Out of 'Respect' for Humanity, Woke Sheriff Has New Names for Inmates

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Given wall-to-wall, 24×7 coverage of Joe Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan debacle, I thought I’d take a temporary respite — and stop by another little chunk of the insanity gripping today’s America: the woke, among us. Specifically, a super-woke Wisconsin Sheriff who believes criminals deserve more respect.

Yep, as reported by Wisconsin State Journal, Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett recently decided to “make a change in philosophy” and stop calling inmates, um, inmates — announcing that inmates incarcerated in the Dane County jail will now be described as “residents” or “those in our care.” It gets worse.

“I view this change in name as a way to humanize those who are within our care,” explained Barrett.

No more of that unconscionable, negative “stigmatizing terminology.” Oh, hell no. It “poses barriers to societal re-entry,” you know. No word from the good sheriff about the “barriers to societal re-entry” of murder victims — or the lack thereof — by Sheriff Barrett’s residents.

But, hey — who cares? As long as those residents remain compassionately “in his care”?

Via the Wisconsin State Journal, emphasis mine:

Barrett said he came to the decision after talking with those who are incarcerated, sheriff’s deputies and other staff over his last nearly 100 days as sheriff.

[The sheriff] said he met with a group of formerly incarcerated individuals who are part of a program at Madison nonprofit Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, which helps former offenders reenter the community and provides other services.

They told him that being called “inmates” or “convicts” increases stigma against them and worsens the barriers they face while transitioning back into society. 

The language change is a “small step” to reduce those barriers, and hopefully help reduce recidivism, Barrett said. When asked how one word could help reduce recidivism, Barrett said language can help change how incarcerated people view themselves and how society views them.

I wonder how victims of violent crimes committed by Barrett’s “residents” view those “residents”?

It Gets Crazier

As noted by the Wisconsin State Journal, Dane County Board member and state Rep. Shelia Stubbs said it’s important to give those who are in jail and former offenders “a sense of belonging” to the community. As Stubbs sees it, referring to inmates — including convicted criminals, of course — in a way that emphasizes how they are people, too, not just inmates, helps with that “sense of belonging.”

“We need to give people back the wholeness they deserve,” Stubbs added.

Coupla questions, Ms. Stubbs.

What do we “need to give” to the victims of offenders? What do we “need to give” to family members of murder victims of former inmates of the Dane County Jail? How concerned are you about their wholeness?

Let the Mocking Begin

In an article titled Dane County Sheriff Barrett: We Have 7 More Naming Suggestions for You, Wisconsin Right Now took a blow torch to the sheriff’s ridiculousness. Here are a few of their suggested alternatives:

Call the jail the “Dane County Inn.” 

We can imagine the advertising now: Enjoy a stay at the Dane County Residence Inn, where we offer a quiet gated community with a courtyard, good security, an all-inclusive meal plan, and minimalist decore! It’s kind of like a Microtel with a rowdier clientele. There’s even continental breakfast.

Name Sheriff Kalvin Barrett the “property manager” and the Sheriff’s Department the “Dane County Leasing Office.”

Sheriff sounds so authoritarian. It brings to mind old western movies, and we all know how racist those were. If the people under his care are residents, not inmates, then the sheriff should be called the Property Manager.

Other possibilities are Landlord or Resident Assistant. We wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, after all.

That means the Sheriff’s Department will probably have to change its name too. The Dane County Leasing Office might work. Or: Dane County Residential Services Agency.

Change the word “bail’ to “security deposit.”

Residents don’t post bail. That makes them sound like inmates. They post security deposits.

Inmate release? Nah, “check-out time!” 

Check-out time is a softer approach that will preserve the self-esteem of the residents who get out. What a great place to stay!

The Twittersphere wanted to play, too. A few of the better efforts:

“Take Back Our Country” had a question about the definition of “resident.”

Jason had a suggestion for Sheriff Barrett.

And murderers?

Finally, this Madison residence brilliantly summed up the sad irony of the insanity.

It seems like every other morning there’s a news story posted about another shooting or otherwise violent crime in Madison but this is what we’re focused on?

So if jailed criminals are now residents…what does that make law abiding citizens in Dane County?…are we inmates now?


Mr. Jehle is right. Dane County residents — all Americans, as it were — are very much the “inmates” — the prisoners — of “wokeness.” Then again, the “prisoners of the woke” have started to fight back, with increasing success. Here are a few recent examples.

‘We Are Not Victims’: Black Father’s Impassioned Plea on Critical Race Theory Leads School District to Ban It

MLK’s Niece Shames ‘Woke White Folks’ Who Push CRT in Powerful Op-Ed

Sean Penn Compares Mandatory Vaccines to Drivers’ Licenses — Then James Woods Shows Up

School Board Bans ‘Fatally Flawed’ Critical Race Theory: ‘Just Garbage’

Incidentally, I hear the Sunday brunch at the Dane County Residence Inn is outstanding. And best of all? It’s free! That is unless you’re a Dane County taxpayer.