Friday, February 06, 2009

Letting the Punishment Fit the Crime

The inmates of the Prince George’s County (MD) jail rioted Sunday, disabling the locks on their cell doors and beating up the guards because they were prevented from watching the Super Bowl on television due to a lockdown. This alone makes one wonder how there could be a lockdown when the inmates obviously have the ability to disengage the locks, but that may be something for law enforcement professionals to debate.

Here’s what gets me, from today’s Washington Post article:

Vernon Herron, the county's director of public safety, said he thinks the cell lock problem is limited to the unit where Sunday's disturbance occurred. He said the locks for the 48 cells in that unit, where inmates accused of violent crimes are housed, will be inspected and replaced if necessary.

So they’re going to inspect them now; ongoing inspections of the locks in the Violent Crimes wing haven’t been on the radar previously. Apparently PG County makes damn sure shoplifters and pot smokers have secure locks on their cells; violent offenders can come and go as they please.

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