Several weeks ago, I read a letter in the paper describing Lanesboro Correctional as a “hell hole.” The letter was one-sided and angry. The inmate’s mother was receiving secondhand information and is not privy to the security practices that are implemented there. The policy of just about any law enforcement agency prevents the staff from making any comment to any media outlet, and doing so is grounds for dismissal.
This “hell hole” she described is without a doubt a difficult place to work. During my tenure there, I dealt with many professionals who treated these men well. The facility is designed to house lifers, men that need intensive mental and spiritual help. Contrary to TV and movies, officers don’t abuse inmates, especially in that environment. Doing such will get you fired and can be bad for your health. You don’t force a lifer to clean his room, you ask. Usually the first five times you will get cussed out and have to file documentation of his behavior. However, being fair, firm and consistent can net results over weeks, months and years.
If it weren’t for that facility, many people in this area would have no employment. I left there several years ago to further my career in law enforcement and some of the best training I ever got was in that facility.
Let us all take a moment to thank the men and women that protect us all in our local jails and prisons from violent offenders, sexual predators and those not capable of integrity with society. Like these professionals, I have met the “boogeyman” and tucked him in at night so he wasn’t in your closet. So to stand in the gap for my former colleagues, Lanesboro is not a hell hole; it is a hard place where these hard men go to pay their debt to society. God willing, they will find the peace and maturity that their time with the state allows them.