Prisoners Are People Too


EDITOR'S NOTE: A copy of the following letter was submitted to the Cannon Courier for publication.

Billy Nichols, Sheriff
Cannon County Jail
Woodbury TN 37190


As you can see, I am addressing this to you as a person not necessarily as the Sheriff. I have worked in public service for 27 years, I do not consider myself an expert on human nature, but I do have a lot of experience in dealing with people when they are at a crisis point in their life. Therefore, I feel comfortable writing you this note commending you and your staff on the handling of ‘people’.

At the Good Old Days, I was very impressed with the mannerisms, caring attitude and willingness to assist that your volunteers provided to the public. I, like you, have observed a lot of people through my job, what were good people, in desperate situations, making the wrong decisions. I admit, it took me a few years of working with the public, and some aging, to learn the lesson of not to judge immediately when becoming involved with a situation and with people.

These young men were absolutely superb. The gentleman at the gate would no less than insist the senior citizens wait for an escort to help them carry their chairs to a shady spot around the stage. Our booth workers, as well as all booths, were checked on at least three times a day to see if anyone needed anything. The young men you provided were irreplaceable at setting up tents, unloading merchandise, helping with lights, etc.

I caught Anna at the fairgrounds and told her how proud you all should be of these young men. They were not just doing a job, they had been given the opportunity to be a part of something, get involved and unknowingly be reminded of the manners that were instilled in them when they were young. I don’t have to tell you Billy, as it apparent you know, sometimes it is a simple project such as this that wakes up a person, reminding them to get their life back on track.

I realize some people we come in contact with cannot be helped, as they will not help themselves. I know you come in contact with individuals who are dangerous. With that said, I want to commend you for not only remembering you are not just a Sheriff but a person; and more so for taking the time to acknowledge that there are individuals you oversee in your jail are not just prisoners, but people.

Cindy Haley
P O Box 414
Woodbury TN 37190
May 21, 2010