Comments by Wrench

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Posted on August 30 at 11:48 a.m.

I'm definitely concerned at the discrepancy between the SB News Press coverage on this issue and the Independent. It used to be that I could trust the Independent to be the critical, investigative, and skeptical source. These days, I have seen the Independent take authorities at their word and not bother to even conduct investigative work, for instance, by interviewing those inside the jail. There is a massive story of corruption, mistreatment and inhumanity in Santa Barbara County Jail that has yet to be broken. A death in incarceration; early morning searches and spraying people with cold water; confining people in disgusting solitary confinement conditions; repression against organizing and peaceful protest. Inmates and their families are so far doing ALL of the work, spending our valuable time away from work to expose the details of these issues to the public, while reporters pick through our public comments to build stories. It won't be long before somebody in this town does the work to break open the real story.

On Jail Mail Controversy Continues

Posted on August 30 at 11:42 a.m.

Hi Brandon,

Thanks for your story on the mail ban in the county jail. I noticed you included a correction that Kelly Hoover stated there is no limit on the size of postcards sent to inmates. I know this is the stated position of the jail, but I think it is incorrect to print this as fact. The jail administration has given contradictory information on this point for many months. The Sheriff stated in March that there would be no limit to postcards. After seeing dozens of postcards of varying sizes rejected, and information posted in the jail visitation area that stated that postcards would be limited to 3x5 inches, this was brought up again and the Sheriff told us this was "a mistake" and there would in fact be no size limit, he'd just miscommunicated this with his staff. However, postcards of many varying sizes are still being rejected and returned to sender with NO explanation as to why each postcard is rejected. There is no clear message on this. The confusion is perfectly demonstrated on the jail website, where the statement that "there is no size limit" co-exists on the same web page with a diagram explaining the postcard size limit (!). See for yourself:

The jail administration is making claims about their leniency but in practice these claims appear to be misleading, confusing, and deserving of deeper investigation than simply taking Kelly Hoover at her word.

This may seem like a minor issue, but in context, we're talking about people who have had their steady lifeline of letters from family drastically cut with no good justification. Letters serve an invaluable need: Reducing recidivism and strengthening our communities, while protecting the health and emotional well-being of incarcerated people.

Thank you for your work.

On Jail Mail Controversy Continues

Posted on March 8 at 8:21 a.m.

@skaterspoint - you want to stop gangs, but you want to limit incarcerated people's contact with the outside world so the only strong ties they can keep are with all the other people in jail?

And your concern is gangs, but you're happy to see all prisoners face harsh penalties, despite the large number of county jail inmates that are still awaiting trial and have not been convicted of a crime?

Even if you believe that people do not deserve letters from their families, don't the families still have rights to meaningful contact? Why further punish a child and deprive them of parental contact for the unrelated actions of their parent, who may or may not have even been convicted yet? Do you have any idea what the effect of incarceration is on families and how much reduced parental contact increases the chances of young people committing crimes themselves?

People who support this ban support it because they have dehumanized imprisoned people, and they have false beliefs about the efficacy of punishment and imprisonment.

On Return to Sender

Posted on March 8 at 1:21 a.m.

Right on. Drop the mail ban!

On Return to Sender

Posted on March 8 at 12:25 a.m.

A huge number of people incarcerated in county are awaiting sentencing. Why are we depriving people who have not been convicted of a crime of letters from their friends and family?

The job of the sheriff and jail staff is to guarantee both the security of inmates AND their full rights to meaningful communication. Taking away mail rights in the name of security is disgusting. It means the Sheriff is failing in his duty.

"Vindicated", tell your boy Bill hi for me. You're not fooling anyone.

On New Restrictions on Jail Mail

Posted on August 10 at 4:53 p.m.

*next campaign, that is.

On Chick-fil-A Debate Santa Barbara Style

Posted on August 10 at 4:52 p.m.

Come on liberals and democrats, wake up. I'm all for banning Chik-Fil-A for their homophobic bs, but seriously, you tolerate a lot worse every day, and even benefit from it, seemingly without a second thought. We tolerate Raytheon, the deportation of migrant folks, companies like ATK making depleted uranium weaponry, police harassment of homeless folks while buildings sit empty, the UC's involvement in the development and manufacture of military technology including nuclear weapons... you even accept the sponsorship of shady companies for your cushy elite events, pride fest, and political campaigns. Are these politicians really talking social justice or are they just jumping on a convenient issue to look self-righteous? Ban Chik-Fil-A but don't leave the war profiteers and military/police/surveillance and other shady corporations around to fund your next ga...

On Chick-fil-A Debate Santa Barbara Style

Posted on August 10 at 4:44 p.m.

No one should be put in a cage, especially for public art. If you don't like it paint over it; that's what graffiti is all about. People with the spine to make their surroundings look how they like while the rest of you just call the cops if your walls ain't nice, clean and boring.

On Police Arrest Three Suspected Graffiti Vandals

Posted on August 8 at 10:34 p.m.

You know people are wrong when they base their arguments around a single typo instead of substance.

On Chalk Body Outlines Appear on City Sidewalks

Posted on August 3 at 3:35 p.m.

The art was the work of participants in the Occupy Santa Barbara movement, acting in solidarity with Anaheim residents currently in struggle against the brutality of their local police, who recently shot an unarmed man in the back and the head, and when neighborhood residents met at a bbq to discuss a response, the Anaheim police arrived and shot the crowd (including small children) with rubber bullets and a police dog. Occupy Santa Barbara chalk artists also distributed literature calling for strong and democratic civilian oversight boards to punish rogue police, and for the organization of accountable, diverse and directly democratic neighborhood security forces as an alternative to traditional unaccountable government policing.

On Chalk Body Outlines Appear on City Sidewalks

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