The language police and the real police have seemingly joined forces in the super-woke Madison, Wisc., area.
Sheriff Kalvin Barrett, a Democrat who is seeking reelection in 2022, has announced that those incarcerated in the Dane County jail will now be described as “residents” or “those in our care” rather than “inmates” because negative, stigmatizing terminology poses barriers to their societal reentry.
“I view this change in name as a way to humanize those who are within our care,” the lawman explained at a presser, according to WIS News 10. “The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is a national leader in appropriate progressive reform, and many follow our lead,” he added.
He also opined that “words matter” as he moves “towards a 21st-century policing mindset in which we treat everyone within our community with dignity, respect, and humanity,” Madison 360 reported.
The sheriff “said he came to the decision after talking with those who are incarcerated, sheriff’s deputies and other staff over his last nearly 100 days as sheriff,” the Wisconsin State Journal reported:
Barrett said he met with a group of formerly incarcerated individuals who are part of a program at Madison nonprofit Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, which helps former offenders reenter the community and provides other services. They told him that being called “inmates” or “convicts” increases stigma against them and worsens the barriers they face while transitioning back into society.
The language change is a “small step” to reduce those barriers, and hopefully help reduce recidivism, Barrett said. When asked how one word could help reduce recidivism, Barrett said language can help change how incarcerated people view themselves and how society views them.
Wisconsin’s Democrat Gov. Tony Evers appointed Barrett to the job in April 2021 upon the retirement of the longtime incumbent.
Democrat State Rep. Sheila Stubbs added that changing the terminology would give people “a sense of belonging.”
Watch a local news report about the sheriff’s decision embedded below:
Sheriff Barrett claimed that the revised nomenclature is not mandatory for deputies and other staffers, at least for now, but common sense suggests how this is going to go in day-to-day practice. “He said the county is working on making the change an official policy.”
America has seen certain rogue prosecutors railroad some individuals into jail on flimsy charges and without due process. It seems fair to say, however, that most inmates, convicts, or residents have adopted crime as a lifestyle choice rather than as a one-off, and that’s why they’ve wound up locked up.
Along these lines, influential George Washington University law professor and self-described liberal Jonathan Turley noted, “I have worked in prisons and jail for three decades, including running a national prisoner project. I am not convinced that calling inmates ‘residents’ will lend a ‘sense of belonging.’ Moreover, the asserted goal of reducing the ‘stigma’ of prison is somewhat counterintuitive since it is a form of isolation from and punishment by society.”
Turley also pointed out that the etymology of inmate involves a shared residence of various kinds.
Particularly in the last year, many changes to vocabulary have gone into implementation as bureaucracies across the culture seem to worship at the altar of political correctness and, in so doing, elevate obfuscating words over deeds.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 26, 2021
In the law enforcement arena, even though the term “illegal alien” is a term in the U.S. Code, the Biden administration wants government employees to use descriptors such as “non-citizen,” “migrant,” or “undocumented individual” instead. Separately, DEA agents have been ordered to refrain from using the term “Mexican cartel.”
The Wisconsin Right Now website has irreverently proposed seven other name changes for the sheriff to consider:
- Call the Jail the ‘Dane County Residence Inn’
- Name Sheriff Kalvin Barrett the ‘Property Manager’ & the Sheriff’s Department the ‘Dane County Leasing Office’
- Change the Word ‘Bail’ to Security Deposit
- Inmate Release? Nah, ‘Check Out Time’
- Exercise Time? It’s spa time at the Dane County Residence Inn!
- Correctional Guards or Jailers? Call them camp counselors
- Sentencing Sounds Pretty Harsh. How About, Lease Agreement or Reservation?
On Twitter, the sheriff is getting busted, as it were, for virtue signaling. Here is a sampling:
So assisted living?
— Jason Ehlert (@wilbeyspitty) August 17, 2021
Last time I checked, “residents” were free to come and go.
— Take Back Our Country (@NavyBike) August 19, 2021
But can the “residents” who literally dehumanized people by killing them still be called inmates?
— teej (@teeeeeeej__) August 16, 2021
How desperate do you have to be for attention, good or bad, to say and do something that stupid?
— Mystery Fiction (@MysteryFiction) August 18, 2021
So what does Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett call murderers??
They are the criminals that made innocent people VICTIMS!!
— Lene (@Lene04367892) August 18, 2021
“Former offenders” said that “being called inmates or convicts increases stigma against them,” missing the reality that the stigma attaches to the fact they committed crimes and that such a stigma is entirely right and just.
— Ryan Drexel Rawson (@drexrawson) August 16, 2021
Dolt! they are inmates because they are incarcerated criminals, there is absolutely no justification in blurring those lines, we have laws, some can’t seem to follow them, they are criminals and when they are incarcerated, they are inmates, period. more PC nonsense run amok.
— David Deckert (@thunderman115) August 17, 2021
It seems like every other morning there’s a news story posted about another shooting or otherwise violent crime in Madison but this is what we’re focused on?
So if jailed criminals are now residents…what does that make law abiding citizens in Dane County?…are we inmates now? pic.twitter.com/Qmq92PiQmh
— Mike Jehle (@THEKID_) August 16, 2021
#KalvinBarrett and the ‘powers that be’ are idiots. Residents generally 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲 to live or stay somewhere. Inmates have no choice, requiring walls, bars, and concertina wire to insure their incarcerated asses remain as “residents”.
Welcome to our new Insane country.
— 🇺🇸John Keeler🇺🇸 (@thejohnkeeler) August 19, 2021
- School board member says moment of silence for 9-11 terror attacks ’causes harm’ - September 20, 2021
- Magic Johnson, LeBron James and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti violate county mask mandate and flaunt it - September 20, 2021
- New blackface photo of Justin Trudeau is released night before Canadian election - September 20, 2021