Letters From OC Weekly Readers
GIVE 'EM A HAND
Those photos are awesome [Michelle Woo's "Handball Wizard," Jan. 28]. I always thought when I was out running that no one ever used handball courts. That's cool that there's a whole community developed around handball culture. Better than having kids run around, looking for mischief.
Theotheragentm, via ocweekly.com
THE BEAT GOES ON
I find this article and the whole situation that took place very disturbing [Nick Schou's "'Images I Will Never Forget,'" Jan. 28]. First, I highly doubt John Chamberlain stood up and said, "I like children that are undeveloped." Who would say that after getting the shit kicked out of 'em?! Why would he instigate? And if the Orange County district attorney is not filing charges against former Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Taylor, then it just goes to show how corrupt this county is becoming. I think child molesters are disgusting and deserve to be locked up for good, but Taylor needs to be right there with 'em for ordering the hit. Fuck you, Kevin Taylor!
Clawy, via ocweekly.com
What a bunch of loser scum. Lock all of them up for life, including the low- and high-level staff who can be implicated. Thanks, OC Weekly, for staying on top of this.
Scumtracker, via ocweekly.com
MORE INMATE OUTRAGE
I read your article [Nick Schou's "Who'll Stop the Pain?" Jan. 21]. It really touched me personally. From Dec. 31, 2009, to Jan. 5, 2010, I was an inmate at OC Women's Jail in Santa Ana. I was arrested for shoplifting and was very strung out on Suboxone. In the loop, I was examined by psychiatrists and nurses. I admitted to feeling suicidal. I was also very tearful and afraid, never having been in jail. I was put in one of those tearaway jumpers (if you can even call it a jumper; it's more like a sheath—it doesn't cover much) and into a solitary cell, where I detoxed from Suboxone (the detox is similar to "kicking" heroin) for 24 or 36 hours before being seen by another psych doctor. I then lied and said I no longer felt suicidal because I was freezing and wanted clothes and a blanket. All that said, I eventually got my clothes and a blanket and out of solitary amd into the medical area and was given medication to assist with the detox, as well as routine vital signs for a few days. When I read the article, it really saddened me that Michelle Gee had to die; I believe her death could have been prevented. I would like to offer her mom any support she may need and, of course, my deepest condolences. If it weren't for the jail staff's assistance with me, I most likely would not be alive, either. Thank you for writing the article.
Laura, via e-mail
Please accept my warm compliments on your article on the prison system of Orange County. The subject lives, so to speak, right next door to all of us in Orange County, and yet few of us could direct an inquirer to the location of any jail or prison in town. Administratively and otherwise, the subject is clearly complicated, and you kept track of the complication by giving us a glimpse at the appalling number of deaths from "unexplained causes" while in prison custody. Whatever the explanation, this is a situation that commands attention, and you and the Weekly have led the way in giving it that attention.
Anonymous, via e-mail
Sadly, even after the remodel and "reform," which took place after the beating of John Derek Chamberlain, there are still many blind spots in the Theo Lacy facility. Beatings still occur regularly, and the correctional officers still appoint and encourage "shot-callers" for each race within a barracks, encouraging an inmate hierarchy. The inmates are not allowed to go to bed until at least 10 p.m., and often breakfast is at 4 a.m. There is no exercise allowed of any sort, which provides no relief of any pent-up tension. Medical requests often take three days to even be called in to answer questions while the inmates are accused of lying about their needs.
Along with Michelle Gee, there are many addicts and nonviolent offenders placed with violent people, some of whom are awaiting a transfer to prison, although this, too, is the fault of the judges and DAs who refuse to offer treatment as an alternate sentence and want to see "time served."
Thank you for an article that attempts to expose the inside of the OC jail system, although I sadly doubt anything will change unless there is another great exposure such as Mike Carona's situation—of course, he's now going to summer camp in Colorado. I say send that guy to Pelican Bay where he belongs. Better yet, put him in the OC jail to show him what a great place he oversaw. He'd really get a taste of his own medicine then.
Shaniqua Donk, via ocweekly.com
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