As I write this post, a seventeen-day prison strike is going on in this country. The coordinated actions started on August 21, 2018, and will end on September 9, 2018. The strike brings to the forefront prison reform issues that I, and countless other supporters of change, have been bringing to the attention of the general public and public servants about the pernicious grind of mass incarceration.… Read the rest
California is burning. The air contaminants from uncontained wildfires have caused a hazy reddish-gray umbrella sky extending from north to south. The images of brave and dedicated firefighters battling the rampage of fire in the midst of high temperatures and low humidity appear in the local and national press. Fighting wildfires in California is very serious business.… Read the rest
In a July 28, 2018, Kaiser Health News article, Siraphob Thanthong-Knight reports that “state prisons across the US are failing to treat at least 144,000 inmates who have hepatitis C.” This report reviews a recent survey of state corrections departments and concludes that inmates with hepatitis C, a curable but potentially fatal disease, can’t get the expensive drugs they need to cure it.… Read the rest
The critical prison reform topic of jobs has been a recurring theme of my posts. The topic brings into focus populations of people released from prison each year. In 2016, state and federal prisons released about 626,000 people, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.… Read the rest
Courts routinely appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) for children whose best interests are to be determined by a court of law. The Latin term ad litem means for the lawsuit. When a child is caught in a highly contentious custody dispute, the courts can appoint an independent attorney or mental health professional to represent the best interests of the child.… Read the rest
The subject matter for a prison reform blog can come from anywhere, even a piece junk mail. Usually, junk mail letters are instantly recognized as trash. However, some give enough compelling information on the outside to warrant being opened—so you can confirm its irrelevance.
I recently received a piece of enigmatic junk mail from an unknown sender: Department of Consumer Notices.… Read the rest
The politics associated with the appointment of a replacement for Justice Kennedy, 81, who resigned June 27, 2018, from the US Supreme Court after thirty years of service, is gut-wrenching. Take your own gut test: what rights and protections do you fear are being whittled away by the sway and stench of political expediency?… Read the rest
I cannot understate the wide range of subjects raised by the words prison reform. When breaking it into components, I classify prison reform into three broad categories: criminal justice and procedures, incarceration living, and reentry.
What do politicians and Jared Kushner have to do with federal prison reform? Prison reform is a large subject, and politicians will always politicalize aspects of any subject. Kushner could be the catalyst that results in reform. Why is that? He’s connected to the issues.
His father-in-law, according to Insider’s Maxwell Tani, has tasked Kushner with solving some of the world’s most complex and confounding political problems domestically and abroad, including the reformation of the criminal justice system.… Read the rest
Frederick Douglass wrote in his striking memoir, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, that “The White children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege.” Even asking your master about your birthday was, according to Douglass, “improper and impertinent,” and he added, “I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell of his birthday.”… Read the rest