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Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Sheriff Maketa Banning Mail?

This is really bad idea there are plenty of people who are in jail who can't afford to make phone calls or who have loved ones who can't visit. We know that maintaining strong ties to family and community is the best way to keep recidivism rates down. I hope that Sheriff Maketa doesn't choose to follow this path...

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa is either making jail a less pleasant experience, or, as his critics charge, he needs a new role model.

Earlier this year, Maketa emulated Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., by moving inmates from his crowded jail into giant tents.

Following in Arpaio’s footsteps again, Maketa said he is “exploring the possibility” of banning letters, packages and magazines to inmates at the county jail, allowing them to receive and send only postcards.

“They can still communicate. They’re just going to have to do it on postcards,” Maketa said.

“If it’s private, maybe they ought to have that conversation over the phone or during visitation.”

If enacted, it would be the first such ban in Colorado.

Arpaio did the same thing last month, though Maketa said he wasn’t aware of that.

Maketa said the volume of mail coming into the jail, 500 pieces a week and jumping to 650 between Thanksgiving and Christmas, overwhelms the employees, one full time and one part time, who screen it. During high-volume times, reinforcements have to be brought in to handle it.

They open sealed envelopes to check for drugs and other contraband and remove the stamp and glue, because people try to hide drugs there, Maketa said.

The letters can be read — and deputies can monitor inmates’ phone conversations and video visitations — if officials have a security concern.

“When you’re in jail, your expectation of privacy should be limited,” Maketa said.

If magazines were banned, he said, some would be made available for purchase in the jail commissary.

He acknowledged that inmates would have less privacy, and that they would no longer be able to receive photos and other items from outside the jail.

Sealed mail from attorneys would continue to be forwarded unread to inmates, Maketa said.

Maketa, who raised the idea of banning letters at an El Paso County Commissioners meeting Thursday, said that he thinks it’s legal to ban letters and that it would save the sheriff’s office money.

His opinion, however, wasn’t shared by a prisoner advocacy group and the American Civil Liberties Union, which said it would be an unfair and possibly illegal restriction on inmates’ communication.

Mike Dell, a board member of prisoner advocacy group Colorado CURE, said letters from home are often an inmate’s only way to get support and information to help in their defense.

“One of the reasons a lot of guys do their time successfully is because their family is supporting them,” Dell said. The space and privacy concerns of using postcards would limit that, he said.

He questioned whether other controversial Arpaio measures, including chain gangs and mandatory pink underwear, are next.

“I think the sheriff of El Paso County needs to find a role model other than the sheriff of Maricopa County,” said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the Colorado ACLU, who called Maketa’s proposal a possible freedom of speech violation.

“Inmates have a First Amendment right to communicate with friends, family and anyone else, including government officials,” Silverstein said. “They have a right to do that in traditional letters that are sealed and private.


Read the Article Here

4 comments:

djwolff@diamondcity.net said...

The sherrif messing with prisoner mail needs to be replaced. I would suggest sending him to Iraq.
To waste time cutting postage stamps from envelopes and scraping the glue off the seal shows the man has lost his marbles. DJ

bobhargis said...

This is outrageous. It costs about $8.00 for a 15 minute phone call and most people have to travel 4+ hours to visit a loved on in prison.

This virtually cuts these people off from the outside world. Makes me wonder what this man has to hide.

The next thing that he will probably decide is that it is too much trouble to process prisoners as well and will call for a gas chamber to be built.

How does this man get away with this?

Anonymous said...

And we live in a democratic place(where)? What about the freedom of speech?It is bad when we treat our inmates worse than they treat dogs in a animal shelter! Now we have one idiot trying to be like Hitler! The letters that go in and out of jails and prisons are read anyway so why the need for postcards anyway?This guy needs to be locked up and see how it feels to loose his basic rights as a person and mabe he would have a change of attitude!

Anonymous said...

說起這位明英宗朱祁鎮 真是好有一比:在北京高峰時酒店經紀段開車:生不完的氣。

先說年號問題,明朝皇帝在位時間再長, 酒店兼差年號也只有一個,惟獨他特殊,在位總共不過十五年,年號卻有兩個,前一個叫正統,後一個叫天順。倒不是因為他非要搞特權,兩個年號之間, 禮服店是由一大堆可氣的事串起來的。

先說正統朝,差不多是地球酒店打工人都知道的,這麼多的忠良幹才他不信任,偏寵信一個教書先生出身的太監王振, 一幹閹党把國家禍害得烏煙瘴氣。後來瓦剌犯邊,忠臣良將的苦勸不聽,偏聽死太監攛掇,非要御駕親徵, 合法酒店經紀帶著幾十萬人牛氣哄哄出了長城,按說既然親徵你就好好 打啊,他不,走到半道又後悔了,連敵人影 酒店工作都沒見著就撤兵,撤兵麼撤得快點啊,跑還沒跑成,讓人家圍在土木堡包了餃子,稀裏糊塗一場 酒店上班混戰,幾十萬大軍全死 光,連本人也當了俘虜。丟人到如此,實在可氣。

英宗被抓到蒙古高原上去啃生羊肉了, 酒店兼職爛賬總要有人收拾。皇帝讓人綁了,敵人打到家門口了,總不成學宋朝 來個衣冠南渡吧!還好喝酒 有他親弟弟給他收拾,弟弟朱祁鈺繼承帝位,改年號為景泰,可氣的正統朝總算結束了。景泰帝信用 酒店PT良臣于謙,成功組織北京保衛戰打垮敵 人,再運用外交壓力,逼得酒店喝酒 瓦剌把英宗放回來當太上皇,總算不用學宋徽宗那樣客死他鄉。折騰半天,祖宗江山差點丟了不說 禮服酒店,皇位也折騰沒了。這樣的鬧劇,怪不 得別人。

雖是傻事敗事一籮筐,但傻人總算有傻福,雖說皇位沒了, 台北酒店經紀命還是保住了,回來舒舒服服過太上皇的日子倒也 不交際應酬 錯,可他不消停,拉幫結派培植私人勢力,幾年後趁著弟弟病重搞了場“奪門之變”。奪粉味 回了皇位不說,上臺第一件事就是殺掉了功臣于謙。並把當初北京保衛戰 的功臣們來了個大清洗,掌握朝政大權的都是徐有貞、石亨、曹吉祥等一幫姦險小人。雖然過了沒幾年,這幾個人也被明英宗清算,下獄的下獄(石亨),充軍的充 軍(徐有貞) 寒假打工,被殺的被殺(曹吉祥),可明朝的政治氣象,還是一片烏煙瘴氣。

皇位奪回來了,自然就要改年號。於是,明英宗 兼差改年號為天順。從正統年到天順年,打敗仗,殺忠良,寵小人,亂國家,儘是他辦的敗事, 酒店小姐每每讀史到此,不知有多少人氣得 酒店公關直哆嗦。

可正統朝的事畢竟年頭遠了,真正給後 暑假打工世攢下麻煩的,是天順朝。

“天順”麼,按字面意思,自然有風調雨順的意思。 打工從這個意義上說,“天順”朝時代的明朝,運氣還真不 壞,別的且不說,單說綁過明英宗票的瓦剌,那在土木堡創下台北酒店經紀擊敗明朝幾十萬大軍,活捉明朝皇帝偉業的瓦剌首領也先,沒死在大對頭明朝手裏,倒在內戰中被一刀 砍死。到了天順朝時期,瓦剌又和鄰居韃靼打個不停,因此,雖然少了良將於謙,但終天順一朝的邊 酒店境形勢,還算是太平無事。