WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Prison, not jail, the place to rehabilitate low-level offenders

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North Carolina’s misdemeanor confinement program is clearly in violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

When you go on the N.C. Department of Public Safety website and look up my custody classification, it says minimum custody. I am being held at the Wilson County Detention Center, which is maximum security. I am currently serving a 36-month sentence for DWI/traffic offense.

I have no access to Alcoholics Anonymous treatment, very basic and little amount of medical treatment and no vocational programs. The Department of Public Safety and N.C. Community Corrections should be rehabilitating and correcting DWI offenders, not putting them in maximum-security facilities with no access to treatment.

How is it that felons, murderers, rapists and drug dealer offenders are being treated with more freedom and have access to more programs than low-level misdemeanor inmates?

Misdemeanor confinement inmates here at the Wilson County jail have no access to TV, radios or recreation but three hours a week. We also have to pay for clothing, which in prison is provided and issued to you by the state.

This clearly is not the way a civilized facility in the United States of America should be treating low-level misdemeanor offenders. Hopefully this information will get out to the right people to help this situation. Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.

Nashum Allen

Rocky Mount

Editor’s Note: The writer is a Wilson County Detention Center inmate serving an active sentence for aggravated driving while impaired Level 1 under the N.C. Misdemeanant Confinement Program, which reimburses counties for housing state inmates.

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