A liberal Wisconsin sheriff has announced that he will begin referring to inmates as “residents” or “those within our care” to reduce stigma and treat the convicts with “dignity, respect, and humanity.”
Sheriff Kalvin Barrett, who is seeking reelection next year, said that it won’t be mandatory for Dane County jail staff to use the new terms at this time, but they are working on changing the official policy.
“I view this change in name as a way to humanize those who are within our care,” the lawman explained at a press conference outside the Public Safety Building in Madison. “The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is a national leader in appropriate progressive reform, and many follow our lead,” he added.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Barrett said he met with a group of former inmates who are part of a program at Madison nonprofit Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, who told him that being called “inmates” or “convicts” increases stigma against them and makes it harder to integrate back into society upon release.
Barrett said he believes his changes are a “small step” to help reduce recidivism.
Call the Jail the ‘Dane County Residence Inn’
Name Sheriff Kalvin Barrett the ‘Property Manager’ & the Sheriff’s Department the ‘Dane County Leasing Office’
Change the Word ‘Bail’ to Security Deposit
Inmate Release? Nah, ‘Check Out Time’
Exercise Time? It’s spa time at the Dane County Residence Inn!
Correctional Guards or Jailers? Call them camp counselors
Sentencing Sounds Pretty Harsh. How About, Lease Agreement or Reservation?