Editor, Times-Union:

A recent letter to the editor accused Republican sheriff candidate Jim Smith of having a plan that consists only of “cracking down and applying more force” to inmates in the Kosciusko County Jail. First of all, that is not true. Jim Smith has been very clear about his desire to help drug-addicted inmates who are serious about their recovery by continuing and expanding the Jail Chemical Addiction Program, so his plan is not simply about brute force.

But more importantly, restoring law and order in the jail is a necessary and compassionate thing for the inmates themselves. When the authorities in a jail are lax, when damages to the jail are tolerated, then the results are inevitable: The strong inmates prey on and harm the weak.  When drugs flow freely through the cell blocks, the results are predictable: violence, drug overdoses and even deaths.  No jail is pleasant, and families will always worry about their loved ones who are incarcerated, but no family should worry that a loved one is going to die in the jail of a drug overdose. That is a concern we should all work toward eliminating.

Jim Smith has a compassionate heart for people in jail, much like our current and former sheriffs in this county.  But he knows that inmates in his care won’t be safe unless there is law and order throughout the entire facility.  Cracking down on the troublemakers and reestablishing the sheriff’s authority are necessary to make that happen. Vote for Republican Jim Smith on November 8.

Dena Fiorucci

Claypool, via email