Monday, January 6, 2014

Open Letter to Sheriff Nygren and Undersheriff Zinke

Dear Sheriff Nygren and Undersheriff Zinke,

I am writing to ask you to provide corrected information to the Northwest Herald regarding the security breach at the McHenry County Jail on December 21, 2013.

The Northwest Herald article posted on Friday, January 3, 2014, stated that the breach was "About 6 p.m. Saturday...", confusing and misleading readers to believe the breach was on the previous Saturday, December 28. As you know, it occurred on December 21.

Please clarify for readers that there have been locking problems with the door between the men's and women's sections for years, perhaps more than 5-10 years. Why would the door have to be "slammed"? Why wasn't the door repaired?

Please clarify that the door was not for use only in emergencies. Jail administration have allowed jailers to use that door on a regular basis.

Please clarify the reporter's sentence, "All correctional officers were required to attend mandatory security training." Does it mean that all COs have been required to attend mandatory security training since the breach, or only that they were all required at some time after hiring to attend such training?

Did you have anything to do with the decision by the Northwest Herald management or editors to remove the Comment Box below the jail-breach article? Did you ask them to remove the Comment Box or suggest its removal? Will you ask them to restore the Comment Box?

Please provide the Northwest Herald with the correct time of the first notification to a guard that a male inmate was in the female inmate section and the time that guards arrived at the female's cell to remove him.

How will this very serious breach affect the jail's accreditation with the American Correctional Association and the housing of prisoners and detainees by the Federal Marshals and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agencies?

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