There’s a lot going on at the moment, so we’ll start with this —
Victims of alleged abuse in the Grand Traverse County Jail are making their voices heard. The only question is whether anyone is listening. Greg Hall made a Facebook page called “Abuse at the Grand Traverse County Jail.” In just a short period of time, there’s been no shortage of stories about denials of medication, safety concerns and inhumane treatment reported by former inmates at the facility.
A few things are disturbing – how consistent their stories are, for one. They all tell the same story. Mental health care is virtually non-existent, even though jail populations are known for mental health problems and jail is a very stressful time for anyone. In addition, even physical health care is grossly lacking. Inmates are left without very basic personal items. Their stories continue over a long period of time. This isn’t a one-day problem for the jail. It sounds like these problems have existed over the last decade.
The other thing that disturbs me is how many of the comments are – but so what, did they expect jail to be a picnic? We’re not talking about someone ordering the chicken and getting the fish. We’re talking about people dying for petty crimes. We’re talking about someone being arrested and then getting assaulted in jail because the person next to them never got their health care needs to be addressed. We’re talking about inmates administering first aid to other inmates because you’re never going to get it from the people who are supposed to give it to you. We’re not a country that cuts off someone’s hand for stealing. That’s the kind of mentality that we go to war against. Also, to the people who just say – keep your nose clean and you won’t have a problem — this is the same county where the cops refuse to use dash cams. If you think it can’t happen to you, you’re naive.
The Facebook page is a great way to give a voice to the voiceless. The only question is whether we as a community will care enough to act.
Page managers have also posted some good stuff about the Todd Ritter investigation. We’ll talk about that soon.