May 8 2013 10:56 AM

Our readers tell us what they think


Outsource the City Attorney

Thank you for pointing out Mayor Bob Filner's proposed $1.4-million decrease to the City Attorney's budget in your April 17 editorial. It's my understanding that this represents a decrease of 3.2 percent based upon a total budget of $44 million for the City Attorney's office.

I agree with you that this doesn't seem like much of a reduction based upon other government-agency reductions. I would even take this a step further.

The city of San Diego has a mandate to outsource services. Since City Attorney duties cannot be that much different from city to city, these services are an excellent candidate for outsourcing.

Remember that the city just outsourced its IT services. San Diego Data Processing was owned by the city and functioned like a city department. City employees represented a majority on the SDDPC Board of Directors. IT services were outsourced based upon the ability to sue vendors for non-performance. The city will not save any money. About 75 people will be laid off from SDDPC, and the rest took cuts in their total income.

In consideration of the above, it seems appropriate to consider outsourcing the City Attorney's office. At minimum, it should be investigated.

Ronald Harris, Scripps Ranch

‘Justice by malice'

Regardless of the legalities involving individual jail-inmate deaths between 2007 and 2012 ["News," April 24], is it fair for all of us to assume that at least one employee of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, spokesperson Jan Caldwell, is delusional at best to claim, "The Sheriff's Department is one of the largest providers of mental health services in the county"?

It is completely insane for anyone to suggest that the county's jail system is a provider of mental-health services. Anyone who's been in a psychiatric holding cell longer than an hour in Downtown's Central Jail knows this is true. This is a place where intake psychiatrists tell men banging on walls threatening suicide, "Oh, just shut up."

It is a well-researched and documented fact that jails and prisons across the nation are turning a profit by prescribing draconian prescription medication like Haldol while purposely underfeeding inmates to control their behavior.

Police cover-ups in the last few decades, on the street and in jails or prisons, are so hideously reminiscent of 1950s good-old-boy melodramas, it makes a lot of us wonder which law is really in control—law and order, or justice by malice?

If Caldwell puts herself to sleep at night believing she and the county's jails are defending the civil rights of the mentally ill, so be it; she's paid well to say those things. However, those of us falsely labeled insane, who have gone through that system, know otherwise.

Benny A. McFadden, Downtown


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