Regarding “Sheriff’s Office touts advantages of video visits at Durham County Jail” (Sep. 5): For people accused of crimes, it doesn’t always feel like folks are innocent until proven guilty. Quite often, the treatment in county jails where people await trial is far worse and dehumanizing than the treatment people receive in prison after being convicted.
I spent over eight and a half years “behind the wall,” as we say. I have seen the inside of county jails and federal penitentiaries alike, and I live with my memories of being locked up every day. When I read about the Durham County Jail starting video visitation, I thought about the last time I saw my father alive. It was through a glitchy computer monitor during a video visit.
While Durham County is keeping in-person visits for now, other county jails like Wake and Brunswick only allow video visitation. That’s the worst thing you can do for someone behind the wall and for their families. Cutting off face-to-face contact – even if there’s a piece of glass to speak through – removes people’s connection to the outside world and their hope for a better life. Durham County officials must strongly oppose any efforts to reduce in-person visits now that video visitation is available.
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UNC Center ban ‘political’
Regarding “UNC board bans legal action at civil rights center” (Sep. 8): So the UNC Boad of Governors is stopping law students from practicing the subject matter they are trying to learn because they think that they will only learn in the classroom. Oh so brilliant leaders, what is next? No more clinical practice for those studying medicine or dentistry? No more requirements for student teaching? What is wrong with your thinking?
Oh yes, I forgot. These students were practicing using cases against the Republican Legislature that appointed you. Stupid me. This is all political and not about quality education.
DACA decision ‘immoral’
Regarding “DACA is being rescinded with ‘wind down’ period” (Sep. 5): President Trump has ended the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a policy that protected immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation and authorized them to work in the United States. The U.S. Justice Department issued a statement endorsing the administration’s action.
The actions of the administration are scrutinized and analyzed legally, politically, but seldom morally. It is immoral to place 800,000 children who have known America as their only home on the enormously anxiety-ridden road to possible deportation. This is unacceptable and sinful, as many of the victims are minors and children. We need to pay attention to the moral implications of our acts.
Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, UNC School of Medicine