An error in leadership ethics

Dear Editor:

As the mom of an inmate, I can tell you that my most poignant life experiences have occurred in the visiting rooms of correctional facilities. I’m usually at the entry gate early, so I have the opportunity to watch the faces of the children when they come through the visiting room door and run to their dads with smiles on their faces. The passion of that human experience is not definable.

The emotional pain these children and families experience when a dad, mother, son or daughter is put behind bars is a punishment on them as well as the offender. One cannot, with humanity, use as an excuse for this punishment “tough, the offender shouldn’t have offended.” In any realm it is amoral, but in the realm of the public administrator that amorality is beneath the dignity of the office. It is the duty of public administration to treat the public with respect.

Allowing a private corporation to enter the public domain to interfere with family connectedness is unconscionable not only to the family but to the offender whose recovery is at stake. That offender needs to be emotionally healthy when released back into the community.

I urge the public to disallow video corporations to be entrenched into our system of governance in such sensitive circumstances.

Your county commissioner needs to hear your protest or this grizzly private contract, which insists there be no contact visits, will be coming to your county jail soon if it is not there already.

Mary-Ellen Pecci


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