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Letters to the Editor

February 11, 2009

How to end contraband



To the editor:

As a correctional officer, I would like to express my thoughts and those of fellow officers I have talked with regarding these alleged criminals in our ranks. We hold those who break the law in total contempt.

They endanger the public, cause public distrust, and, closer to home, endanger each officer at institutions in the state by loss of respect from inmates who then begin to believe all officers are like those who commit these crimes.

We are not armed, we walk among hundreds of inmates at times, many times with just a few officers present and respect is important. The problem, as I see it and those I have discussed it with, is the state doesn't seem to prosecute all these criminals - and they are criminals.

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Whether administrative staff, medical staff or custody staff (officers are custody staff) most are allowed to resign, retire, or quit. None have gone to jail. Send them to jail! Ask the judges to accept no plea bargains, no resignations and no retirements. If they do go to trial, ask for the maximum sentence - period! A few three- to 10-year sentences would be a deterrent; the current policy is not working.

I don't like having to pass through a metal detector, have my bags checked, my food checked, maybe stripped searched, not allowed to bring in what I want to eat for my meals - but to work it has to be done to all those entering the institutions and when drugs and tobacco are found, please prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

Tom Mooningham
Hagerstown




Bush didn't turn his back



To the editor:

On Jan. 15, your pages carried a complaint from the Philadelphia Inquirer that former President George W. Bush had slighted incoming President Barack Obama by not permitting him and his family to move into Blair House a few days early.

To the contrary, more objective observers have reported former President Bush went out of his way at least twice to assist his successor in two more significant actions. First, Bush endorsed several of the additional congressional "bailout" provisions as requested by the incoming president.

Also, Bush ordered the Justice Department to arrest and announce charges against Illinois Gov. Blagojevich while phone tap stings were still under way. No one knows what continued phone taps might have revealed, but this was clearly a step to prevent further public embarrassment to our new president and key staff members.

David L. Woods
Hedgesville, W.Va.

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