Sheriff Jack Strain has found a clear-cut case of the accursed media’s irresponsibility: a work-release program that was supposed to be overseen by a sheriff became a get-out-of-jail card, over and over again, and the media reported on it.
As he sees it, sheriff had nothing to do with it; the faulty management of the work-release program had nothing to do with it; the problem was the “reckless journalism” informing inmates that some of their fellow inmates had walked off the work-release jobs.
Strain transparently didn’t like the media scrutiny of the work-release program, Northshore Workforce LLC, which happens to be run by several people with ties to him.
When the inmates took advantage of the lax oversight provided by the sheriff’s friends, the sheriff blamed the media — particularly The New Orleans Advocate and WWL-TV — that let inmates know the program is a free ride.
As if inmates could not figure that out for themselves?
Strain has a poor opinion of the intelligence of the inmates; clearly they could understand that Northshore Workforce wasn’t exactly maximum security. Strain also has a poor opinion of the intelligence of the public, if he believes that he can blame the messenger for the problems with the program.
Call it reckless journalism, but we’re happy the repeated cases of inmates walking away from their work-release jobs has come to the attention of the public. Strain has now been compelled to shut down the Covington program.
If a program isn’t doing what it is supposed to be doing, we’re going to practice reckless journalism again.
Because the people of St. Tammany Parish deserve to know the score.