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Thursday, June 25, 2009 07:37 am

Letters to the Editor 06/25/09


Tamms inmate Damien Terry is “cuffed up” by correctional officer Lt. Robert DuBois, right, before he is taken from his holding cell.

The June 18 article by Dusty Rhodes, “Tougher than Guantanamo” about the state prison at Tamms was well presented and was an interesting read. However, there is a much larger issue that should be considered in this discussion.

I think the recidivism rate for those few individuals who find themselves institutionalized for social deviance would significantly decrease if the prison experience was what it really should be — punishment! Let’s be honest here, the notion that institutionalizing social misfits as a process of rehabilitating them to fit acceptable social norms is an exaggerated myth. The facts speak for themselves — the national recidivism rate for released offenders hovers around 67 percent within three years of release.

If all prisons were organized like Tamms, perhaps offenders would prefer to comply with acceptable social standards and norms rather than endure the harsh environment of incarceration that was portrayed in this article. But we should also note that Tamms is reserved for those offenders who cannot obey the liberal rules of our basic prison system.

Prison should be so inhospitable and intolerable that no one in their right mind would want to be there. So instead of providing incarcerated offenders with cable TV, recreation facilities and plenty of socially redeeming reading material — provide them some time to think about the victims of their crimes and the real values of freedom. It’s prison — not a vacation!

Mark W. Lipe

The state of Illinois is currently suffering a budget deficit as so many of the other states of the union are. Our legislators, for whatever reason, are dragging their feet on dealing with this most serious issue.

 As a citizen of this state, I feel I have a responsibility to step up to the plate and do what is necessary to keep the state in business. For this reason, I am certainly willing to accept a tax increase if it means maintenance of services.

By the same token, I believe that our legislators also need to step up to the plate and look at how we do business in this state. Why is it that we have two seats of government in Illinois — two sets of administration offices managing the state agencies? There are administrative offices in Springfield, which is where the administration of our state services belongs, and there is a set of administrative offices in Chicago (most notably The Thompson Center). Why are we spending money to keep two identical functions in place? Let’s put state government back where it belongs — in the state capital — and save ourselves the enormous expense of maintaining a duplicate effort in Chicago.

Thomas D. Wagen, Sr.

I cannot believe what the thieving insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are doing to the citizens of this country. I have insurance and yesterday I got a bill for $5,000 because the insurance company is slow at paying. The doctor’s office is going to charge me 29 percent interest. Today I went to pick up my medication. I was informed that as of July 1 I will have to pay $75 instead $50 on medication. They tell me my insurance is good. The insurance company gets to tell my doctor what I need. Or I can do without because I can’t afford to go to the doctor, and most won’t take you without insurance.

They allow insurance companies to pay minimum wage to people who review and approve
or deny claims, but they run ads to scare you saying you don’t
want the government having its hand in your health care. I’m highly insulted by this tactic. I was a government employee and most of my friends and some of my family were and are government employees. If people would rather have someone paid by an insurance company to deny their claims instead of the people I know that are government employees reviewing them, something is wrong.

Yes I want the government in my health care because, though it may have faults, I love and trust it. Anyone who doesn’t is an anti-American.

Nancy Long

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