Tag: Prison

Police Arrest Elementary School Girls in Tennessee

Source:
Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge.
Judge Donna Scott Davenport oversees a juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee, with a staggering history of jailing children. She said kids must face consequences, which rarely seem to apply to her or the other adults in charge.
by Meribah Knight, Nashville Public Radio, and Ken Armstrong, ProPublica

Inmates on Dostoevsky

He gets up abruptly from the desk he’s been leaning on and lumbers over. “All right,” he says. “Let me have one of those Pall Malls.” I offer the whole pack. He takes three, puts one behind each ear, lights the other, and French-inhales the smoke in a way I haven’t seen for twenty years. “The first thing to understand about an execution,” he says, “is that it’s a ritual. You’ve heard that before, but probably only as a truism. There’s nothing cliché about an execution. It is a modern religious ritual, sanctified in the sense that everything represents something else. The executioner’s fee is the eye for the eye. The sacrifice is implicit in the fact that only one out of every hundred or so gets killed. The blood atonement is what the prisoner’s last meal symbolizes. Notice how the exact menu always gets in the newspaper story? That’s just some AP asshole, acting out a ritual he doesn’t even know is a ritual. He’s covering a communion.”

Dennis is a middle-class northerner, a black sheep who at the age of nineteen killed a man accidentally while sowing wild oats in a barnstorming through the South in the late 1950s. He wound up in Angola and lost his eye in a knife fight in which he killed an inmate, for which he received a death sentence. Like Rideau, who taught himself to read on the row, Dennis spent the 1960s reading everything from the New Republic to Dostoevsky. Everyone in this office has read Dostoevsky, in fact, and to a man they are convinced that he murdered someone during his youth. No one, they say, could have understood the psyche of a murderer that well without having tasted blood himself.

Solotaroff, Ivan. The Last Face You’ll Ever See

Software Bugs and Arizona Prisons

One of the software modules within ACIS, designed to calculate release dates for inmates, is presently unable to account for an amendment to state law that was passed in 2019.

Senate Bill 1310, authored by former Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, amended the Arizona Revised Statutes so that certain inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses could earn additional release credits upon the completion of programming in state prisons. Gov. Ducey signed the bill in June of 2019.

But department sources say the ACIS software is not still able to identify inmates who qualify for SB 1310 programming, nor can it calculate their new release dates upon completion of the programming.

“We knew from day one this wasn’t going to work” a department source said. “When they approved that bill, we looked at it and said ‘Oh, s—.’”

The sources said the ACIS software also makes it difficult for employees to correct errors once they have been identified.

“In one instance there was a disciplinary action erroneously entered on an inmate’s record,” a source said. “But there’s no way to back it out. So that guy was punished and he wasn’t able to make a phone call for 30 days. Those are the kinds of things that eat at you every day.”

Whistleblowers: Software Bug Keeping Hundreds Of Inmates In Arizona Prisons Beyond Release Dates
Jimmy Jenkins, https://kjzz.org/

What Changed When You Got Out of Prison – Ask Reddit


[Serious] People who did a long time (5 years+) in prison, what was your biggest shock of the outside world? from AskReddit

SuburbanBehemoth
5 years for aggravated assault & robbery. I was 3 months past my 18th birthday when I was sentenced. I lived in a small railroad town in South Central PA. I guess one of the biggest shocks for me was how much the town had changed. The scrub land where we rode our bikes and dirt bikes is now a strip mall. My friend’s driveway is now the main road through that part of town. Someone fixed up the old dive bar and turned it into a fairly popular restaurant and bar. Hell, whole developments popped up all over the place! And while I wouldn’t exactly call the changes “gentrification,” the town certainly has improved as far as standards of living, without ridiculously increasing the cost of living.

Shock number two was internet access. AOL, NetZero, EarthLink, etc, were the go-tos then, but phased out within a couple years of my release as faster access from cable companies became more widely available and affordable.

SonicTheEdgelord
You forget about the details of things. Like the way carpet feels on the bottoms of your feet. What it feels like to shower completely alone and without flip flops on. In prison you have a certain number of smells that you’re exposed to every day, think of them as the first page in a book. But when you get out you have the rest of the book available. It’s a lot to take in all at once. With social media and everything, there’s the acknowledgement of the passage of time. When I got locked up I left a lot of friends and family behind and did 3 years on my own, no visitors, no calls, no mail. When I got out it was a trip to get on Facebook and Instagram and see how everyone I was ever close to had moved on with their lives, having kids, getting married, getting fat, losing weight, starting and quitting jobs, falling out with each other, some even passing away. People think about a prisoner doing time but don’t understand that the time does them. You are frozen in it. While you’re stuck in a constant loop of the same day every day, the rest of the world moves on without you. When you get home, you feel left behind. It’s an anxious panic to catch up after that.

SmallPotatoes929
My father was incarcerated from 2003 to 2016 & the biggest shock for him was technology & how much McDonald’s has raised prices lmao

vexterion1
Just got out. Weirdest thing was seeing all these damn scooters laying everywhere

ReallyNeededANewName
That’s weird to all of us

zoinkzies
My brother served a little over 3 years but the morning we picked him up we stopped by a grocery store to let him grab some snacks. He’s walking back to the car with this stunned look on his face and finally as he gets to us he goes “I felt like I was on an acid trip I haven’t seen that many colors in so long, I need to sit down”.

Guantanamo Mixtape

Here follows a sample of the songs played again and again at maximum volume to break the will of enemy combatants at Guantánamo Bay and other US detention centers around the world. In the context of harsh interrogation with no legal recourse or hope of freedom, these songs and others like them became the soundtrack of Hell for those subjected to them.

Christina Aguilera, “Dirrty”
Barney and Friends, “I Love You Song”
Deicide, “Fuck Your God”
Drowning Pool, “Bodies”
Eminem, “Kim”
Marilyn Manson, “The Beautiful People”
The “Meow Mix” Theme
Nine Inch Nails, “Somewhat Damaged”
Queen, “We Are the Champions”
Britney Spears, “. . . Baby One More Time”

Bruce, Scott G.
The Penguin Book of Hell

Former Parole Officer Reflects On His Time Supervising ‘The Second Chance Club’

Four and a half million Americans are on probation or parole — more than twice the nation’s jail population. Parolees and probationers are required to check in regularly with officials, who are charged with helping them rebuild their lives.

I got the book after hearing this interview. It was quite good.
The Second Chance Club: Hardship and Hope After Prison
Jason Hardy
Amazon

Supermax – “Alcatraz of the Rockies”

Before entering ADX, Powers had no history or symptoms of mental illness, but since being installed there, he has become deranged and has engaged in numerous acts of self-mutilation, including amputating his testicle and scrotum, biting off his finger and trying to kill himself on several occasions.

To give you an idea of why a previously sane person would lapse into madness at ADX, you need look no further than the circumstances of their confinement. ADX was designed to ensure the total isolation of all its prisoners, who are held in cells about the size of an average toilet. The cells have thick, concrete soundproof walls, a door with bars and a second door made of solid steel. The only possible means of communicating with other humans is to yell into the toilet bowl and hope that someone may hear. The inmates are kept in their cell 24/7 for two days each week. On the other five days, they may get to spend approximately one hour in a similarly-sized cage for what is laughingly referred to as “outdoor” recreation.

US ‘supermax’ prison is condemned internationally for its abusive regime
Sadhbh Walshe, September 2012, guardian

Debtors Prisons, Return of in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Corrections runs the modern-day debtors prisons it calls restitution centers. But not very well.

The agency doesn’t keep close track of how much people sentenced to the program earn and owe, according to dozens of current and former inmates interviewed by Mississippi Today. That makes it hard for them to figure out how long they need to work at mostly low-wage jobs to make enough money to earn their freedom.

Mississippi prohibits the workers from handling their own earnings and gives them little documentation of their debts. Where their money goes and whether it reaches the victims of their crimes remains a mystery to most inmates we talked to.

Anna Wolfe And Michelle Liu, ‘Something seems fishy’: Bad bookkeeping and poor oversight plague a Mississippi inmate labor program, Mississippi Today

Sentencing Reform in Oklahoma

TAFT, Okla. — Julie Faircloth walked out of an Oklahoma prison near the head of a line of nearly 70 women who were freed on Monday, as part of one of the largest single-day releases of prisoners in the nation’s history.

They were greeted by screams of joy from relatives who had gathered outside the prison, a minimum-security facility southeast of Tulsa. Hugging first her mother, then her husband, Ms. Faircloth, 28, said she was overwhelmed. “I can’t even put words to it,” she said.

Across Oklahoma on Monday, 462 inmates doing time for drug possession or similar nonviolent crimes had their sentences commuted as the first step in an effort by state officials to shed the title of the nation’s incarceration capital.

 

Voters forced the hand of Oklahoma lawmakers in 2016 when, by a wide margin, they approved a plan to shrink prison rolls by downgrading many felonies to misdemeanors, including simple drug possession and minor property crimes.

Nearly 500 Prisoners Freed on a Single Day
Oklahoma has one of the nation’s highest incarceration rates, but a law downgrading minor crimes is the first step in an effort to change that.
Kristi Eaton and Richard A. Oppel Jr.
NY Times

The Power of the Press, Ted Conover on the Impact of Newjack

Did my book result in any reforms in the corrections system? I like to think so, but I’m sure of only one. In Newjack I describe B-Block, the immense building where I worked. Housing six hundred inmates, it is one of the largest freestanding cellblocks in the world. Horrific and very dim inside, it seemed as if the windows hadn’t been washed in fifty years. I included that detail in the book. The wife of a B-Block inmate sent me an e-mail after visiting her husband and wrote, “My husband just wanted you to know that a month after your book came out, they washed the windows.”

So there’s the power of the press for you.

Ted Conover, on his book Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, quote taken from Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University