail mess, they are content to let it get regular treatment.

It's a shame that AC is now at his retirement cabin in Arkansas, where it's said he's been for over a year now. Of course, it's probably also good that he's out of reach of Shelby Countians, at least for him.

Now, if only the CA would spend as much time and effort digging there into the jail problems as they do digging into political candidate's private lives.

Until next time, that is all.
Your Working Boy

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