Is it just me or does that little stretch of road in Western Delaware County where incarceration is king always seem to be in the news?
The Glen Mills reform school saga is sad enough as it took the Philadelphia Inquirer to uncover years of abuse and cover ups which has led to staff calling it quits, kids being sent back to the where they came from, and a lot of spin from the inside.
The Delaware County Prison, just a mile away, appear to be two different facilities depending on who you listen to. Delaware County Council continually squawks that it’s run like a well oiled machine while Delaware County Council harps that the county can manage it better without the financial incentives enjoyed by the private firm running it now.
Unfortunately, Delaware County Council can’t agree with itself and as a result we get to read these confusing articles in the Delaware County Daily Times how these elected adults justify which side they take on the prison management issue.
County Council get to visit the prisons whenever they please. County Council get to review the same reports when they become available. But County Council always come to starkly different conclusions with itself.
The deciding factor for me would be to hear from the inmates who have spent a little time there. I sort of understand why no one took the boys seriously who spoke out at Glen Mills because we can always say they’re just boys and don’t know any better. But at Delaware County Prison we’re dealing with grown adults – with a few unfortunate juveniles thrown in.
Obviously, inmates are in a bad position to give a bad report for fear of retaliation, but if conditions are as good as County Council says, I’m sure there would be plenty of inmates who would be willing to corroborate. Ex-inmates probably would provide the most unbiased review of their time at the county prison and there’s got to be thousands of them around to talk to.
I wish our County Council wouldn’t make it so hard for us to support County Council and their decision on who should run the prison. Hearing from the prisoners can help break the tie.