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Letter: Improve visitation process at jail

The Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead is seen

The Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead is seen here on Feb, 2, 2006. Photo Credit: Newsday / Daniel Goodrich

A first step to ease the contraband surge in the Suffolk County jail, or any jail, and the fair way to continue reasonable physical contact between inmates and their families during visitation, is to divide the visitation rooms ["Heroin OD factor in inmate's death," News, May 16].

One side could be for visitors who would consent to be searched, as at an airport, and who could then have physical contact with the inmate. The other side of the visiting room would allow no physical contact between inmates and visitors, but there would also be no search requirement. It's the visitor's option.

Courts likely would approve this modification to visitation rights when challenged, but that's no reason to delay. Starting now with this measured change in contraband control in the jails on Long Island, or anywhere, would save lives, and quite a few at that.

Gregory J. Blass, Jamesport

Editor's note: The writer is a former Suffolk Family Court judge and county social services commissioner.


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