We should all be concerned

Published 4:00 pm Saturday, October 22, 2022

What is concerning is that we’re not more concerned about the sad state of the Adams County Jail. Representatives from the National Institute of Corrections have paid a visit to Natchez this week to examine not just the jail, but all of the working parts of the criminal justice system for the region and offer suggestions on how it can improve.

They planned to do this at a community town hall meeting starting at 8 a.m. Friday at the Adams County Safe Room on Liberty Road. We feel that everyone should be concerned enough to attend, though we understand that not everyone is able to.

The NIC is a working arm of the United States Department of Justice that provides support not by financial means, but through professionals providing direct assistance to correctional services at the state and local levels.

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While we know it takes more than a week to correct problems that have been around for decades, the group has the experience to offer informed suggestions that may help.

Taxpayer dollars fund this service, just as they fund the jail.

Many have the attitude that the solution to crime in our community is to lock people away and never let them out, but when it comes to the jail Adams County Sheriff’s Office has little say in who comes and who goes. Some wait two years or more before they make it to trial. What happens when the prisons, both local and state, are overcrowded?

Karen Albert, who serves as a technical resource provider and instructor of the NIC, pointed out that the majority of those who are incarcerated will reenter society at some point.

The decisions that affect prisoners also affect everyone.

“The community needs to be a part of the decision-making,” Albert said.

We could not agree more.