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March 23, 2007


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I read with interest your article. You have viewed this mess through the inmates' eyes. I view it with the eyes of a wife of a corrections officer. My husband has been pelted with fecses, urine, been assaulted with fists, and if that isn't enough, because he has many years in the Corrections system, he is now being harassed by shift command to force him out of his position. There are incidents of C/Os abuse of inmates. However, the abuse of the officers FAR outweigh the former.
These people have been locked up for a reason--they have broken the law. Prison was instituted to be punitive, not rehabilitative. To a reasonable person, if you don't like being in prison, there is one viable alternative--don't go back! Our illustrious governor has cut wages and benefits, is releasing offenders, some violent, in a quick-fix remedy to budget deficits. Again, to a reasonable person, this makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE! The only people suffering are the innocent victims of these offenders as soon as they are released. The prison system needs to be overhauled. But, what is needed is the guts to treat prisoners as prisoners, and not give them more rights than the officers guarding them.

Patricia Caruso is responsible for the deaths of many mentally ill patients and callously smirks at their deaths. Her evil has, thankfully, been outed by 60 Minutes. I look forward to her firing. Michigan taxpayers will be paying for her hatred for a long time in the form of lawsuits won by the families of those she has let be killed.

Surely there will be karmic payback for the evil Ms. Caruso, either on this earth or, if that fails, in hell.

I have worked as a contract employee for the Department of Corrections and I have several family members and friends who work for the DOC. I also have a son who is incarcerated in the system. I unfortunately have the unique perspective of seeing this situation from all angles. Yes, people who are incarcerated need rights. Too many correction officers are not professional and live to geek the incarcerated into a frenzy for their own entertainment. I have seen this on many occasions. Prisoners who are whistle-blowers get tormented by staff. I have found that the guards who are fair and consistent do not have problems with getting feces, urine, etc, thrown on them. I only experienced a situation once, while I worked with the DOC. None of my family members have had problems such as the above mentioned. Either they are lucky or they don't torment the people incarcerated. I have heard racist remarks, seen people taunted, deprived care, their food spit in, etc. Two wrongs do not make a right. When you cross that line to where you are setting the incarcerated up, spitting in their food, etc. You need to quit your job. The staff always need to be mindful that they are supposed to be role models. Yes, prison should be about punishment and it should also be about rehabilitation. I don't want my tax money going to support the Michigan Prison Cottage Industry to keep people employed. That is what it has turned out to be. No, I do not like the ideas of guards being hurt, spat on , etc. I also do not like the idea of people who are incarcerated dying in Michigan prisons. We need to get Prison reform on the Nation's radar. This should be done for moral reasons alone, but if morality cannot come into play, then something that hits home with most people, your wallet. Way too much money is spent housing people who could be given alternative forms of punishment. Too many people who are mentally ill are being locked up because there is no place else for them. This is a moral problem our State faces, as well as the rest of the Nation. To blame this all on one person is not helpful. It is everyone who allows this to go on. I urge everyone to make prison reform a top priority. Our staff need to be kept safe in Michigan prisons as well as the people who are housed in them.

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