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Not possible to compare jails

Letter to The Editor
Midland Free Press
Oct.15, 2003

Mr. (Garfield) Dunlop never ceases to amaze me! His comments cited in the article, 'Possibility of public jail makes her smile,' are nothing short of ludicrous!

During his recent campaign, I watched him as he was interviewed on TV, and, once again, he said what wonderful things this American company has done for Penetanguishene and Simcoe County: specifically, the number of local jobs the jail provided. Sharon Dion is to be applauded for publicly correcting him on that little oversight - the jobs were going to be there regardless!

He was remiss in not telling the public that this company pays nothing in (business) taxes.

Dunlop says that after five years, the two jails (the other the publicly-run jail in Lindsay) will be compared. Compared to each other? CNCC (Penetanguishene) opened its doors in November, 2001, and CECC (Lindsay) did not start receiving prisoners until February, 2003.

Comparisons are made of things that are the same. That does not apply to these two jails. Had they both opened at the same time, and had the same inmate populations, then an objective comparison could have been made at the end of five years.

Let's look at what has happened at the jail, so far. Kathy Tuckey brought to the media's attention the (medical care) administered to her husband in February, 2002. The jail mistakenly released (an inmate) March 20, 2002. Sept. 19 of the same year, a riot broke out. Dr. Martin McNamara went public Feb. 28, 2003 with his concerns of the number of inmates, but more importantly, their condition, arriving at the hospital. March 4, 2003, homeowners living on the perimeter of the jail experienced extensive property damage due to sewage problems associated with the jail.

Now Dunlop says he's going to be watching the Liberals to make sure they keep their promises. And what were you watching, Garfield, when all of the above was going on? It speaks for itself.

Sharon Storring-Skillen
director, F.A.P.P.A.
(Families Against Private
Prisons, Abuse)

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