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Letters to the Editor

Dec. 17

December 15, 2008, 12:00 am
By
Down Above
This reader disagrees very much with your film reviewer’s critique of Australia. Having visited Australia a number of times during the last 40-plus years, I think the film captures the time, land and especially the people magnificently. The film, I think, is to Australians what Gone with the Wind and Giant are to Americans. Fortunately, the old attitudes toward the aboriginal populations have largely changed since the ’70s, and advances in that area continue. But all in all, the film really captures Australia!
Waite Thompson
Santa Fe

From the inside
This week’s cover story raises issues about gender-specific services and staff preparedness in addressing the unique needs and challenges of women offenders. The author references a tour of the New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility that occurred nearly four years ago. The following, current information about NMWCF speaks directly to those issues.

Owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America, NMWCF is staffed by dedicated, trained corrections professionals who share a commitment with our customer, the New Mexico Corrections Department, to provide safe, secure housing for the state’s female offenders and meaningful opportunities for positive change.

As part of the 320-hour correctional training curricula, all new employees are required to complete 16 hours of “Gender-specific Trauma Informed Approach” training in our academy, which is certified by the state. Additionally, employees complete 40 hours of annual in-service training, including eight hours of refresher courses specific to these topics.

Our facility provides a wide range of programs and services, including academic, vocational, parenting and addictions programs as well as medical, mental health, religious, cultural and recreational services. We continue to work closely with the state on issues specific to female offenders to enhance the services provided to the women entrusted to our care.
Arlene Hickson
Warden, New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility

Prison politics
Have you ever noticed that inmates don’t write letters to the editor? That’s because they cannot receive newspapers or access e-mail. Prisons sever inmates from society and put them into isolation so they cannot be heard from. They cannot obtain paper/stamps/envelopes without purchasing them from the prison commissary, which requires money. What little money the families wire to their commissary accounts, the inmates use to buy Ramen noodles, since prison food is inedible mash unfit for dogs. To push for inmates’ rights and sane sentencing laws, support a nonprofit like Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Women Behind Bars or the Sentencing Project.
Elias Quintana
Santa Fe

Is how I treat ’em
In the fall of 2005 I, like Karla and Benito, was arrested and jailed by Santa Fe Police. I was 20 years old and charged with providing alcohol to minors (a felony in this state). I was thrown down, handcuffed and never, at any point, did a police officer answer my question: “Why are you doing this?” I spent FOUR days in jail, a delay which occurred because too many people were processed over that weekend. I could go on.

These police like to throw us down and arrest us. It is easy for them to do and, since we are drinking, we have no rights. Since the law is so broad, we have no rights.
Kids drink; it is no tragedy.

How about, instead of buying these men and women guns, we invest in sensitivity training. DRUNK KIDS GET SCARED WHEN COPS ACT WITH AGGRESSION. How are we supposed to not fight them when they fight us? I have never been in a fight in my life. I was thrown into a locker by a bully in sixth grade. Then, in the summer of 2005, a bully smashed my head into an end table. That bully was a Santa Fe police officer.
This isn’t CSF’s problem. This is Santa Fe’s problem. Fuck the police. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
Paul Collins
CSF Graduate

Ain’t so bad
Your recent article about CSF describes the college as one might describe the worst kind of frat house. This is a terribly inaccurate and over-exaggerated statement. While the piece might indeed be playing devil’s advocate between the students and police, the sheer bias of the article is disgusting, especially while in the midst of the school’s current financial crisis; your insensitivity is shocking. I’d imagine that you’d care more about the college than this.
Brad Baker
CSF Freshman

City spending
City Councilor Miguel Chavez states that the city will pay only $56,000 per acre for the 15 acres in the Northwest Quadrant that it plans to purchase from the Santa Fe Public Schools. He fails to note that, in addition to the $840,000 purchase price, the city is also giving the school district 10 acres near Buckman Road. Thus, the cost for the net acquisition of five acres is really $168,000 per acre.

By the councilor’s reckoning, this would be about half the price of nearby land. This is not a bad profit for a sale of land that the city originally gave to the schools.

I do not understand the cash-strapped city’s rush to purchase the land. If and when the entire parcel, including the school’s 15 acres, has been sold and a market price has been established, the city and the school district could prorate the proceeds.
Michael Gold
Santa Fe

Drunkard dilemma
The Northern New Mexico Hash House Harriers were offended to be mistaken as the vomiting culprits from Thanksgiving. Hashers hate to be blamed for alcohol abuse. At least our vomit would have followed a flour trail. The editors of the Reporter are welcome to take us on at a drinking contest to prove the point.

What you observed was the Santos rugby team on their annual Turkey Trot. You can tell the difference between Hashers and rugby players because 1) We aren’t vomiting 2) We are leaving with their women.

We were also not the Santas running around on Saturday, but we were on a zombie pub crawl on Halloween and you may see us in red dresses on Valentine’s Day.

Keep your holiday pub crawls in order!
Vanilla Gorilla
Northern New Mexico Hash House Harriers

 

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