Letters to the Editor

The system is at fault for the death of SLO County Jail inmate, not the sheriff

Sheriff Ian Parkinson discusses inmate who died in custody at SLO County jail

Sheriff Ian Parkinson discusses an inmate who died in San Luis Obispo County jail on Thursday, April 13, 2017. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department is conducting the autopsy of the inmate, whose identity has not been released.
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Sheriff Ian Parkinson discusses an inmate who died in San Luis Obispo County jail on Thursday, April 13, 2017. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department is conducting the autopsy of the inmate, whose identity has not been released.

The death of San Luis Obispo County Jail inmate Andrew Holland was indeed tragic, but in my opinion, the primary fault lies not with the sheriff but with a system that doesn’t know what to do with mentally ill people in jail — a population that has grown to alarming levels in the past 20 years — and doesn’t have the resources or funding to fix it.

It’s good to remind ourselves at times like these that our sheriff is a law enforcement officer, not a lawmaker.

William “Willy” Tilley, Atascadero

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