17 February 2013
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Closing Prison? Be Careful What You Wish For

So California is closing prisons and shifting inmates–into already crowded prisons. Victoria Law, of Truthout, is doing the new math: “In December 2011, on the heels of the US Supreme Court’s decision that the overcrowding in the California state prison system is unconstitutional, the CDCR proposed converting Valley State to a men’s prison and transferring […]

16 February 2013
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Don’t Snitch! Advice for Those Going In

Bradley Schwartz, once lawyer, then once inmate, is detailing his experiences in a continuing blog, Terrific insider info! One suggestion I’m passing along because it relates to prison conditions and grievances: don’t snitch. But then, how do you write a grievance if someone is doing you wrong? That conundrum is part of the daily […]

15 February 2013
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Debtors’ Prisons 2013: Late Renters

We seem to forget that the forefathers left England in part to escape the spectre of Debtors’ Prisons. In the new Colonies, debtors perhaps went into the stocks but were released and ordered to work and pay up. Today, Tough on Crime dictates the oddest punishment: late on rent? Go to jail. Do not work. […]

14 February 2013
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Funding Innocence Projects

The Texas legislature cut 20% of law school’s clinic budgets last time around. Texas does not fund a state-wide Innocence Program, as some other states do. We need that funding restored, and even increased. Turns out many an inmate shouldn’t be inside, using our tax dollars, wasting his/her life. If mere research and the will […]

12 February 2013
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Texas Pays $123 Million a Year to Private Prisons

Tex. Senator John Whitmire, chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, wants to close a private pre-parole transfer facility and a state jail, both run by Corrections Corporation of America. That’s the good news. But he wants to divert the savings to fight crime rather than improve the rest of the prison system.

10 February 2013
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Captive Audiences Love Sports

Super Bowl means more to the captive audiences behind bars than it means to most free-world households. Sports Illustrated recently ran an essay from an exonoree, explaining that “sports are crucial to survival.” Sports allowed Jeff Deskovic “to leave the prison for a while, even if in my own mind.” Critics who want to unplug […]

6 February 2013
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ACLU: Ohio Private Prison Unsafe and Disgusting

One year ago, Ohio’s Lake Erie Correctional Facility was taken over by the the Corrections Corporation of America‘s (CCA).  “CCA’s track record over the last year at Lake Erie amounts to an across-the board failure: burdening the local community, failing to control the escalation of dangerous conditions within prison walls, all the while ratcheting up costs […]

3 February 2013
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Wisconsin Prison Staff and Safety Concerns

An internal union dispute and shifting state oversight has resulted in confused and contradictory reporting on inmate attacks on staff and on vacancies/forced overtime. Someone needs to be in charge: America’s most vulnerable population (inmates) is again at risk due to political wranglings.

30 January 2013
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NY State Bar Opposes Long-term Solitary

State by state, sanity may overtake former prison policies. The New York State Bar Association has passed a resolution against the lengthy, and frequently unnecessary, use of prolonged solitary confinement. The Association believes solitary offends not “just the conscience, but the Constitution.” They write, “solitary confinement, if used at all, should be measured in days, […]

30 January 2013
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Prison Reform: Texas Businesses Pressure Congressmen

It’s been a long time coming. But “it” is here: Texas Association of Business is pressuring Texas congress to keep people out of prison, and reduce barriers of employment to the formerly incarcerated. Tip of the Prison Advocates’ Hat to Penny Rayfield, president of OnShore Resources. She’s also a TAB board member and helped create […]

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