Monthly Archives: August 2012

The BOP Prisoner Complaint Process: A Comedic Look

The Bureau of Prisons’ inmate grievance procedure…in all its glory.

Huge kudos to whoever made this.

Former CA Prison Director Against the Death Penalty

Article on the Huffington Post from the former CA prison director, now proponent of Prop 34, which seeks to replace the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole.

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Korea: Inmates score high in TOEIC test

From the article: “Inmates are getting higher TOEIC scores than most college students. The number of prisoners who received a score of over 900 out of 990 in the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) at the Uijeongbu Correctional Institution doubled from last year.”

Read more here.

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What does a condemned man eat for his last meal?

Interesting article regarding the last meal requests of inmates facing the death penalty. Unsurprisingly, high calorie comfort foods were the most popular requests. This also reminds me of the photographs of inmates’ last meals, which I re-blogged a couple weeks ago from Prison Photography.

It is a morbid subject, and yet even the question of a last meal is a topic that impacts rights/conditions concerns. In Texas in 2011, one state senator was so infuriated at hearing a death row inmate’s (admittedly exorbitant) last meal request that he demanded that the state stop its practice of observing last meal requests. The senator stated that it had nothing to do with the cost of the meal, but with the principle – the inmate never gave his victim the opportunity for a last meal, so why should the state give him one? Putting aside the meal for a second, that logic is just flawed – essentially, the senator is suggesting an eye for an eye justice, which is not how the criminal justice system in America actually operates. Looking at the meal in question, the inmate did order an extensive amount of food – yet it seems like there could have been a middle line drawn, which is so often missing from reactive politics.

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Last Push to Block Arizona Prison Deal

From the article: “In a last-ditch effort, private-prison opponents called on Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday to scuttle a contract that is expected to be awarded Friday for 1,000 medium-security beds for men.

A coalition of elected officials, educators and faith leaders sent an open letter to Brewer, saying the beds are costly and unnecessary. They also contend the five out-of-state companies bidding to run a new prison facility have histories of questionable management practices and safety problems.”

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Prison Reform Movement's Weblog- America: Land of the Free, Home of the Incarcerated

A new video created by the Brave New Foundation and endorsed by a wide range of groups, from the ACLU and the NAACP to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the United Methodist Church, examines the ways in which prison is like a beast. “The U.S. is paying to have more than 2.3 million people behind bars. That’s more than China, more than Iran — more than any country on Earth,” the video’s narrator notes. When you also consider that half our prison population is behind bars for non-violent crimes, and that our prison budget has swelled to an astonishing $228 billion a year… well, you get the idea.

Watch the video below.

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Cut the cost of prison phone calls

This opinion article discusses the important issue of the high cost of phone calls for inmates.  As the article states, studies have shown that connection to one’s family and the greater community can aid rehabilitation and reduce recidivism.  Yet inmates continue to be charged exorbitant costs, particularly when many of them make $18 per month in state pay (at least in Ohio).  Jails can even be worse.  I’ve heard of one that charges $10 per call.  I think that this is a short-term profit strategy for cash-strapped facilities, and while that is understandable given the recession, the costs should be reconsidered in light of the potential benefits to society for more phone calls home.


67 escapes: 5.7 percent of inmates flee Iowa DOC’s Davenport halfway houses

The headline is self-explanatory.  On the plus side, most are found within a week.  Read the article here.

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This special series will run through Tuesday September 4th.


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The Catholic Eye

It’s called realignment, mandated by a federal court judge, and its causing problems, as this recent Press Releasefrom the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation writes.

An excerpt.

“The Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation has been tracking the impact of Governor Brown’s Realignment Law (AB109) since it took effect in October 2011. Under Realignment, inmates who are classified as nonserious, nonviolent, and nonsexual offenders are sent to local jails instead of California state prisons or put under community supervision. However, these Post-Release Community Supervision inmates (PRCS) could have prior convictions for murder or sexual offenses as long as their most recent conviction was for a nonserious, nonviolent, and nonsexual crime.

“LAPD Sgt. Jeff Nuttall states, “Some of the people who are on this program are absolutely dangerous career criminals.” (Daily News, April 21).

“In fact, one prisoner who was segregated in a secure housing unit in Pelican Bay, where the state’s…

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