And speaking of jails…

Down here in Clark County it seems there may be a wee problem, and that the problem has gone on for a very, very long time:

Allegations surrounding the firing of a black manager from Clark County’s jail portray a workplace where racism is tolerated or ignored, a state civil rights official said.

The graphic charges were detailed in an internal investigation by the county sheriff’s office and a series of legal claims against the county last month.

The result: a “toxic climate” that has led employees of the county sheriff’s office to “take sides” against one another, said Earl Ford, a local NAACP leader.

And if you click through and read the entire Columbian article, it appears that it’s not just white people who are accused of saying and doing racist and sexist things.

The other thing worth noting is that the local NAACP is being very deliberate and sensible about how it approaches this. While Clark County has its share of problems, like anywhere, it also has some pretty terrific community leaders who will try to address these thorny issues in a positive manner. Nobody wants to squash anyone’s right to free speech, but there are limits regarding what is professional conduct in the workplace. Racial and sexual taunts are clearly out of bounds, no matter who makes them.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Naive people who advocate superficially attractive panaceas like consolidating King County’s sheriff’s department and jail guards don’t understand how things work in the real world. Often, all you’re doing is giving a dysfunctional agency an opportunity to spread its infection to a healthy one. The best way to deal with a toxic employment environment like the one in the Clark County Jail (or, in years past, at Seattle City Light, and in the present day, at Port of Seattle police) is to keep it isolated from the rest of the county organization. In such situations, combining agencies and functions makes things worse, not better. That’s something voters should consider when evaluating the claims of candidates for public offices.

  2. 2

    Chris Stefan spews:

    Then there is that idiot Sheriff down in Maricopa County who is a great example of why you don’t want the Sheriff running the jail.

    I also fail to see what consolidating the King County corrections department would accomplish. Sure you might get rid of a couple people in management, but there are plenty of ways it could increase costs and open up avenues for abuse.