To the editor: In the Berkshire County Sheriff’s race, the main issue is clear: Should women inmates be shipped the long distance to Chicopee at taxpayer’s expense, against their will and away from their families and their lawyers instead of being housed in our own Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction?

Our present sheriff started this discriminatory program and refuses to end it. If he won’t terminate this unfair program against local women, the voters of Berkshire County should stop it by voting for Alfred "Alf" Barbalunga for sheriff. He has pledged to end this discrimination by bringing female inmates back to our local jail on Cheshire Road. This will reduce transportation costs and help women make a successful transition back to society. One of the original reasons that our present House of Corrections was constructed was so that women inmates could be housed in Berkshire County and not outside the county.

Please join me and other progressive Democrats in voting for equal treatment for female inmates by voting for Alf Barbalunga for sheriff.

Patrick Gable, Pittsfield

The writer is an attorney who formerly served as assistant district attorney for Berkshire County and assistant attorney general for Massachusetts.