Aug. 28 Mail: Incarceration vs. Rehabilitation and ‘The City’

‘Incarceration Should Be About Rehabilitation’

The thing to remember about our county jails is that they serve two purposes: pre-trial detention of folks charged with crimes and post-trial incarceration of sentences not to exceed one year. Wes Denham’s column [“A Hard Jail Is Good to Find,” Aug. 14] focuses on the short-term effects of incarceration in a “hard” jail. I am not going to address the issue of treating someone who is only accused of a crime, and doesn’t have the money to bond out, in such an inhumane manner.

But I am very curious as to why he thinks it is good for the inmates who are sentenced to this jail for some period of time to continue to be fed such a low-calorie diet and, even worse, to have no physical contact with their family members, which includes their children, and nothing to do. Incarceration should be about rehabilitation, particularly for the offender incarcerated for no more than a year. It does neither the inmates nor society any good to basically warehouse someone for a period of time with nothing to do. As he says, “few classes, no jobs, no prison yard and no sun.” We should be working to improve the lives of people caught up as minor criminals, not warehousing them for a year, hardening their hearts and diminishing their work skills. This is bad policy for society.

Deborah Schroth

Orange Park


Where’s ‘The City’?

I admit that I usually keep my head down and my radical lefty, socialistic, antiestablishmentarian views to myself. Because, well, look at where we live, amirite? Not only that, but the NSA has already read this and sent a thermal imaging drone around to circle my house and tag possible heat-emitting targets. OK, maybe it was just a Coast Guard chopper on beach patrol, but whatever. I don’t make waves. I don’t sign petitions (very often). I stayed away from the pepper-spray fest that was Occupy Wall Street, even though I can think of a few bankers who could use some “correctional” time busting rocks. But look here, sometimes the outrage is just too egregious to let it go. I am talking about the conspicuous absence of Derf’s “The City” comic in the most recent issue [Aug. 21]. What gives? Isn’t the Toonpocalypse body count high enough already? Is Tom Tomorrow really going to be the last man standing in alternate editorial comicdom? And how long before he gets the axe, too? Truthfully, “The City” was always the first thing I would thumb through my new Folio Weekly to find. One tiny flicker of hope in an otherwise relentless march toward the inevitable fascist police state that America is becoming. Et tu, Folio Weekly? 

David Burghardt

Fernandina Beach