I walked into the Manitowoc County Jail Today and started snapping pictures. Mary, the woman you see below, popped out of her tiny office and asked my name and what I was up to. I told her I was taking a few pictures. She was polite and didn’t have any problem with that. The plaque on the wall outside her office read Sgt Mary K Reel, Huber Officer. I’ve never heard of any such title. Must be a Wisconsin thing like Spotted Cow beer (highly recommended).
Huber Officer Mary K. Reel of the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department
The jail is only steps from the courthouse. The Inverness Jail in Multnomah County, Oregon, is located about ten miles away from the jail which makes it very difficult for lawyers to see their clients. And it’s also a massive operation to get inmates back and forth to court. They are roused at 3 am, led to a squalid and cramped holding tank for a few hours, shackled, loaded on to a bus, driven to court, unloaded, unshackled again, and finally marched into another holding cell even more crowded and squalid before each court appearances. Before court, you get shackled down again to make sure you experience maximum humiliation (men are also given pink underwear to wear) before the public. On my day in court there was a crowd of young school children there on a field trip who all gawked at me like zoo exhibit). In Portland, Oregon, even kids get the shackle treatment. The official rationale is that it’s done for the safety and security of the institution. This is the justification for almost everything, in fact.
Female inmate being escorted to the Manitowoc county court house
Below is Larry Ledvina who was a little camera shy today for some reason. His official title is Deputy Inspector, Support. He walked up to me and just like Mary Reel, asked what I was doing there. I told him that I was there to snap a few pictures. He asked for ID. I just said no. He then asked me who I was. I answered his question with the same question: “Who are YOU?” He said “I’m Larry Ledvina!” I said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, sir”, and went on about my business.
As I was on my way out, I saw a man in an orange vest manning a snow blower. It turned out to be prisoner Josiah Novatny who was in jail for stealing a car after getting drunk. I asked him how he was being treated, and he indicated not too bad. But he said all kinds of crooked stuff goes on in the jail. When I pressed him for details, he told me that the junkies are brought in and not given anything to help them come down, and that a woman, Stephanie Novak died in custody for want of medical care about three months ago. He went on to say that he knew the Avery’s personally, and even took a few classes with Chris Avery. He stated that he had serious doubts about Brendan’s guilt, at least, and said that there was an incinerator on the property that could have easily handled getting rid of human remains, and even the RAV 4 itself. I got his contact information, and I assured him that I would be getting in contact in July when he’s scheduled to be released. He said he could also be reached by post, which I also plan to do just to make sure he’s being treated well.
Inmate clearing sidewalk of snow