July 28, 2008
I know. Details. Details. It turns out the trip was part of some sort of motivational and uplifting trip to help them kick their addictions. But helping the drunks kick their habits this way?
The probe was started after a drug treatment counselor complained that allowing the inmates to get near alcohol was a setback to their treatment.
The counselor, Mark Nelson, 47, of Prairie Farm, alleges he was pushed out of his job shortly after he filed his complaint about the incident. A Department of Corrections spokesman said officials did not retaliate against him.
Nelson said it was unethical for officers to take alcoholic inmates to Ready Randy's Sports Bar & Grill in New Richmond -- to hear a motivational speaker -- since most of them will be barred from going into establishments where alcohol is served when they are released.
Top officials at the St. Croix Correctional Center approved the jaunt, saying inmates were closely supervised and could not get alcohol. They said they wanted inmates to hear an uplifting speech by motivational speaker Dick Hoyt.
"This was a rare, special opportunity for a motivational speaker," Superintendent Jo Skalski said. "(The inmates) are very thankful. It was very inspiring to them."
Yeah, I bet. It inspires me to just lock myself in my basement when I want to get hammered, so that I don't go outside and get arrested.
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