Letter to the Editor

Visitors to the Vernon County Jail

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dear editor:

About 20 years ago Nevada had the opportunity to have a state prison built here. This would have brought jobs, business to motels, gas stations, restaurants and more. The reason it was turned down was because Nevada did not want the kind of people in our town who come to visit the prisoners. There was a recent letter published concerning the Vernon County Jail voicing the same opinion. and stating "we all know what kind of element this will bring to Vernon County and the City of Nevada .... they will be of the same caliber as the prisoners themselves." I remember thinking the first time this was brought up how ridiculous and narrowminded this point of view was, and I still feel the same way, especially now. Little did I know at the time I soon would become one of these visitors, and for the past 19 years I have visited in several of the Missouri State Prisons. I have a son who will spend the rest of his life incarcerated. He now is at Cameron, which was the prison we could have had here in Nevada.

I guess this makes me and the rest of my family who live in Vernon County criminals as well. I live in Nevada and visit in Cameron. Does this mean I should move out of the City since I am the "kind of element" that isn't wanted here? I am acquainted with several families who live in Nevada or Vernon County who are currently or have visited loved ones in prisons all over the State. We are all good citizens and law abiding people who have had someone we love dearly commit a crime, and he or she is paying for it by being incarcerated. The families, by the way, pay for this too by the loss of the inmates in their day-to-day lives. Unless this happens to you, there is no way you can understand how it affects so many people, both family and friends.

I sincerely hope Paul Jadlow never has to face the heartache of this happening in his family.

Would that mean he would immediately become part of "that element" and not be welcome here either?

Joyce Cox