Prison Grievances: when to write, how to write, is at the publisher and set for sell in a week through Amazon.com. Author Terri LeClercq is quite excited!
The state closed 100 crowded beds, and Gov. Jerry Brown now wants the courts out of the prisons, and calls any further improvements to the California system “nitpicking.” Wait a minute, insists those who investigate: “a court-appointed monitor said in papers filed last week that Mr. Brown’s demand to end oversight is “not only premature, […]
Special Master Matthew Lopes is investigating California prisons at the courts’ request. He wants to see all 33 state prisons but has seen only one–enough to make him argue against Gov. Brown’s request to end court supervision of the state prisons. “The problem of inmate suicides … must be resolved before the remedial phase of […]
His defense lawyers believe they have proven 10 times over that Larry Swearingen was in jail when he supposedly murdered Melissa Trotter. State prosecutors and the courts have agreed to DNA testing, but–they can’t agree on when the testing will be done. Because he is scheduled to be executed Feb. 27, Swearinger is rather involved in the […]
Miami-Glade, never a forerunner of prison innovation, has nevertheless announced it would begin serving kosher meals to any Jews who request them. Officials promise that kosher food will soon extend to women’s prisons and other facilities with a large portion of Jewish inhabitants. Officials also insist the decision had nothing to do with the U.S. […]
Is it “frivolous and excessive” to ask for more than 100 free pages to be copied toward an inmate’s law suits? The Utah prison system has decided so. They point out that much of the requested information can be accessed through interviews, etc. But at least one committee member questions why at least theprison system […]
If you were governor of a state that was under federal orders to reduce prison overcrowding, what would you do? California’s Jerry Brown has decided to change the definition of overcrowding. Yep. “The state said its 33 prisons on average are at 149.4% of design capacity. Nearly half of the individual prisons are much higher than that: 172% at North Kern State Prison, 187% at the Central California Women’s Facility, and the men’s section of Valley State Prison in Chowchilla is now at almost 352%.” Gov. Brown thinks that the state “has improved living conditions within its prisons to the point it no longer needs to meet court-ordered caps on prison crowding.”
It’s taken a major budget crisis and numerous examples of million-dollar cases, but the Texas Legislature is actually looking at the stringent procedures that keep terminally ill patients within the cells. Head of the parole system, Rissie Owens, is frequently quoted as saying these prisoners are known to have miraculous recoveries and commit new crimes; perhaps the legislature can investigate how many do actually pick up their pallets and walk into crime.
Should inmates work while they’re in prison? Some critics of work programs see them as modern slave factories, where an inmate earns, perhaps, $0.81/hr. In California, one program that teamed with trades unions taught the inmates a skill, and helped them get employed upon release. But the State has run out of money, so the program is being discontinued. The recidivism rate for inmates who succeed in the program is astonishing low; perhaps critics should re-think their position and urge the states to offer them everywhere.
Washington state has opened new programs to help those in isolation units earn their way out.
“At Clallam Bay, the path out of isolation runs through the color-coded tiers of the Intensive Transition Program (ITP), housed since 2006 in a unit originally built for juveniles.
About 30 inmates, all volunteers, agree to a nine-month program stocked with coursework such as “moral recognition therapy” and “self-repair,” gradually earning more freedoms.” Some are former gang members; some are mentally ill.