Story Archive

Cutting the Red Tape in Bulk

When three correctional officers allegedly beat a mentally ill inmate to death in the Santa Clara County, Calif., jail, the incident exposed gaps in the jail’s surveillance system. The county developed a plan to upgrade it — over two years at a cost of up to $20 million. Sheriff Laurie Smith came up with her own plan: she went to Costco and bought 12 cameras on her personal credit card for $761.24, and had a county work crew install them. She expected to be reimbursed for the interim solution, but didn’t expect the cameras to catch a fight between rival inmate groups less than 24 hours after they were installed. Now, the county is following Smith’s example and buying 12 more cheap camera systems until the complete, advanced system can be purchased and installed. Julio Alvarez, acting president of the correctional officers union, is a fan of the cameras, but not of Smith’s “unilateral” action because “it hurts morale.” (MS/San Jose Mercury News) ...Complaints should be lodged through the county, and will be answered in two years.
Original Publication Date: 10 April 2016
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

Is There a Problem on This Page? Let Me Know using the Help button lower right, and thanks.

I believe humanity is held back by the lack of thinking. I provoke thought with examples of what happens when we don’t think, and when we do. This is True is my primary method: stories like this come out every week by email, and basic subscriptions are free. Click here for a subscribe form.

Previous: The ABCs of DUI

Search for: