PrisonWatchTM vs. Timesizing®

Prison stories - Jan.-May/2002
[Commentary] ©2002 Philip Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 622, Cambridge MA 02140 USA (617) 623-8080 - HOMEPAGE

5/27/2002   1 prison story - 5/25/2002   1 prison story - 4/25/2002   1 prison story - 4/21/2002   1 prison story - 4/20/2002   1 prison story - 4/18/2002   1 prison story - 4/15/2002   2 prison stories -
  1. Give prison artists a second chance, letter to editor by Estelle Williams, NYT, A26.
    Re "Unlock prison art" (editorial, April 8) [see 4/08/2002 below]: The cancellation of the "Corrections on Canvas" art show and the ban on the sale of prisoner art in NY State expose the mean-spirited prison system for what it is.
    As a community volunteer at a NY prison, I have seen the positive effects that the art program has had on men I know, men who used their brushes and colored pencils to translate their anger and pain into a product for which they received acclaim and recognition. For many men, this is the first positive feedback they have ever received for efforts at self-improvement.
    [And positive feedback* has repeatedly been proven the most effective change agent (*aka love).]

  2. ["and now for something completely different" -]
    Prison sperm smuggling ring a tale of bribery and lost hope, by Marc Levy, BG, A15.
    ...Guard Troy Kemmerer..\ Allenwood Federal Prison...pleaded guilty to bribery and is awaiting sentencing....
    ...To the government, the semen \for a girlfriend\ who was trying to get pregnant...wasn't a big deal. Prosecutors were more concerned with rooting out corruption at the federal prison in the rural north-central Pennsylvania town of White Deer....
    The NY Post cited anonymous law enforcement sources as saying that the investigation began several years ago after a convicted Colombo family hit man in prison since 1988 was seen in an Allenwood visitation room showing off a toddler he called "my son."...
4/11/2002   2 prison stories -
  1. [the good(?) news -]
    Growth in prison population slows, AP via NYT, A26.
    [So it's not that it's actually stopped growing or anything. It's just that the rate of growth has decreased.]
    The number people in prison grew last year at the slowest rate in three decades, the [US] Justice Dept. said. The population in prisons and jails rose about 1%, to 1,965,495, according to the annual report.
    [Hmm, we thought we breached the 2-million 'milestone' back at the beginning of Y2000.]
    As of June 30, 2001, one of every 145 U.S. residents was behind bars.
    ["Our country 'tis of thee, Great land of liberty???"]
    Most of the growth came in federal prisons.
    [This is mainly because we didn't learn from the failure of Prohibition 70 years ago that criminalization of substance abuse is stupid. You tax such substances for their costs, not criminalize them, let alone mount a costly and resource-draining 'War on Drugs.']

  2. [the bad news -]
    Led by China, executions soar, Reuters via NYT, A8.
    Governments executed at least 3,048 of their citizens last year, more than double the number in 2000, the human rights group Amnesty International said.... Of the 31 countries using the death penalty..\..
    1. China, which is cracking down on crime, accounted for 81% of the total, executing at least 2,468 people.
      [But hey, they've got grotesque overpopulation, right? What a warning against continuing our slipshod immigration policy and non-existent birth policy!]
    2. ...Iran ranked second with 139 reported executions
    3. ...Saudi Arabia [ranked] third with 79
    4. The United States was fourth with 66 executions....
    [So here we are, the self-appointed world leader, right up there with third-world nations on this high-profile issue.]
4/10/2002   1 prison story - 4/08/2002  1 prison story - 4/05/2002  1 prison story - 3/27/2002  1 prison story - 3/20/2002  2 prison stories -
  1. Justice Department opposes lower jail terms for crack - Aides cite small disparity against powder, by Neil Lewis, NYT, A20.
    WASHINGTON...- Senior Justice Dept. officials said [yester]day that disparities between sentences for distributing crack cocaine and powder cocaine were far smaller than generally believed and that they would oppose any changes in the law to reduce prison terms for crack offenses....

  2. Mentally ill inmates, letter to editor by US Rep. Jose Serrano (NY), NYT, A26.
    Re "Ending chronic homelessness" (editorial, March 13):
    ...In 2000, a state judge ordered the city [of NY] to provide discharge planning to the approximately 25,000 mentally ill inmates who cycle through the city jail system each year. The city faces contempt proceedings for its failure to comply with the order and will most likely pay millions in contempt fines that it would have used to provide the services these people are entitled to under the law.
    [Obvious solution: city spends specified portions of the fine providing the services by benchmark dates, or loses the money to the courts.]
3/16/2002  1 prison story - 3/10-11/2002  record FIVE (5) weekend prison stories -
  1. 3/11 Breeding violence in solitary, op ed by Margaret Burnham, BG, A15.
    ...Inmate John Todd [is] suing without legal assistance \to\ challeng[e] his confinement in MCI-Cedar Junction's supermax [solitary confinement] unit. [He] argues that the Dept. of Correction is violating his right to equal protection by reserving the supermax for men..\.. The Massachusetts Appeals Court agreed with Todd that the reason given for sex-segregating the Dept. Disciplinary Unit - that women prisoners are not as violent as men - improperly relies on gender stereotypes.
    Although gender equality appears to be the winner, the Appeals Court's reasoning could leave us with a grotesque result - extending the horrors of disciplinary unit [solitary] confinement to women....

  2. 3/10 Catholic inmates backed on wine, AP via BG, A15.
    Denying [Roman] Catholic federal prison inmates wine during communion services may violate their constitutional rights, the US Court of Appeals ruled Friday....

  3. 3/10 Sex offender says he seeks castration, Kansas City Star via BG, A15.
    KANSAS CITY - A man facing possible commitment in Kansas as a sexual predator has found a doctor who has agreed to castrate him. Herbert L. Fox, 65...a convicted pedophile, is the first sex offender to seek castration since Kansas enacted its sexual-predator law in 1994, officials said.

  4. 3/10 Panel faults sentence proposal - House bill seen adding inmates, by Ralph Ranalli, BG, B1.
    A new analysis indicates that the bill passed by the Massachusetts House last October establishing sentencing guidelines for judges would add 3,631 inmates to the state's correctional system, even as Acting Governor Jane Swift announced this past week that she will close three correctional facilities to save money....

  5. 3/10 Short timers, by B.J. Roche, BG, B4.
    ...One weekend last month...was the final stretch for the Thomaston..\..Maine State Prison [and] some 14,000 people were trying to get in [for] free tours led by retired guards. \It was\ built in 1824, rebuilt after a fire in 1923, and replaced this year by a new prison in Warren ME. \It was\ Stephen King's inspiration for "Shawsbank Redemption"....

3/09/2002  1 prison story - 3/06/2002  1 jail story - 3/05/2002  prison news - 3/3/2002  weekend prison news - 3/02/2002  prison news - 2/28/2002  prison news - 2/21/2002  prison news - 2/17/2002  weekend prison news - 2/09/2002  prison news - 2/08/2002  prison news - 2/07/2002  prison news - 2/05/2002  prison news - 1/31/2002  prison news - 1/26/2002  prison news - 1/21/2002  weekend prison news - 1/18/2002  prison news - 1/07/2002  weekend prison news -
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