Solitary confinement began as a means of segregating violent prisoners. Today, however, it is overused and used illogically, according to both prison advocates and the president of Texas' local guard union, Lance Lowry. The average stay in Texas solitary is just under two years. YEARS! Yet the new head of Colorado Corrections spent one 23-hour stint in a solitary cell last month and almost cracked; Colorado is revising its policy. Texas' executive director of Criminal Justice Brad Livingston expects Texas to follow with its own re-examination. Let's hope he doesn't just appoint another committee. We know there's a problem. Texas is holding more than 7,200 inmates in solitary, some for reputed gang affiliation.Read the full article...March 3, 2014
Join me and a host of experts at the Dallas national Prisoners' Family Conference. Learn how to care for yourself while helping your Loved One. The plenary speakers are dynamic; the quiet times shared with others in your situation will enrich your life. Do join us!Read the full article...February 16, 2014
Steve Martin consults across the country on prison issues. He is an expert with all the experience: he's been a guard, a lawyer, general counsel, and now activist. And what he is saying is that prison policy must change to save the lives of guards. It's the right thing to do for inmates, too. Return to a system where death-row inmates and those in solitary confinement can earn their way to rewards and even out of solitary. These positive incentives help guards keep control and reward the Good Guys. This makes so much sense that we have to wonder why it isn't that way now.Read the full article...February 15, 2014
Between the U.S. Senate and the U.S. attorney's Office, there's optimism and news about drug sentencing. The Senate passed a bill with three key provisions: make crack cocaine sentencing provisions for drugs retroactive; cut mandatory/minimum in half; and grant judges discretion. Then Eric Holder appealed to the pubic and all state bars to forward names/cases that need reviewing for pardons. Amazing! Let's hope these two acts, together, allow many inmates to get out and get new lives.Read the full article...February 6, 2014
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