Is Your Local Jail Stealing From Inmates?

Via Flickr

Abeni Jones
September 27, 2019

A corrections officer in Charlotte, MI got charged for stealing an inmate’s property during booking. It also recently happened in Liberty, TX and Homewood, AL - and in countless jails across the country.

What’s going on?

Anyone booked into a jail in the United States has to surrender all of their belongings. They’re supposed to get everything back when they make bail or are released - but it doesn’t always happen.

Not only do many have their belongings “lost” or stolen, but a recent exposé in Philadelphia also showed a similar way jails abuse inmates.

Almost 75% of inmates in Philadelphia were released in the middle of the night, after the “cashier’s office” was closed. Without cash, ID, or a phone, they had to fend for themselves - miles away from home, after buses had stopped running!

Getting back on your feet after being incarcerated is difficult enough - trying to do so without any of your belongings makes it almost impossible!

After the exposé was published, though, and activism from the community, the Philadelphia Department of Prisons changed its laws to adjust this unfair system.

Jails should support people who are released so they can integrate back into their lives and avoid going back. Philadelphia shows that jail system reform won’t happen, though, unless we keep up the activism and media pressure!

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