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Illinois Sheriff Checks Himself In To Prison

Illinois Sheriff Checks Himself Into Prison

Despite overcrowding in US prisons, an Illinois jail has booked one man who hasn't committed a single crime — the sheriff. The creative experiment sounds dangerous to me, but Sheriff Mark Curran, who will be behind bars until Aug. 27, thinks spending time in another man's jumpsuit is the best way to understand the inmate experience.

Sheriff Curran sleeps in his own cell for safety reasons, but so far most inmates don't seem to realize he's the sheriff. He hopes to gain the trust of those who do realize his true identity by becoming one of them. During the day he'll take part in a substance-abuse support group, GED courses, and a family-communications class. He also plans on working in the kitchen and eating jail food with his fellow inmates. To see what he wants to get out of the experience,


Curran thinks the experience will help him figure out how to solve the problems he can readily fix, like security concerns. But he also believes the hype surrounding his public incarceration will have positive results on the whole system by raising awareness of chronic issues like overpopulation and the disproportionate amount of prisoners who are mentally ill, undereducated, or repeat offenders. While some may consider this a publicity stunt, I think it shows a commitment to improving the chances of prisoner rehabilitation.

Join The Conversation
kathili kathili 9 years
I think it's a great effort, and I hope it has great results!
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that it's a nice gesture for what he's doing - but if the system changes based on his experience - then that goes to show you that you can't make a change being a common person these days. i think that if he uncovers things that people have been saying for a long time now, and he's able to impact the way that the prisons operate - then yes it's a good thing, but what does that say for those inmates that have made similar claims? i hope that this is just an exercise to understand if the inmates get taken care of properly and to make sure that the penal system is working.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I think this is a great idea! "Of course he will be treated differently than the other prisoners," I was thinking the same thing and I think maybe they need to send in someone who won't be recognized and will be treated like any other prisoner. **I'm not trying to belittle this dedication b/c I think it's awesome that the sheriff cares that much! Oh and that SVU episode was awesome!
organicsugr organicsugr 9 years
Haha, nice one Janneth
janneth janneth 9 years
He will write a book, Jailed Like Me.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I think it's a great idea. It'll definitely give him a better perspective.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
hahah, kimbo i thought the same thing. it was bordering on a lifetime movie at points.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
That was a good episode. The whole time all I could think was that she was definitely submitting that episode to Emmy voters.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
Ha, yesteryear... I saw that SVU episode too! that's exactly what I thought of reading this.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
yeah they need to hire some of john edward's pr people to keep stuff under wraps!!
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Well h*ll, his cover is up.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Well h*ll cover is up - he been on every news station in IL nightly and daily. The jig is up.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
should we really have this on citizen if he wants to keep his cover? its well known that this site is beloved in illinois prisons!!!
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
i think i saw this on svu? haha. i did, but on a more serious note, should we really have this on citizen if he wants to keep his cover? its well known that this site is beloved in illinois prisons!!!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Just to clarify, I'm not saying that those who commit more serious crimes are not worthy of rehabilitation, just that those who commit less serious crimes are often more willing to be rehabilitated and more in search of the tools that will allow them to be successful when they are released.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
This is great! Of course he will be treated differently than the other prisoners, but I still think it's amazing that he is sacrificing to see the conditions these people live in. This sounds like it is a jail for less serious crimes and I'm sure most of the people incarcerated there made small, stupid mistakes, so it's important that these people receive the rehabilitation they need. I think it's especially important for these prisoners to receive proper GED classes or job training, so I like the fact that he is sitting in on GED classes.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
That's a hell of a dedicated sheriff.
stephley stephley 9 years
I applaud his effort and wish there were more people like him.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I really didn't think this story would make it to Citzen but shout out!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
It's almost always good to walk in the shoes of the people you're serving. Of course anything like this will generate hype, but hype doesn't always equal bad, imo.
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