Mark Butler plans to protest the Delaware County jail this Friday over the sheriff’s decision to not allow his mentoring program into the facility.
“Currently at the Delaware County jail, it is 16 percent African American. The population in the county is only 4.5 (percent),” said Butler.
Butler wants to address the disparity by creating a mentoring program exclusively for black inmates. It would provide classes on African American history and substance abuse, according to Butler.
He believes his program would help keep black inmates from committing other crimes and returning to jail. The program would be free of charge.
But according to Butler, the sheriff rejected the idea because he felt it was discriminatory to other inmates.
“I’m not white. The sheriff is white. Let the sheriff speak to the white men, and let me speak to the black men because I can reach the black men,” added Butler.
Sheriff Russ Martin told WBNS-10TV that is not the problem.
“It’s not an issue of color for our office,” said Martin.
The sheriff said Butler did not provide enough details on how the program would work.
“Although he did provide a half of a page summary of what his training was going to be, we just really didn't think it addressed the concerns we had, ”said Martin.
The sheriff said his office prefers a program that appeals to all inmates, regardless of color.
“We're always open to evaluating and reviewing any programs,” said Martin.
Butler said there are no new meetings scheduled between him and Martin.He still plans to protest Friday morning at the jail.
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