During Thursday night’s panel discussion on the Washtenaw County jail, one message from sheriff Jerry Clayton was this: It’s his job to administer the jail, but it’s the whole county’s jail – it’s our jail.
Clayton was joined on the panel by Washtenaw County prosecutor Brian Mackie, Washtenaw County commissioner Barbara Levin Bergman, and Christine Negendank, a psychiatrist with the county’s Community Support and Treatment Services department. The event was hosted by the League of Women Voters at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library.
The format allowed some time for audience members to have their written questions put to the panelists. Among those questions were concerns about translation services at the jail for non-English speaking inmates and possible racial profiling of Latinos in the immigrant population.
Questions posed by the League of Women Voters provided panelists a chance to give somewhat of a tutorial on how the government’s system of punishment works – Brian Mackie was asked to start with an explanation of the difference between jail and prison.