DEAR EDITOR:

Many states have released inmates due to the coronavirus. There are many in Floyd County Jail waiting hearings, which as we know are probably not going to be held until 2021. We have innocent people being held for months with the hopes of a speedy trial no longer a certainty.

Visitation has been banned and video conferencing is a joke. It freezes every 20 seconds and allows family members to actually speak for 5 seconds until it freezes once again. Yes I believe this is to deter family members from participating.

Inmates are not wearing masks inside the jail in the blocks. There is no way to allow the inmates social distancing. Many states have told their officers to reduce the number of arrests made while Floyd County continues arresting and booking misdemeanor charges.

We are putting these men and women in harm’s way, like playing Russian roulette. House arrest is effective and could be used for many of these inmates.

I believe the reason other options are not being imposed at the moment is money, the amount of money the county receives for housing each inmate. I am asking perhaps the newspaper look into this and bring awareness to the public and perhaps remind those who took an oath to serve and protect that it does not end when a person is incarcerated.

They are people who have loved ones who do not want to be told one day that that person has passed away due to the virus, when it is so preventable. Inmates have been told if they want to be tested to have a money order in the amount of $120 brought to the jail by a family member. Many do not have access to the funds so they do not get tested, possibly exposing many.

How many must test positive before there are changes made? The numbers of positive cases are only rising and will continue to do so.

Gerry A. Cassell

Rome

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