Letters to the Editor

Vital questions remain in case of inmate who died after 46 hours in restraining chair

In 1789, a French petition read, “Let the tortures that revolt humanity be abolished.” (Michel Foucault in “Discipline and Punish.”)

Both The Tribune and New Times SLO have provided coverage of the incarceration and death of Andrew Holland (who suffered from schizophrenia) in County Jail last January. With deepest sympathies to Andrew’s family from our community, some vital questions remain. The use of the restraining chair that held Andrew for 46 hours has been suspended, but has it been abolished? Why was Mr. Holland not transported to another mental illness facility out of the county when our facilities could not accommodate his mental crisis?

Sheriff Ian Parkinson said: “We will not give up our fight to try to change the system. But … if people don’t pay attention, if people don’t get involved, and people are not willing to take action, then it’s never going to change.”

We hope for progress, not perfection.

Dan Biezad, San Luis Obispo

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