On Saturday, March 30, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department stated in a press release that the comments of a jail minister published in the High Point Enterprisedo not express the views of the department.
The release, sent out by Guilford County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Max Benbassat, stated, “Regarding the article published in the High Point Enterprise on March 29, 2019 interviewing the High Pont [sic] Jail Chaplain, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office wants to explicitly state that the views and the comments made by Mr. Taylor donot [sic] reflect the procedures within the High Point Detention Facility nor the views of the Sheriff’s Office or Sheriff Danny Rogers.”
The High Point Enterprisearticle quoted Rick Taylor, the new chaplain for the Guilford County jail in downtown High Point, as saying, “My job is just to show them Christ and do it the best I can. It is pointedly Christian and evangelical.”
Taylor was also quoted as saying: “If you’re a Muslim in here, you’re gonna’ get a Bible as well as a Quran, because that’s my mandate. I don’t care what their condition is, my mandate is to present Christ to them. Luckily, I’ve had a number of them since I’ve been here that’s sat down at the table, pushed their Quran across and said, ‘I don’t need that anymore, because I’ve been reading that Bible you gave me.’”
Taylor also spoke on the mental health of the inmates in the jail and said he didn’t believe that most of the inmates were suffering from a mental health condition.
“If I had my way,” Taylor was quoted as saying in the article, “the (addiction groups) stuff would be minimal because it’s very old, it’s not Christ-centered, and my success rate on getting them concerned with the first thing is unbelievably good compared to the rest of them.”
The Saturday night press release from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department in response to the article stated that the department “recognizes that all inmates are free to worship the religion of their choice.” It added, “Further, the comments made diminishing mental health, addiction and depression/suicide are not reflective of our stance on the medical and mental health care of those in custody. The Sheriff’s Office has robust medical, mental health, and 12 step programs and understand the complexities associated with these issues.”