LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Inmates have basic human rights

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I could not believe what I was reading in the Sunday Union-Bulletin's Perspective section.

Under Walla Walla County Sheriff John A. Turner's special column to the U-B, "Sheriff's Office is saving local taxpayer's money," two of the headlines were in regard to inmates paying their own medical bills, not the taxpayer.

So, people of Walla Walla County: We are to jail - taking the person away from earning money at their jobs - and then bill them for their health care services? This is not right.

How are they supposed to pay? Does this not keep inmates from seeking medical assistance?

Sheriff Turner then goes on to say that after he bills the inmates, he is then free to purchase things such as pistols and gear. The inmates are people, too, with basic human rights that we must uphold.

At the end of his very lengthy column, he says, "The bottom line is this. No amount of political attacks and rhetoric will distract, dissuade, or deter me and our team from our vision of being one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the state, our mission of safeguarding the lives, property and rights of the people we are honored to serve, and our core values of honor, integrity, loyalty, courage, commitment, duty and fairness."

How fair is this to our citizens? Also, in my most humble opinion, Sheriff Turner ought to be more open to comments from the public, if he is to be a truly effective leader.

Sharon Schiller

Walla Walla

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