To the editor:
After having read and experienced firsthand many ongoing issues at the DeKalb County Jail, I feel inclined to write to the editor on the reality of the situation. I may be one voice, but if I can make a difference, I will utilize that pull to the best of my ability.
In reference to the article on the issues addressed on the county commissioners day, two-thirds of the article is spent talking about "tacky" carpet, "depressing" wallpaper, and a new $2,000 table for the courthouse. A third of the article is spent on the flooded jail and doesn’t even address the sickening reality of the situation. It basically says there were "plumbing issues." As an inmate of the jail, I experienced this firsthand. To put this in perspective (for those who hopefully never find themselves in trouble, but if so, would never have to experience the incorrigible conditions many others and myself have), I was in a cell with five women, three of which were lying on the floor on a mat with sewage water leaking in. The cells are made to house two inmates. Being overcrowded, with three on the floor, one girl was partially underneath the toilet in which we all had to share. I won't go further into detail because the visual of that combined with unsanitary sitting sewage water that women were literally LYING in is enough. But may it suffice to say that by no means covers the entirety of the “plumbing issues" the inmates of the jail actually experience. Sadly, it comes as no surprise to me how, no pun intended, "watered down" the version in the newspaper was.
On top of this, in reference to the comment made by John Ireland, the husband of Angie Ireland (the DeKalb County Jail captain) on how, “All inmates that have been found guilty should die. This would help society thrive."
I think it goes without saying that all lives matter. I also think it's fairly safe to say most people have either been in trouble at one point in their lives or know someone that has. Now that I'm one of "them" I have a different view. I've met some genuinely nice, caring and responsible people who are "serving time." Many inmates are also well-educated and, like me, have never before had to serve a sentence in jail and also never want to return. While most of their friends are law-abiding citizens, I for one feel I am paying dearly for the mistake I made.
There was also a man found "guilty" who did 19 years in prison, that went on to become the president of a new, free republic. His name is Nelson Mandela. And while this is only one of the countless examples of good coming from "guilty," what I really think would help society thrive would be to do without the close-minded and ignorant comments so carelessly thrown out on a post on social media by someone who has worked directly with this population on a death in Kosciusko County Jail. That individual was a person with family and friends that loved and cared about him.
So, I beg people to think, how would you treat people or want them to be treated if circumstances were different? Would you care more? And to Jason Ireland, I wonder if he'd be saying the same thing or demand better conditions if that anonymous inmate were his mother.
Food for thought from DCJ.
Amanda Lynn Bok
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sheriff David Cserep said jail officials have received a quote of $32,000 for plumbing repairs and are “cautiously optimistic that this will come in on budget or under budget and fix the problem.”