Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran 'Divinely Inspired' to Enroll In His Own Jail (UPDATED)


As much as I was initially inclined to dismiss this as a political stunt, especially after hearing that Sheriff Mark Curran told the media that his idea to enter his own jail for a week was 'divinely inspired' (because the idea came to him in church), maybe it's not such a bad idea. Curran's intent is to examine the living conditions in the Lake County jail in central Waukegan to see what the issues are--food, safety, medical care, etc. While actually entering the jail and essentially being treated as an inmate (although he won't have a cellmate) is a little extreme, and seems designed to grab headlines, it unquestionably will draw attention to these issues and allow Curran to collect some data from a first-hand perspective.

This is in stark contrast to, for example, the ill-conceived and executed gas stunt that 10th Congressional candidate Dan Seals pulled a few months ago in Lincolnshire. That didn't do anyone any good, considering it snarled traffic, wasted gas, and simply drew attention to Seals' ineptness as a candidate (we already knew gas prices were high, so drawing attention to that fact was pretty useless).

Whad'ya all think about Sheriff Curran???


UPDATED 8/22/08 7:00 a.m.: The News-Sun has an interesting piece on Mark Curran's first day in jail. Among other interesting factoids, he had to remake his bed three times to meet the expectations of the jail guards, had bologna, bread and cereal for breakfast, and was visited by Congressman Mark Kirk, who gave him a Johnny Cash CD.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

TA, I watched Curran on the 10 p.m news last night. I don't think this is a news stunt at all. The guy truly wants to understand the system from the inside. The question remains: will he really see it since everyone knows who he is, what he does, etc. Having said that, I know he stated that he'll be there at night, that he'll still be doing his day job. Let's give him some credit for this new way of looking at a very tough issue. Time will tell.

Rob_N said...

TA,

Even if it "seems" designed to grab headlines, he's not up for reelection for some time... so what'd be the point of doing it now if headlines were his goal.

I agree with Anon 8:05 that he won't exactly be treated like an inmate, but he should get more of an idea of what it's like than he would sitting behind a big wood desk.

Curran's a decent guy. This is a worthy move and hopefully will result in some good progress.

Anonymous said...

Visiting those in prison is a Corporal Act of Mercy that lots of Catholics (myself included) tend to overlook. Nice to see Curran backing up his faith talk with actions. And while there may be a slight stunt taint - I really do not beleive it was the sherrif's main intent. Jails are hard places, ripe for abuse - just look at Cook County. Lets hope Curran's focus helps keep Lake County from making the same mistakes as our neighbors to the south.

badge of honor said...

oops anon 9:52 was me

8thDistrictCommitteeman said...

I'd have to agree there's much good to come from it. Party affiliations aside, why shouldn'tt we commend someone for trying to make things better?
After all, isn't that what Mark Kirk is all about?

Publia said...

I think the jail visit is a good thing. As I grow older, I have had to face the fact that all Democrats are not evil. Here in Cook County, jail safety is a huge issue. I don't know about Lake County.

Anonymous said...

I still think it is more of a publicity stunt. If Curran was really serious about it, he would have privately checked in and then had his news release with his findings when he checked out.

Now all the prisoners know he is there.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

He runs the jail - good to know how it actually works.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a bad thing, although this guy is still a democrat so you know he's likely taking on the sly. Mark has a new ad up on energy bashing dan according to the politico.

politico.com

Anonymous said...

Damn shame he's a democrat - the local Reps should have dumped del Re and grabbed Curran!

Anonymous said...

I have known Curran for many years and sometimes disagree with his political beliefs but I have never seen him lie or be a publicity hound. He is religious and caring person who always wants to do his best. It is too bad he doesn’t run for a real political office (Congress). Curran is a compassionate conservative Democrat that will be heard from for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Kirk's ad looks good and turns Seals's failed gas stunt back on himself.

Nice work Mark.

Anonymous said...

I know this is the North Shore and we are nice, no mess Republicans but let me just say this school funding issue is total b.s., and it underscores why we so desperately need to have a Republican Party again in this state, and I don't mean Andy McKenna either, since he's from new trier and not standing up on this.

A lot of chicago communities are saddled with a cycle of failure, parents that don't care, lackluster teachers, and politicians in the teachers pockets that couldn't care less. Now to save their failed system they want to destroy OUR schools. And true to form, we have no legislators standing up for us, and the issue is being framed in terms of equality, when in fact its really all about spreading failure.

Team America said...

Anon 1:07, I think you're dead-on. More importantly, though, forget the state party, where are our suburban legislators that ought to be fighting to keep local control over our schools and tax dollars. I could not imagine a worse nightmare than having Springfield be in charge of distributing North Shore tax money, not to mention the complete upheaval it would cause in propery values. Where's Link, Garrett, May, Ryg and the rest out there telling the Chicago legislators that if they want more money for schools, they will have to find it elsewhere than taking it away us. Haven't heard so much as a peep. How about it, y'all?