Lewis Diuguid

Toilet paper cutback in Sedgwick County jail raises other issues

You know times are tough in Kansas when Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter tells prisoners that he’s cutting the amount of toilet paper they use down to one roll a week.

He contends that the prisoners have been wasting toilet paper, using it to cover vents and doors when they are smoking tobacco or marijuana, The Associated Press reports. Wait a minute.

Marijuana? That sounds like a pretty amazing lockup. Does Gov. Sam Brownback know about this?

I am sure the governor would approve of the toilet paper reduction resulting in the cost falling from $100,000 to $50,000 a year. He might even try it at the prisons the state operates. But prisoners having an occasional blunt probably isn’t in the budget.

About that one roll a week, prisoners have been writing letters to The Wichita Eagle, contending that the rationing is cruel and unusual punishment. And reducing the toilet paper handouts might be OK if prisoners are fed less.

But the prison population is not a group anyone should want to make angry, especially female prisoners who might generally require more than one roll of toilet paper a week.