Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas 5 hours, 57 minutes ago on Letter to the Editor: Punishing and taxing

In fairness to Sheriff Wiggins, I reached out to him with the above article and he quickly responded with the following note. While I still have some questions about Securus and the the county's use of the firm, I think Wiggins deserves credit for his fast response and willingness to consider my (and others) concerns. Here is his response:

"Thanks for forwarding the article and once I get a chance I will read it. FYI, we have been in business with Securus for about 12 years and we have had little if any issues out of the company. I was told that Securus has over 2300 other agencies doing business with them so they can’t be all that bad. Until I read some of the blogs I was not aware of any complaints. We did a quick survey prior to implementing video visitation and the overwhelming majority of our inmates wanted the video option and preferred it over personal visitations. Yes, it costs money but for many inmates who’s family resides out of state of county it is a much cheaper option and they can visit more often. The paper did not mention that we are keeping the personal visitation option available for 6 months, then we will evaluate to see if it is a viable option and worth keeping. They can still come to the SO and visit via the free video monitor and really there is no difference. They either look at each other through a glass window and talk via a phone or they view each other through a screen monitor and talk via the screen microphone. So far, all is good and no complaints. Obviously if this new video program has issues we will address them."

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Rob Douglas 5 hours, 58 minutes ago on Routt County Jail launching video conferencing for visits

In fairness to Sheriff Wiggins, I reached out to him with the above article and he quickly responded with the following note. While I still have some questions about Securus and the the county's use of the firm, I think Wiggins deserves credit for his fast response and willingness to consider my (and others) concerns. Here is his response:

"Thanks for forwarding the article and once I get a chance I will read it. FYI, we have been in business with Securus for about 12 years and we have had little if any issues out of the company. I was told that Securus has over 2300 other agencies doing business with them so they can’t be all that bad. Until I read some of the blogs I was not aware of any complaints. We did a quick survey prior to implementing video visitation and the overwhelming majority of our inmates wanted the video option and preferred it over personal visitations. Yes, it costs money but for many inmates who’s family resides out of state of county it is a much cheaper option and they can visit more often. The paper did not mention that we are keeping the personal visitation option available for 6 months, then we will evaluate to see if it is a viable option and worth keeping. They can still come to the SO and visit via the free video monitor and really there is no difference. They either look at each other through a glass window and talk via a phone or they view each other through a screen monitor and talk via the screen microphone. So far, all is good and no complaints. Obviously if this new video program has issues we will address them."

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Rob Douglas 8 hours, 3 minutes ago on Routt County Jail launching video conferencing for visits

Here's a new investigative report about Securus--

http://atavist.ibtimes.com/fcc-prison-telecom-industry

And one of the opening paragraphs:

"Over the last decade, the prison phone business has become a scandalous industry, characterized by lawsuits, exorbitant fees, high phone rates and monopolistic relationships between public jails and private companies that openly offer kickbacks to local sheriffs. In May 2015, Foster Campbell, the Louisiana Public Service commissioner, described the prison phone business in his state as 'worse than any payday loan scheme.'"

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Rob Douglas 8 hours, 4 minutes ago on Letter to the Editor: Punishing and taxing

Here's a new investigative report about Securus--

http://atavist.ibtimes.com/fcc-prison-telecom-industry

And one of the opening paragraphs:

"Over the last decade, the prison phone business has become a scandalous industry, characterized by lawsuits, exorbitant fees, high phone rates and monopolistic relationships between public jails and private companies that openly offer kickbacks to local sheriffs. In May 2015, Foster Campbell, the Louisiana Public Service commissioner, described the prison phone business in his state as 'worse than any payday loan scheme.'"

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Rob Douglas 6 days, 1 hour ago on Pollard being held on suspicion of murder

From all appearances, a great and expeditious job by Sheriff Wiggins and the Routt County Sheriff's Office, many of whom have been working around the clock since Monday evening to investigate the case and capture Pollard. Good work.

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Rob Douglas 6 days, 1 hour ago on Cole Pollard located, arrested, will likely face homicide charges

From all appearances, a great and expeditious job by Sheriff Wiggins and the Routt County Sheriff's Office, many of whom have been working around the clock since Monday evening to investigate the case and capture Pollard. Good work.

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Rob Douglas 1 week, 3 days ago on Letter to the Editor: Punishing and taxing

{I posted the following comment on the original news article reporting the inception of this procedure. I hope that, at the very least, the Routt County Sheriff's Office modifies this new procedure so that at least one in-person visit per week is allowable.}

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Is anyone at the Routt County Sheriff's Office capable of doing even rudimentary background research of a corporation prior to entering a contract? If so, if that research was in fact performed, why on earth would the Sheriff's Office believe the good people of Routt County want to get in bed contractually with a company like Securus?

Securus Technologies is a highly controversial, for-profit, commission-paying, law enforcement services provider with business practices so morally and ethically questionable that it has been the subject of legislation specifically targeted at its contracting demands and practices - morally questionable practices that it seems our Sheriff's Office is about to institute by forbidding in-person visits - by its home state of Texas. Those practices - practices that Securus made a provision of its contracts in order to, arguably, drive up profits - were deemed so draconian by the Texas legislature that just last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law HB-549, a bi-partisan bill that guarantees Texas inmates two in-person visits per week.

Further, the company has been cited as the poster child for abusive and unethical business practices (as a serial patent troll) by members of the U.S. Congress and the ultra-conservative publication Human Events - not exactly a publication hostile to law enforcement - just as the Congress is on the brink of outlawing the type of corporate extortion Human Events alleges Securus routinely conducts.

I would hope that Sheriff Wiggins and/or the Routt County Board of County Commissioners would reconsider doing business with Securus. I believe an objective assessment of the firm, its history, and its current practices would find that it is not of the moral and ethical caliber that our county residents historically demand

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Rob Douglas 1 week, 3 days ago on Routt County Jail launching video conferencing for visits

Is anyone at the Routt County Sheriff's Office capable of doing even rudimentary background research of a corporation prior to entering a contract? If so, if that research was in fact performed, why on earth would the Sheriff's Office believe the good people of Routt County want to get in bed contractually with a company like Securus?

Securus Technologies is a highly controversial, for-profit, commission-paying, law enforcement services provider with business practices so morally and ethically questionable that it has been the subject of legislation specifically targeted at its contracting demands and practices - morally questionable practices that it seems our Sheriff's Office is about to institute by forbidding in-person visits - by its home state of Texas. Those practices - practices that Securus made a provision of its contracts in order to, arguably, drive up profits - were deemed so draconian by the Texas legislature that just last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law HB-549, a bi-partisan bill that guarantees Texas inmates two in-person visits per week.

Further, the company has been cited as the poster child for abusive and unethical business practices (as a serial patent troll) by members of the U.S. Congress and the ultra-conservative publication Human Events - not exactly a publication hostile to law enforcement - just as the Congress is on the brink of outlawing the type of corporate extortion Human Events alleges Securus routinely conducts.

I would hope that Sheriff Wiggins and/or the Routt County Board of County Commissioners would reconsider doing business with Securus. I believe an objective assessment of the firm, its history, and its current practices would find that it is not of the moral and ethical caliber that our county residents historically demand.

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Rob Douglas 2 weeks, 5 days ago on Officer Kristin Bantle put on paid leave

To the "leaders" of Steamboat Springs and Routt County:

"Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject" -John Stuart Mill, 1867

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Rob Douglas 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Steamboat City Council rejects downtown URA

Thank you to Scott Ford, Bart Kounovsky, Walter Magill and Tony Connell for voting to not create a downtown TIF financed URA district. It was an ill-conceived plan made even more unworkable given the new URA law that takes effect on January 1. The same results (infrastructure improvements) can be accomplished faster and fairer by using existing reserves and/or other financing methods. In my book, that's a win-win.

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