Author, Expert & Speaker

ACLU

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.

In past posts about reentry, I looked at the Ban the Box bill and jobs as examples of what reentering citizens face.… Read the rest

Sometimes allegations in a lawsuit read like banal pulp fiction. Often they ring with the tenor of a dime novel—too contrived to be true. P.E.O.P.L.E. v. Rackauckas, a forty-page civil lawsuit filed in the Orange County (California) superior court on April 4, 2018, distinguishes itself from legal humdrum. Brought by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California on behalf of the plaintiffs, the lawsuit is not about money.… Read the rest

In prison, books are friends. They’re virtual tickets out of the prison yard and into worlds of escape. Science tells us that reading benefits our brain function and emotions.

Prison administrators should understand science-based findings that reading is good for people. In her article “8 Science-Backed Reasons to Read a (Real) Book,” Abigail Wise gives four reasons that are particularly relevant to inmate readers:

  • It [reading] increases intelligence
  • It can boost your brain power
  • Reading can make you more empathic
  • Reading can help you relax

In my blog, Prison Is a Good Place to Catch Up on Your Reading, I argue that the boredom inherent in doing time and the resultant numbing of the mind caused by the never-changing, predictable daily routine of life has an antidote in the reading of books.… Read the rest

Not about Nightingales—A Play about an AtrocityTennessee Williams’ Not about Nightingales is about a prison atrocity. Written in 1938, the play was originally titled The Rest is Silence: This play is dedicated to the memory of four men who died by torture in an American prison, August 1938. The events portrayed in the play are real. Not about Nightingales was inspired by newspaper accounts of atrocities in a Pennsylvania prison and written when Williams was just twenty-seven years old.… Read the rest

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