For the second time in two years, inmates housed in the maximum-security unit at the Cumberland County Jail have found a way to leave their cells and enter the cells of other inmates for sexual encounters (“Two inmates caught after tryst at Cumberland County Jail,” March 8).

While some might look lightly upon this jailhouse form of, the bottom line is that the prisoners involved are in a maximum-security unit for a reason – they are a real threat to society and to the employees at the jail.

In 2012, a felon being held on charges of attempting to murder police officers was able to sneak into the cell of another inmate. Almost two years to the day from that incident, three supposedly secured doors housing a convicted bank robber were breached.

Combine these two incidents, along with an inmate serving time for domestic violence escaping in 2013 and the escape in 2010 of an inmate serving time for an adoption scam – and the accidental freeing of a maximum-security inmate in 2009 – you have to ask yourself, where is leadership?

Each time these incidents occurred, the public was assured by the current sheriff that corrective action was taken and that necessary steps were taken to ensure that these types of incidents did not occur again.

In each case, less than a year went by when yet another inmate escaped and public safety was compromised. Empty promises were made and broken.


With decreasing morale within the ranks at the Sheriff’s Office, a lack of accountability for those in charge combined with repeated broken promises of fixing the problems, it is clear that something needs to change.

Effective management and leadership are critical aspects of a well-performing organization. Failed leadership is something that we can neither afford nor risk.

Michael Edes

Democratic candidate for sheriff


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