Restitution, Mental Illness, DNA Evidence, Oysters and White People

No Restitution

An online reader responds to "Crime Doesn't Pay(back)," by Chris Vogel, December 4:

Wow: What a major undertaking and what a fantastic result. Let's hope this might lead to a major overhaul of the ­victims'-rights statutes, and a more realistic enforcement by state authorities. Keep up the good work, HP.


victim restitution

Comment by Michael McConihe from
District of Columbia

Jail and the Mentally Ill

Online readers respond to "How to Save a Life," by Paul Knight, December 11:

Shut it down: I don't know this girl, but I do know (from unfortunate firsthand knowledge) that Harris County Jail can nearly make a sane person go off the deep end. Seroquel and other psych meds are easier to get via "trading and trafficking" than from medical. When they do prescribe meds via the legit channels, they take so many days to get you what they deem the equivalent to what you take on the outside that I saw many people really flip out.

Harris County Jail should be shut down. The folks that say that place is okay to stay open turn a blind eye to the tricks played by the staff (e.g., shuffling inmates during inspections to hide the massive overcrowding) and should really have to spend even 72 hours in there themselves to get some firsthand knowledge of that hellhole.

New Choices seems to be a decent program, and they have some of the rare guards who seem to care about the inmates.

As I said, I don't know this girl, but it sure sounds like they put her in the wrong place if they wanted her to get better.

Comment by TXMom

Not all bad: Working in the Harris County Jail, I do agree that it is no place for people who are truly in need of psychological help. I've worked with many inmates who should be elsewhere as patients. But at the very least, there is an attempt (a large one at that) to help mental health sufferers within the system. Our Mental Health Unit is one of the areas where the Harris County Sheriff's Office should be given credit. It was created as an attempt to help those who need it. Could it be better? Yes. Is it bad? No. In my overall opinion, drug users shouldn't be locked up for personal use anyway. If they are committing crimes against others for their drug use, that is a whole different story.

Comment by Harris County Citizen
from Houston

Body of Evidence

An online reader responds to "Quality Assurance," by Randall Patterson, November 27:

No Ph.D. necessary: Please see that the DNA evidence in his murder case is processed with no greater care or attention than it would have received while he was sleeping at the laboratory.

Note: Ph.D.? Any person who knows how to heat a baby bottle, follow the directions on a box of cake mix and properly sort laundry by color and fabric can perform most of the basic tests in a serology lab. No need for a Ph.D. at all. Many of the DNA programs at community colleges crank out technicians who have basic competence and yet lack even a four-year degree.

Comment by FoolsGold from Seattle

Hail King's Inn

Get the fish: Well, Robb Walsh missed the boat again ["Bombay Salad and Colossal Shrimp," December 18]. I first walked into King's Inn more than 40 years ago with some folks from Kingsville. Like he said, there are no menus. An order of fried fish, and that is what you go there for, comes with french fries. That's the signature dish you order, the fried fish, onion rings and avocado salad. When the onion rings arrive, you throw out the french fries. Don't get me wrong, the shrimp are tasty.

If Walsh wants raw oysters, he should go over to the Ragin Cajun or Captain Tom's. Same with crab cakes, boiled shrimp, fried oysters, fish of the day, etc. — stay in Houston, Robb. And if you're appalled by industrial gray carpet, stay the hell out of South Texas.

Joe Keathley

Diversity on Dunvale

Untrue: I have to take issue with "Cold Shot" [Nightfly, by Shea Serrano, December 25]. Serrano describes the customers of the Hideaway on Dunvale as "local, white and over 30," and later he writes that lack of diversity seems to be the only real knock on the place. This is not true. I am a white male who is 37. (Something wrong with that? Should I stay home?) But every time I have been to the Hideaway, it is usually 50 percent white and 50 percent black patrons. Did the writer just go on the night Dylan Tindel played? Go on a Tuesday night for the Blues Jam led by Rick Lee (an Asian) and The Night Owls. The crowd is usually 50 percent black, and many local black blues players show up to jam live. Please do some research before writing such untrue statements. Thanks.

David Rozycki


In "Cancer Doc" by Craig Malisow (January 1), we incorrectly wrote that one of three reviewers of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski's scientific protocols had died. Actually, that person, who was unnamed in the article, is still alive.

Also, the photo accompanying "Green Giant" (Night & Day, by Olivia Flores Alvarez, January 1) was incorrectly identified. The photo is by Joyce Cail, and it is called Somewhere in West Texas.

The Houston Press regrets the errors.


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