Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now

Prison system needs reform

Recently a Spokesman-Review reader shared some thoughts about the prison system in our country and shared some startling statistics. I started writing to prisoners about 55+ years ago and still do. They tell me their stories and share their feelings. I seek to give them some hope and encouragement.

I’ve been writing to one man in Kansas who’s been incarcerated for some 40 years and is expecting release on parole perhaps in a year or so. He is very afraid as there is almost nothing being done to prepare him for re-entry into the outside world which will be totally strange to him. Prisoners have told me many times of the indignities and mistreatment they are constantly subject to from fellow prisoners as well as from guards.

One prisoner witnessed an inmate being beat to death by guards. Later on I saw this incident in a newspaper article, so he was indeed telling the truth. One man that I currently write to has been locked up in solitary for 30+ years. I verified this from court records and he is telling the truth. He writes the most positive letters that one could ask for but he is constantly demeaned by guards. My heart goes out to those who are incarcerated and hope that USA prisons will find a way of rehabilitating them instead of constant punishment and degradation which is the case in most instances.

Anyway, I write this from my heart.

Thomas E. Durst


Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters on local topics of public interest. Your letter must adhere to the following rules:

  • No more than 250 words
  • We reserve the right to reject letters that are not factually correct, racist or are written with malice.
  • We cannot accept more than one letter a month from the same writer.
  • With each letter, include your daytime phone number and street address.
  • The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.

Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt. (Learn more.)

Submit letters using any of the following:

Our online form
Submit your letter here
Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 459-3815

Read more about how we crafted our Letters to the Editor policy