Lettie Hellman

  • Lettie Hellman

    Cindy Wehling
 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story, Colorado's prison slayer.

Lettie Hellman is a native of Colorado's Western Slope. Since the mid-1980s she has promoted prisons for Delta County. Her husband, Bill, also a proponent of prisons, runs an auto dealership in the town of Delta, population 4,000.

"I'm not crazy about seeing a great amount of growth here, but we need two or three good, solid industries. The coal industry doesn't provide as many jobs as it used to. Prison jobs can help the situation; they are recession-proof.

"If we had an industry that offered the same kind of longevity (and) that was clean like prisons, I would be the first one in line. Our problem is that businesses are not knocking on our door to come here, and every county is going after them. We just don't have a lot of the amenities that you need to attract some of the high-tech kinds of businesses. It's unfortunate, but it's a fact of life.

"People who live in the area of prisons understand them. They realize they're safer there than anywhere else. When you have multiple prisons, your area is full of law enforcement and the crime rate is low.

"I truly wouldn't care if there was a prison across the street from my house. I have a brother who lives in Springfield, Mo., directly across from a federal prison. It's a family neighborhood. Small children. When I visit him I go to sleep there and don't give it a second thought.

"The opponents of prisons feed off the emotionalism of the subject without looking at the facts. Prisons aren't the boogeyman to me. We haven't had one person harmed by the prison. You can't say that about agriculture.

"Those who oppose prisons should spend their energy on changing society and the moral situation that make prisons necessary. That would be a benefit to us all. People need to go out there to the (Delta County Correctional) Facility and see what it is like before they criticize it. It's superbly managed; the inmates provide the county with millions of dollars of labor.

"If someone has all the facts and they are still opposed to prisons ... well, God bless them."

High Country News Classifieds
  • ELLIE SAYS IT'S SAFE! A GUIDE DOG'S JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
    by Don Hagedorn. A story of how lives of the visually impaired are improved through the love and courage of guide dogs. Available on Amazon.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
    All positions available: Sales Representative, Accountant and Administrative Assistant. As part of our expansion program, our University is looking for part time work from home...
  • COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Position Title: Communications Associate Director Location: Flexible within the Western U.S., Durango, CO preferred Position reports to: Senior Communications Director The Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF)...
  • HISTORIC HOTEL & CAFE
    For Sale, 600k, Centennial Wyoming, 6 suites plus 2 bed, 2 bath apartment. www.themountainviewhotel.com Make this your home or buy a turn key hotel [email protected]
  • MAJOR GIFTS OFFICER
    High Country News, an award-winning news organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Major Gifts Officer to join our...
  • RUBY, ARIZONA CARETAKER
    S. Az ghost town seeking full-time caretaker. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    Basic Summary: The Vice President for Landscape Conservation is based in the Washington, D.C., headquarters and oversees Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing...
  • BRISTOL BAY PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Seeking a program director responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of the Alaska Chapter's priority strategy for conservation in the Bristol Bay region of...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The National Bighorn Sheep Center is looking for an Executive Director to take us forward into the new decade with continued strong leadership and vision:...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Powder Basin Watershed Council, based in Baker City, Oregon, seeks a new Executive Director with a passion for rural communities, water, and working lands....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Powder River Basin Resource Council, a progressive non-profit conservation organization based in Sheridan, Wyoming, seeks an Executive Director, preferably with grassroots organizing experience, excellent communication...
  • ADOBE HOME
    Passive solar adobe home in high desert of central New Mexico. Located on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, based in Ely, Nevada is looking for a new executive director to replace the long-time executive director who is retiring at...
  • STEVE HARRIS, EXPERIENCED PUBLIC LANDS/ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY
    Comment Letters - Admin Appeals - Federal & State Litigation - FOIA -
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
  • LOG HOME IN THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Beautiful hand built log home in the heart of the Gila Wilderness on five acres. Please email for PDF of pictures and a full description.
  • CARETAKER
    2.0 acre homestead needing year-round caretaker in NE Oregon. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.