This interesting piece of news points out the issues in some jail and prison systems in the United States. When they’re not up to standards, it’s truly not fair to keep people confined there for long sentences. A North Carolina man described his time in an ill-equipped local jail and was finally moved to a state penitentiary as a result.
He had been sentenced to nine years in prison for drunk driving. He was placed in a county jail in Brunswick, but that confinement was all he received. He didn’t get court-ordered substance abuse treatment, and he didn’t get to go outside at all during his time there.
North Carolina’s jails are not meant to house people for long periods of time. Instead, they’re intended for those waiting for trial or for those serving short sentences. Unfortunately, a state law requires misdemeanor sentences to be served in jails, no matter how long they are. DWI offenders are still charged with misdemeanors in many cases, meaning they could spend many years in jails not intended for long stays.
These jails have no or few drug or alcohol-treatment programs. Additionally, the jails may not offer job training or education. Many don’t have outside yards.
After finding out about the man’s situation, a judge signed an order to move him to prison, where he can get the substance abuse treatment not available at the local jail.
This is an important story for those spending time in jail or facing DWI charges. If you end up with a longer sentence, it is possible to be moved into a prison where you can get treatment, education and other support.
Source: The Marshall Project, “North Carolina Fixes a Glitch — For One Guy,” Joseph Neff, Jan. 29, 2018