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All in all, we just want residents’ safety first

Letter to the Editor

Last week, a rebuttal letter was published about concerns of NICI “convicts” (because they are all convicted of crimes) or offenders or inmates or clients or students or whatever the department is calling them now, caroling at a nursing home where my mother-in-law resides. There is some misinformation in this rebuttal.

The two law enforcement agencies notified were ICSO and Cottonwood PD in a fax sent of a list of inmate names on a work crew right before the “crew” left the institution. ISP and Grangeville PD were not notified.

The prison correctional staff (dedicated and respected people with whom I have worked) were supervising the crew throughout the trip and, I have no doubt, diligent and security minded. The inmates / convicts / offenders / clients / students went into residents’ rooms.

These residents have valuables out so they can use them or display them.

Some felon crew members have been known to appropriate items while on crews. Many items were stolen from the Kibbie Dome by minimum felon crews from (ICIO) inmate crews while I worked there, in just one instance. The dedicated employees cannot watch all the crew all the time, which makes the nursing home residents vulnerable.

If a person is convicted of grand theft, he is a thief, not a theft. Be it right or wrong, “grand” thieves were among the crew, along with sex offenders, child and wife abusers and substance abusers. Their crimes can’t be sensationalized enough when putting them among our loved ones. Anyone can request a list of these offenders and look them up on the Idaho Court Repository and see their current crimes are usually not their first, with some having lists going back years.

Correctional officers are underrated, underpaid people with whom we have the utmost admiration and respect. The retired warden, who wrote the rebuttal letter, saved lives in a college dorm when he subdued a knife wielding person and he is safety conscientious person, as are all correctional staff. All-in-all, we just want the safety of the residents first.

Pam Swearingen



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