Baby beater may or may not get his in jail

My hope expressed in a recent column that a Silverdale man charged with second-degree assault of his baby son suffers at the hands of fellow inmates when he goes to prison didn’t set well with a corrections officer at Clallam Bay Corrections Center.

Adam Peyton was babysitting while his girlfriend, the baby’s mother, was on duty in the Navy at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and when she finally noticed something was wrong and took the baby to Naval Hospital, he was found to have six healed fractures.

He said he couldn’t stand the baby’s crying and squeezed and shook him until he heard a loud pop.

I commented that he would probably go to prison for a few years and said I just hoped that while he was in there, the other prisoners gave him a taste of what he gave his son.

“As a 13-year veteran of one of the most violent prisons in the state, Clallam Bay Corrections Center,” wrote Bert Mullen of Sekiu, “here are some reasons you should retract your (comments) in your article about Adam Peyton.

“Just because a person is convicted and sent to prison,” he said, “doesn’t mean they are now above the law and can assault anyone they or YOU want them to. All convicted felons are required to obey the same laws you or I are on the street. The prisoner or prisoners you have asked in your article to give Mr. Peyton his dues would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

“So you would have to pay taxpayer money to prosecute someone who is already behind bars to add time to his sentence, to defend Mr. Peyton’s lawful right to a safe incarceration. You disregarded the safety of staff when you made your statement. Corrections officers are unarmed except for a radio to call for more help. Our pay in this state is in the lowest 30 percent of all the USA. It is a thankless job because most people like yourself think these men are thrown in a walled prison and forgotten about until they get back out and do it all over again and again.

“They wonder why they came out worse than they went in. The big reason is people like you forget about them once they are put away. You never think about what these men are going to be like when they get out and most of them do get out. If they don’t feel safe inside, how do you think it will be for us officers that have to respond to the very assaults you just advocated in a newspaper that is read in every prison in this state?

“Violence breeds violence, Adele. That is a given. It’s been proven over and over. How do you think the police in this guy’s town would have responded if you had written his neighbors should have saved the taxpayers the price of a trial and hung him to the closest tree? Do you advocate vigilantism on the street, Adele? Because you just did behind the walls of a prison.

“Believe me when I say it would not just be at Mr. Peyton’s expense. We would all pay again somehow. You owe every corrections officer in this state an apology. Next time say put him away and throw away the key. I’ll look at that as job security.

“P.S. My wife is the librarian at CBCC and had one of her inmate workers stabbed 19 times right in front of her. As you can imagine, it was not a good day. So it’s not just officers that are affected by violence in prison.”

I have read that there is a kind of code among men in prison and those in there for abuse of children are considered the lowest of the low. Every prisoner knows what the other prisoners are in for and when they find out about Adam Peyton, he’ll be lucky to avoid some kind of retaliation whether I had written about him or not.

I also believe the baby’s mother is not wholly innocent of blame for failure to see to the baby’s welfare during the times he suffered those six fractures.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at PO Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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