Terri LeClercq speaks at Georgetown Law – 3/27/2015
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin Public Affairs Forum 1609 – March 2016 – Author Terri LeClercq, PhD. – “Inmate Rights, Prison Grievances: A Novel Approach”
Elaine Barltett, mother of 4, made an economic decision to move drugs from NYC to ALbany. She was set up and spent 16 years in prison before an unusual exoneration. Her prison story is compelling; her life-after-prison is sad, realistic, hopeless, and yet hopeful.
Indiana class-action lawsuit settled. Solitary confinement now prohibited for the mentally ill. Treatment plans must be individualized and reviewed each 90 days.
Inmates and advocacy groups will benefit from Ethics for a Whole World, by the Dalai Lama. He introduces thoughtful ideas and provokes us to our better selves. The Study Guide is useful (written by Texas inmates).
The Progressive, Oct. 2015, has a lead article explaining the different groups interested in prison reform. Today, anyway.
Anne-Marie Cusac uses one released felon’s story to exemplify the problems within the System and the hopes felons have as they leave The Walls. The she reviews the promised changes and the political atmosphere behind the interest in prison reform.
My favorite paragraph: “Republicans justify criminal justice reform from different perspectives. Fiscal conservatives focus on saving money; religious conservatives on saving souls. … social conservatives have turned to criminal justice because they have noticed the effect the system has on families.”
I don’t care if they have suddenly discovered prison reform because they are worried about non-climate change or pink elephants. If liberals and conservatives can actually work together–even with differing motives–then something might get done. Something. I have little optimism about the whole, huge bundle of issues, but maybe just getting prisons back to a mere 100% of capacity might lessen the strain on the prison guards, and thus lessen the insane inhumanity within the units. Maybe if both sides pressure the court systems, the prosecutors will finally attempt justice in cases rather than convictions. But ever so much would have to change to make that miracle occur.
Articles like this one, and the ones in The Atlantic, will bring the question in front of a few readers. What, though, might we do to get the problem and solutions into the faces of the rest of the citizenry?
Criminal Justice at the Crossroads, William Kelly, examines public policy and declares it antiquated and the largest U.S. public policy failure, ever. Read this book.
When is a doctor not a doctor? When Louisiana hires you despite your lack of qualifications and your bad discipline record. The recorded stories of Angola inmates should make every citizen revolt against prisons. Please read the full account, and try to imagine how you would feel if your Loved One were in the Hell Hole
The Armed Career Criminal Act (AACA) prohibits convicted felons from owning firearms. IN general, it can get a felon up to 10 years in prison. But: if the offender has 3 or more earlier convictions for ‘serious drug offense’ or ‘violent felony,’ the ACCA increases his prison term for a minimum of 15 years, and a maximum of life.
Pretty tough stuff!
But recently the Supreme Court has held that a district court does not have the power to increase a sentence under the ACCA’s residual clause. Now courts will grapple with the state and federal definitions of ‘violent’ before applying more draconian years to a felon’s sentence.
Sentenced at 16. Left to rot until he was 24. But Reginald Dwayne Betts Jr. took a book with him, and he found others. Some books found him. Today he is in higher education, and publishing essays and books and poetry. It can happen. Dwayne is now finishing Yale Law School
Send a book to someone Inside today and see what will happen. Dare you