Close S.J. detention sites

Recently, four juvenile offenders escaped from custody at Harborfields, a state juvenile detention facility in Atlantic County. After a persistent search by law enforcement, all four offenders, one accused of murder with ties to Bridgeton, were captured.

Incidents like this one lead me to believe that there are too many correctional facilities here in southern New Jersey.

In Cumberland County alone, there are three state prisons, one federal prison, the county jail, a juvenile detention center (which I’ve recently read is rumored to close), and three halfway houses that are owned privately.

These correctional facilities provide jobs that pay middle management entry-level salaries with quality benefits including retirement, attracting many who have been devastated by job losses when the area’s glass plants closed in past years. But all too often, many of these correctional employees, civilian and correctional officers both, can easily become victims of manipulation by inmates. Such may have been the case that resulted in the escape from Harborfields.

Some people say they are willing to pay the taxes. But inmate escapes are problems that good people trying to live and raise families in safe, neighboring communities should never have to put up with. I say close these facilities. Send their inmates to facilities in North Jersey, where a majority of them supposedly originate. They have the money to keep them. We here in South Jersey do not. And bring private sector manufacturing industries back to this area.

George I. Anderson


Must start each day reading the newspaper

Regarding the Nov. 19 Inside Story column by Kevin Post, “Newspapers and their communities of readers still need each other”:

I am one of those who read The Press daily from front to back, excluding the classified ads. The Opinion/Commentary pages are my favorite.

I always thought that everyone reads a newspaper at least once or twice a week, but when I retired I found out otherwise while taking courses at Atlantic Cape Community College. A public speaking course was taught by a woman to an interesting mixture of students — young, old, male and female, all with various opinions and topics. At one point, one student quoted something from The Press and the instructor said she wasn’t familiar with that because she never reads a newspaper and never did.

After class I stayed and asked her why. Apparently growing up with parents who did not subscribe or read any newspapers, she was never exposed to the idea of reading one. Even with a college education, she just never got into the habit of reading newspapers.

Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t start my day without catching up with what is happening by reading the newspaper. When I moved here in 1964, I subscribed to the Philadelphia Bulletin until it went out of business.

Post’s comments are right to the point. I don’t like reading news online and there will never be a day that I don’t go to the library to take out a “real” book for the pleasure I get from them. Long live newspapers.

Helen M. Lincoln

North Cape May