Thursday, November 5, 2009

"You can get anything you want ...

... at Alice's Restaurant, exceptin' Alice". Can you get anything you want at the McHenry County Jail?

You not only cannot get anything you want, you can't even give anything you want.

A local religious group has tried to make life a little easier for inmates and detainees at the McHenry County Jail over the years through its donations to inmates of the county jail. Kindness, you might call it. Charitable, respectful, kind treatment, you might call it.

They have been concerned with contact by inmates and detainees with the "outside world", food, snacks, spending money, telephone calls and pastoral care.

Among other things, they used to make $10.00 donations to inmates without funds, so that inmates could purchase snacks or shampoo or other items from what could be called a commissary. In the past this organization would submit one check to the sheriff's department for, say, $200-500, so that $10 could be deposited into the spending accounts of 20-50 inmates.

And now? This group must purchase individual $10 money orders and mail them separately to the jail for deposit into an inmate's account! Let's say a money order costs $1.00 and a stamp costs $0.44; now this organization must spend $1.44 extra to get $10 to an inmate.

What was my reaction when I heard about this? "That's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of!" (The grammatical error is for emphasis.)

Is this anything but obstructionism?

Tell me; would it be simpler and more economical to receive and deposit one $500 check into the sheriff's bank account or fifty (50!) $10.00 money orders.

Would less time of an employee be used to deposit one check or 50?

If the sheriff's department pays fees on its business checking account, does it get nicked $0.05-.10 on each deposit?

And how much time does it take to open 50 envelopes, handle each check as the funds are credited to an inmate's account, and do the accounting necessary for this "trust" account?

If you want to discourage anyone from helping, you start creating obstacles. You put roadblocks up. You hope you can run them off.

Is there any chance that an employee at the sheriff's department created such an obstacle without clearing it with his supervisor? Not hardly!

Is there any chance that a supervisor created such an obstacle without clearing it first with his boss? Not hardly!

Is there any chance that the top dog in charge of the Jail created such an obstacle without clearing it first with his boss? Not hardly!

And who is the boss of the top dog at the Jail? No doubt about that, either!

Watch for a follow-up article soon about telephone calls to the "outside world."


Debra said...

Stupid should apply to the dogooders that are donating these funds. What is wrong with them? Why not donate to an org that helps down on their luck people like homeless men, women and children? Stupid indeed!

whatmeworry? said...

As the 'real' Dirty Harry said- "I'm all broken up about that mans rights."

Gus said...

This effort happens to be one of the missions of the organization that is providing money to inmates.

Some of the nasty comments have been deleted. Further disrespectful comments will not be published.

Curious1 said...

So are you saying we need a Sheriff that treats jail less like a punishment and makes it more palatable to face incarceration for harming others?

Gus said...

Watch for more stories today.