Letter: Problems at jail are obvious

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I have a few observations about the April 12 story “Report on needed upgrades to Clark County Jail: Big investment required,” and the $300,000 the county spent on a study of the jail facility. Any of the inmates would have been happy to volunteer information regarding overcrowding and faulty mechanical systems.

One way in which overcrowding might immediately be addressed is for Vancouver police to stop targeting the homeless. As it is, the jail serves as a de facto homeless shelter.

While county council Chair Marc Boldt is busy considering the “mental health can,” I hope he factors in the mental health of jail employees. I’ve witnessed and been the recipient of abuse by sadistic, out-of-control guards. A simple MMPI screening may eliminate many of these at-risk employees before they create a liability for the county.

Also, the inmate handbook is so riddled with spelling and grammatical errors that, frankly, I’d be embarrassed to sign my name as author. In view of what was spent on the study, I think $5,000 is a reasonable fee to make it presentable. Unless, of course, it’s no problem to represent the CCSO’s office as a bunch of illiterate hillbillies.