Author, Expert & Speaker


The curtain rises for Act 2. As discussed in Act 1, Greenlighting: Jailhouse Snitches, the term greenlighting comes from a lawsuit filed in the Orange County (California) superior court on April 4, 2018, against the Orange County district attorney and the sheriff. The lawsuit does not ask for money; it asks the court to overhaul the Orange County justice system, which is allegedly “in disrepair and disrepute.”… Read the rest

Crusading for change includes knowing when real change happens. Some states are making more progress than others in their efforts for prison reform. According to the New Republic, “One could reasonably argue that Georgia is doing more to reform its criminal justice system than any other state in the country—from sentencing to felon employment after release to juvenile detention.”… Read the rest

Last November, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition (Prop) 57 by a margin of 31 percent. The object of Prop 57—The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016—is to move up parole consideration of nonviolent offenders who have served the full term of the sentence for their primary offense and who demonstrate that their release would not pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community.… Read the rest

I was fifty-four in 2003 when I entered the California prison system. I estimate that the mean age was about half my age. Other men about my age were there, a lot of them were doing time for aggravated drunk driving, domestic abuse, and drug manufacturing. There were many first-timers and a fair number of long-timers.… Read the rest

Here’s a new approach to funding prison reform: sell your artwork. According to the New York Times, that’s exactly what an art collector and patron has done. The patron donated $100 million from the proceeds of a $165 million sale of her pop art painting. New Yorker Agnes Gund,78, sold her 1962 Roy Lichtenstein painting “Masterpiece” to raise money for prison justice reform.… Read the rest

Prisons have become mental health asylums. The data is overwhelming. While researching my last post about Dorothea Dix, an early advocate for mentally ill prisoners, I learned more about the how mentally ill persons are treated in prison populations. I also became aware of parameters that proscribe the legal rights of mentally ill inmates.… Read the rest

It’s easy to lose your mind in prison. The insane world of forced routine accentuated by culture clashes, boredom, and the loss of personal freedoms can cause people to question their sanity. In February 2005, I wrote a quote from John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row in my personal journal. Sitting on my bunk on a cold and dark winter day, I was looking for a way to express my depressed mood.… Read the rest

exhibit-a-votes-positive-prison-reformI offer you Exhibit A, which proves that voters have the power to bring about positive prison reform. Exhibit A is the result of the vote on Proposition 57, which California voters approved on November 8th with 63 percent of the vote. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the impetus of Governor Jerry Brown’s putting Prop 57 on the ballot was “to further shrink the state’s prison population.”… Read the rest

In a recent blog, I highlighted the death penalty referendums on three states’ November 8, 2016, ballots. In my opinion, the results of all three plebiscites are laden with the national swell of anger and the pernicious erosion of objectivity toward marginalized cultures in our country—in this instance, persons awaiting state-imposed death sentences.… Read the rest

cant-afford-to-call-homeImagine a world without social media. No Facebook or Twitter—no way to reach out to relatives and friends. Imagine a world where the telephone is the only communication tool available. Welcome to prison.

I learned to lower my expectations for communications on day one of my incarceration. Letter writing and telephone calls became my sole means of connected outreach.… Read the rest

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