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Letter: Is prison really safest place during COVID-19?

I’m a violent criminal safely locked away in my prison cell. So, please relax Mr. Alan Gillmour. I would, however, like to respond to his letter in the Salisbury Post published May 17 (“Why let out prisoners for virus”).

You are vehement in your opinion but seem to have very little information on the subject of prisoners being released due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal prisons have released only half of 1% of their prisoners. Then, only non-violent inmates who were set to get out very soon.

I would like to ask a few questions. Do you really believe that a prison is the safest place to be during a pandemic as you state in your letter? I don’t understand your logic. What caused you to think this?

Now, I know for a fact that federal or state officials don’t just let people out of prison for early for no good reason. Just to be clear, I’m not arguing for the competence of any prison official. I’m just stating a known fact. It’s not my intent to disparage or be insulting in any way. Although, I took offense at your saying that those being released would be just another mouth to feed for some good, decent person. Not to say that couldn’t be the situation of a few, but it’s deplorable to demean these people you don’t know or know anything about.

I’m very sure that most of these people will be welcomed home with open arms by their loved ones. I say God bless them and their families. I also pray they don’t return to this institution of human suffering.

I would like to end this letter with a quote from an old convict. Any fool can point out a problem, but a wise man will always also offer a solution.

— Robert Rainey

Mountain View Correctional Institution, Spruce Pine

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