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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Christmas Will Be ‘Normal’ Day For 220 in the County Prison

By Rick Racela

The number fluctuates daily, but some 220 persons will spend Christmas in the county prison here.
“Every one of them has a family, someone who loves ’em,” said Callinan.
There will be no visitation Christmas Day, although there normally is on a Sunday.
Callinan said family members indicated they preferred to visit Christmas Eve and spend Christmas Day with family “outside the environment of the jail.”
The environment makes little note of Christmas, said Harron.
“Jail issued stuff doesn’t work for decorations,” he said.
Nondenominational church services will be held, offered this year to men by Tabernacle United Methodist Church, to woman by Christ Gospel Church.
The day’s routine will be normal, but there will be a holiday meal, a turkey dinner served at lunchtime.
The prison population as of Nov. 30 was 172 male and 38 female.  The males included 102 white, 56 black, 14 Hispanic. The females included 23 white, 11 black, four Hispanic.
The county prison is only for prisoners sentenced to less than one year.
Noting that there is considerable overlap in charges, some 128 have been tried and convicted, but not yet sentenced.
Of some 120 facing municipal charges, some are imprisoned for contempt of court, which fre-quently means they failed to show up for trial.  Many are in for domestic violence, according to Callinan.
The list of statutes which prisoners are accused or convicted of violating totals 65, from shop-lifting to “threat to kill,” from possessing drugs to possessing burglar tools.
“There are some really sad cases,” said Callinan, “like someone convicted of drunk driving who can’t pay the fine.”
Some 5,000 persons pass through the prison in a year, the sheriff said.

Contact Zelnik at jzelnik@cmcherald.com

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