Why Our Prison System is Broken

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I was sent this article to read. There are so many misconceptions in the general public about the effect the explosive prison population has had on our communities. Arizona is now 12X what it used to be .Incarceration has increased 60% but the population has only increased 33%.  All this with  lowered felony cases. What is causing it?

This is one state. Numbers would be different elsewhere, but the problem is the same. The business of prison needs to change. It is strangling us.

When you have a state that has more inmates than college students what does that do to the economy? Those who are released often have a hard time getting a job so how can they afford to go to a college that probably would turn them down because they have a felony record. If we want to make America a greater place to live we need to change the way we do business and the prison system would be a great place to start. Click on the link to read the article and support what I do by subscribing to ITFO News monthly newsletter that pops up on the opening screen.

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https://www.fwd.us/news/arizona-imprisonment-crisis-part-1/

While the national prison population has quadrupled

Arizona’s prison population grew by a multiple of 12.

RESEARCH / REPORTS / ARIZONA/ CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Arizona’s Imprisonment Crisis:

The High Price of Prison Growth

Public safety and criminal justice policy is at a crossroads in Arizona. Despite overwhelming evidence that states can safely reduce crime and incarceration through commonsense reforms, Arizona continues to be a national outlier with high imprisonment rates and rising corrections spending.

This is no small matter. Arizona’s imprisonment crisis removes thousands of people from the economy and costs taxpayers more than $1 billion each year — preventing the state from investing in other critical priorities like education, social services for families, and child safety. Despite this steep price, the system does not make Arizona safer. Simply put, the state’s high imprisonment rate is hurting Arizona’s economy, communities, and families.

This report, created using individual-level data on people admitted to Arizona prisons, will be released in three parts throughout the fall of 2018. This first part focuses on the causes of Arizona’s prison population growth and the consequences for Arizona’s economy. The second part reveals how Arizona’s imprisonment crisis affects some communities more than others, and the third part examines the dire consequences for Arizona’s women and families. Experts on corrections data cleaned and analyzed Arizona’s prison data in accordance with national standards. See our methodology for a description of our process and definitions.

Ghosts In my Head

This is new music and poetry for a chapter in the book I’m writing. “Inside The Forbidden Outside,” which has gone through many changes since I began writing. Because it has been so labor intensive I have to believe there is a reason. I have to hope it will help Jamie when be gets out. He has read chapters, but he has heard no music being in prison. There will be so much to hear and read, especially on my other blog, My Name Is Jamie. There will be a video made for this music, too. All chapters will have music – about 50% is recorded, a music video ( 4th one being done) found at Sonni Quick Piano Improv – You Tube channel 

This music is a piece I really enjoyed playing. If I “try” to compose it usually ends up missing something. It doesn’t work. If it hits me in the middle of the night or I have to stop what I’m doing to go play my piano, it comes out and I don’t know where it comes from. Playing these pieces of music, and I can play them only once, feels so good. After that they are gone. I can only listen to the recording of it. The same with any poetry I write and I’m sure other poets understand – I read it for the first time when I’m done.

In the book, which is written from letters, is Jamie’s story, but there is a place when it changes from the written words in the letters to me being real. I don’t want to say anymore about the story, but it is where this title comes from.

You can subscribe to the mailing list for my music stuff by going to  sonniquick.net

“Where did you come from?” I cried
You raised your finger to your lips
and whispered, “No one can hear me
No one but you can see me
I’m a ghost in your head
To keep you company

I know the days are much too long
Use memories your mind creates
For days you don’t feel very strong
Endless time, will it ever end?
Around in circles never straight
Time goes slowly, round the bend

Years are passing, you see your age
Watch the moon all night long
I see your head lay in your hands
Wondering how it went so wrong
You always seem to lose so much
You tell yourself, I don’t understand

You need to reach your hand and touch
Feel the warmth of who is there
It makes you human, a worthy man
Even though no one’s left and no one cared
“But you,” you say “Here you stand”
“I could touch you,” and reach out your hand

How do I know you won’t disappear?
You kept me going, when I lost my way
I felt only anger, in my head there was fear
I couldn’t think there’d be hope someday
I wanted to tear these walls apart
I wanted to scream but no one would hear

You kept me sane. You fed me words
There is a reason for all of this
“Be patient,” you said, then I heard
“Imagine a life only you can see
There are ghosts in your head
You can learn to be free”

 

Sonni Quick ©2018

 

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Help support Jamie. Share his story. Subscribe to keep up on the progress of the book and to read news about the prison industry. I also print the stories of other inmates that need telling.

Sonni Quicks Piano ImprovYouTube channel of the music soundtrack for Inside The Forbidden Outside. New videos released as they are made. When you subscribe and share, other people have the opportunity to learn about the book being written which will help Jamie start a life when he is released. He needs your help. If you have read his story on the blog you understand why. Thank you.

My personal music website  – sonniquick.net

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Improv Piano music of Sonni Quick – at Facebook . . . music news and other musicians

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Watch and Whirl – Sonni Quick.   This is my other blog. An odd assortment of rants and raves on a variety of subjects and music info, too.

 

Prison Art – Hand Drawn Cards

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Prison Art is special. Anytime someone can create any kind of beauty in a world inside a prison it brings hope that that person will make it through okay. I often don’t look very close when someone sends me a store bought card, especially when it is signed with only a name. Why keep it? I know this took time and caring.

I had been sick with an irritating flu bug for several weeks that was hard to shake. Not enough to dive under the covers, but enough to have you dragging through your day.

Jamie has wanted to learn how to make cards for some time. His hand shakes so it is hard to draw a straight line. This is one of talent that can make money inside. Men often want cards made that fit in a long envelope sold in the prison commissary. I don’t know if he is making them for anyone else. A friend who is the support for another man who makes wonderful cards and happens to be in the same prison, sent him drawing books that show you how to make the drawings. Often the drawings that are copied come from children’s coloring books. They have characters that are good to use for birthdays and holidays. I was glad to see him use a creative way to pass time. 

 

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Jamie’s Lost Dream

When I saw this, it was so similar to Jamie’s story. We never know what is going to happen next in our life. It can change in an instant and nothing you say or do can change your life back . Always think of consequences. It might keep you from doing something stupid. Jamie’s son will be 13 in July. They both have missed out on so much.

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Picking Up Broken Pieces – Newest YouTube Video

Sonni Quick

Picking Up Broken Pieces

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This is the newest YouTube video with music for my upcoming book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside. The poem runs across the bottom. You can also read it right here.

It is my plan to put out a new video every two weeks, hoping that by the end of the year all of the pieces to my project will be completed and ready for editing. It has taken me three years to get to this point, having no idea what I was doing when I started. What a learning process. It has taken more determination and dedication than I thought I had.

For example – this video took 63 video clips I had to upload to my computer, after I found the ones I wanted, and then upload them into the software program I am using to make the video. Each video took 7-20 minutes to upload…

View original post 501 more words

Jamie’s Letters on Prison medical Care

Below are Jamie’s letters over the years on bad prison medical care. I wrote this a couple years ago taking excerpts from letters over at least six years.  It is part of the first draft of the book I’m writing.  It has taken me longer than I anticipating because of having to take care of so many other things that need writing – including my music. But when it is done it will all be worth it. When I read this today it reminded me how long Jamie has been dealing with bad medical care at the prisons. I sent him forms to sign to give me POA  and I’m not surprised it didn’t reach him, although it is against the law to mess with mail – even in the prisons. So I resent the forms certified, return receipt. That way I can verify that the prison received it.  They can’t open it unless it is in front of him.  If they stop it from being mailed back then that is an issue I will take up with the warden. There are laws the prisons have to follow.  They can’t make up their own. the problem is – people don’t know how to make them bide by the law.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

JAMIE’S LETTERS

It’s been crazy in here the past few weeks. Well, it’s crazy every day but I try not to pay attention to it.  I do my best to take my days one at a time.  They put me on anti-depression meds because they say something is wrong with me.  I don’t take it because nothing is wrong with me.  I think they want to keep me doped up.   I’ve gone on a few hunger strikes, off and on.  The longest I’ve stayed on one is a week and a half.   I just have those kinds of days.  I don’t want to do this or that.  It causes trouble sometimes.  Oh well, I just have that ‘I don’t care’ feeling at times.

     All of us have been getting into it with the officers. We’ve been without hot water for over a month.  We’re also back on lockdown for 30 days. Once again, the only thing they feed us is peanut butter.  I guess treating us like this is part of the punishment,  But I don’t remember being allowed to starve us was part of the sentence.  No one stops them.  There is no oversight.  The officers do what they want and get away with it.

     On top of everything, an officer slammed my finger in the tray slot on the door – on purpose.  It was a really deep cut.  I made them take me to medical where they took a picture of it.  I had to get an x-ray a few days later because it wouldn’t close. He told the sargent he did it.  He said he didn’t mean to do it because he didn’t see my fingers.  That was a lie.  It wasn’t the first time he had tried to do that.  I told him I wanted to talk to the lieutenant.  This guy is the kind of dude who doesn’t like to be overruled by anyone. 

     The lieutenant told me to tell the officers to call him about moving me to another cell. lt  leaks water from the shower.  One night I fell getting up to use the rest room.  I hurt my ankle and had to go to Medical about that, too.  They are trying to hurt me.  I know they are.  This cell also leaks bad when it rains, and they know it, because an officer told me the dude who was in here before got moved because of it. I’m writing up a grievance on this officer because I feel he is a threat to me.  I also feel he will try to retaliate once he finds out what I’m doing.  To go through this process will take 60-120 days. They make it long to discourage anyone from filing a complaint.  It goes into the guard’s file and keeps them from getting promoted.  Then the guard retaliates and makes life miserable.  Even if the inmates feel threatened it keeps a lot of them from trying to do anything about it.

     I’ve also been getting into it again with these people about my medications. They are trying to give me something and I don’t know what it is. Hell, they don’t even know what it is.  Two different nurses are telling me it is two different medications.  I’ve asked to speak to the doctor, but they won’t let me.  The pills are the same dosage, but they are two different colors.  Not only that, one has powder in the capsule and the other one is a hard pill.  Something is not right about this.  One of the nurses told me Huntsville uses us as lab rats to test medications from pharmaceutical companies.  Since this isn’t the first time I’ve heard that, I stopped taking the ones that I’m not sure what they are.  I’m not going to be a guinea pig.

     Then they put me on a different anti-depressant.  A lot of people in here are taking them. They’ve had me on so many different meds it’s crazy.  I’ve been on about four or five different ones.  Now they have me on Thorazine.  I had to stop taking it.  It makes me dizzy, lightheaded.  I asked once if we could have a book on medications. The doctors are quick to put us on something and not tell us anything about it, except to say, “See if this helps.  If not, put in a sick call.” They are in such a rush to get us out of their office. These meds they put me on?  if it isn’t upsetting my stomach, it gives me terrible headaches.  One had me where I couldn’t use the bathroom.  I’m feeling bad all the time.  I recently had a bad ear infection and all they would give me was a Tylenol.  I laid on my bunk with my head and my ear hurting so bad, but they wouldn’t give me anything to help with the infection. 

     Sonni looked up one of the medications they gave me.  I asked the nurse how to spell it.   It’s a little brown pill.  I had already stopped taking it.  Some medications make you worse. The side effects make you sicker than you already are. That’s why I don’t take something they give me anymore if I don’t know what it is.  If I feel they are giving me too much of my seizure meds I won’t take them.  Too much will hurt me.  I don’t trust them to know what they are doing.  I go by how it makes me feel.

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     The people who work in the medical unit don’t know what the hell they are doing.  I have such a bad pain in my tooth I can’t think straight.  The first doctor I saw told me I had an infection when I told her about my pain.  Then I saw another doctor, and he told me I not only didn’t have an infection, he told me there was nothing was wrong with me!  I asked him if he thought I was lying about my pain because the pain had to be coming from somewhere.  I also told him the other doctor told me I had an infection.  I asked him if that lady was lying, and he said, ” I didn’t say that.”  So I told him that somebody was lying, and I knew it wasn’t me.  I could tell by his face he was mad.  Who gives a shit?  I’m in pain.  He didn’t care about that.  He just wanted to send me back to my cell. He’s here to waste time and get paid.

     The pain kept getting worse.  I had to wait two months before they decided it was okay to take me to a dentist to maybe have my wisdom tooth pulled.   Since they knew it had to be done, making me wait for two months was their way of torturing me.  They wanted me to be in pain.  No matter how many times I told them they ignored me. Later I was told there is a nerve that goes around the ear.  I wasn’t kidding about being in pain.  The dentist who tried to tell me there was nothing wrong with me had to know that or he wasn’t a real dentist.  That wouldn’t surprise me.  I think they only hire medical people who agree to not help people.  I wonder if they even have a license to practice. Maybe this dentist couldn’t get hired anywhere else because he was so bad. 

     The first week of this month I left on something called a medical chain.  I needed  to go to a unit in Huntsville that has a hospital.  It took two days to get there, even though it is only a couple hours away.  It takes that long because they pick up and drop off other inmates to different units along the way.  Texas has over a hundred and ten prisons. Sometimes we ride on a bus they call a Blue Bird, and sometimes we ride in a van.  I’ve ridden on both.  This time the trip was in the van.  It is so damned uncomfortable.  They make the trip as hard on us as possible.  We sit elbow to elbow in the van.  On the bus we are cuffed to someone else.  They pair everyone up.  If we have to relieve ourselves there is a toilet, but if someone has to go, the other one has to go.  So much for privacy if you have to do something other than pee.

     When I finally got to the hospital, I had to wait.  There was others in front of me.   It took two more days of waiting until it was my turn.  Now it’s been four days since we left and the pain was bad.  The gave me Tylenol with codeine and it helped some, but not enough. I’ve had about all I can take.  I wanted to lay down and cry. 

     Before I went in for the surgery they did x-rays.  The photos showed up on the computer so I could see it.  The one I was getting pulled was growing sideways and it was cutting my gums.  It was the top left tooth in the back.  When the dentist saw it he said, “Wow.” I asked what was wrong and he showed me the photo.  You could see all my teeth perfectly. He showed me the bad one, and it was flat!  The word he used was deformed.  He asked if I wanted it removed.  Of course I wanted it removed.  It was killing me.  I couldn’t keep it the way it was.  They don’t allow dentists to put us to sleep, even though this was a lot more than just pulling a tooth.  He was going to have to cut it out.  He was only allowed to numb it.  He was digging at it for two hours.  When he finally got it out, the tooth had four roots!  It came out in five different sized pieces.  All that pulling, pushing and drilling was bad.  I held on, but I almost passed out.  One of the bottom teeth needed work, too.  He had to do a little more cutting. I felt every minute of it.  He had to stop.  I was in so much pain and still am.  It took four days to get back to the unit I’m in.  The hospital gave me Tylenol with codeine during the surgery.  Now that I’m back in my own unit, their best med is Tylenol which isn’t doing much for the pain. 

     I’ve been sleeping a lot to get away from the pain. It hurts like hell to chew or drink because my tongue is swollen. I’m supposed to be on a soft diet, but the doctors here won’t give it to me.  The guards only bring me solid food, which sometimes I can eat and sometimes I can’t.   I try not to give these fools what they want so I just deal with it the best I can.  If the pain becomes too much I’m gonna try the right way first, to get help.  If I don’t get help, there is only one other way.

     On a brighter note, I think of the beautiful the days outside.  I imagine the sun, and taking a walk, and that really sounds good.  In my mind I can meet mom on the hill.  We both will walk until we ache too much.  Its cold down this way, as well.  A jacket would be nice.

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Sept  2012

     The unit is on the second week of lockdown. This is the hardest one I’ve gone through.  I’m hungry.  They are supposed to feed us a hot meal every three days but they do what they want to anyone wearing prison whites.  They feed us  a peanut butter sandwich with only a half spoon of peanut butter.  We are supposed to get a full spoon but on lockdown they only give us a half spoon.  It saves them money. 

     The food they serve is nasty.  They stretch it more by  also adding some really horrible soup or applesauce that makes me gag. I have to eat it or I get nothing.  I’ve heard  it costs $40,000 a year to keep each inmate in prison. Where does the money go?  It sure isn’t spent on food.  Once in a while we get a meat sandwich or cornbread, and sometimes prunes or raisins.  In the morning we get two biscuits with a half spoon of peanut butter or maybe two pancakes.  That’s why I have lost so much weight.  The food is worse when we are on lockdown.

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     It’s hard dealing with this.  It’s 2013 but it could be any year.  Nothing changes. Stress builds up inside me and it hurts. My head wants to explode into a million pieces. I had two more seizures, back to back, because of all the worrying.  I have had so many seizures in here.  Sometimes I feel like I’m being backed into a corner. Stress brings them on.  The people who work in the medical unit don’t know what they are doing. Why are they working here, instead of a real doctor’s office? Maybe it’s the only job they could get.  Everyone is always in a bad mood.  There is never a comforting touch or even a smile.

     I don’t think anyone in here would give a damn if the seizures killed me. If it happened to someone in their own family, they would be rushed to a hospital.  But I don’t matter.  I’m only a convict.

     The scary thing is, I don’t usually have seizures close together. I saw the doctor and she took some blood and said my level of seizure medication was in the toxic range. Did the last doctor give me too much? She took my meds down to a lower dose. It didn’t help, so she put me on a different one. I’m on two different meds. I’m not having the seizures as often but it’s not unusual to still have one or two a week.

     I had another seizure today. When I went to the medical unit I was told my sugar was low, 66. It’s supposed to be between 70-100.  I know I need to see the doctor a lot.  There is nothing I can do about that.  It’s not my fault.  It is the way it is.  Some inmates rarely have to go to medical.  It used to cost $3 to see the doctor or a nurse, but they changed all that. Now it costs $100 a year, whether you see a doctor one time or fifty times.  When I get money they take half until it’s paid.  Next year it starts all over.  Someone who doesn’t have a chronic illness, if he need to see the doctor he probably won’t go.  Sometimes they get sicker and it spreads to other inmates. 

     Some people think we get medical care for free, but that’s not true.  This small amount of money might not seem like much to some people but to me its a lot.  I also wouldn’t call this medical care.  They won’t help so they don’t have to pay for anything.  Even things they can treat they won’t, and it gets worse until people die.  Diabetes, heart disease, cancer.  People die because they are left untreated.  They don’t care. The public doesn’t care.  They think we deserve it.  No one cares if we’re in pain.  They just ignore us.

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If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: itfonews@gmail.com

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Jamie Life in Prison at Facebook . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick . . . New facebook page of the past and present

ReverbNation . . . Website of Indie music not on traditional radio stations. Sonni’s featured page.

SkunkRadioLive . . . Indie radio station out of London

 

DENIED MEDICAL TREATMENT IN PRISON

DENIED MEDICAL TREATMENT IN PRISON

If you care about someone who is locked up do you feel helpless to do anything for them? What do you do when you find out they have been hurt or abused? You are definitely not alone.

Every person inside; man, woman or juvenile is at risk because of the non-caring, often abusive treatment they receive at the hands of their captors. There is nowhere you can go on the web to find a set of rules you can follow that the prison follows, too.

We say, “How can they do that?” or “Why do they get away with it?” or “Prisoners have rights, someone needs to stop them!” Really? Who? How? Seriously, who do you call? Who is going to make them stop? Do you call the warden or the medical unit if they are sick? Do you ever get the feeling they are lying to you? Then what do you do? You cross your fingers and say a prayer.

Obviously, all the people who make laws know how bad it is inside the prisons. Everyone talks about reform but nothing gets done especially if it involves the corporations. They buy off too many people. They contribute to too many political campaigns. Their lobby is powerful. Everyone agrees something should be done. So why doesn’t it happen? There is no accountability. It’s not going to happen.

Go to the websites for Core Civic (CCA), GEO Group, Corizon or any of the other dozens who are all part of the Prison Industrial Complex and they will show you how wonderful they are and all the great things they do for prisoners. Oh how the misrepresent themselves. You’ll see pictures of people being paid to smile while treating inmates with respect and caring. None of it is real. No one with a loved one inside believes it, but no one knows what to do.

These corporations hide inside their fake websites doing everything possible to keep the public from understanding what they are really doing. They keep families from knowing the truth. The person you know who is inside has one function for them – to increase their profit – with the government’s help.

I get sarcastic comments on social media telling me how great inmates have it. Free room and board and free medical care and how regular people don’t have it that good. They wouldn’t want the kind of health care an incarcerated person gets, but they done know that.

There are many people inside who are denied medical care. The law states they have to provide “adequate” care. But what does that mean? What is adequate? That means they might treat a heart problem with cough medicine or give you a Tylenol and tell you to drink more water. Jamie has told me for years that water and Tylenol is their standard care for most medical issues. If they do that to enough people how many are gong to die of natural causes? How much money do they save which makes their prison business very lucrative. Owning stock in prisons has made a lot of people rich. Making money from indecent treatment of humans. Yes, it’s part of what “Makes America Great” – from the viewpoint of corporations.

Over the past dozen years there have been quite a few times I have gotten a letter from Jamie telling of things the guards have done and the times he’s been hurt, beat up or gassed, medical treatment denied, prescriptions denied, false cases filed against him. The warden lied to me saying his guards would never do that. They have denied Jamie his seizure medication for epilepsy and wrote in his records that they gave it to him.

If any of this sounds familiar to you there is a way to get help. People who understand the law, and how it is manipulated by the corporations and the prison staff, can help you protect your loved one. None of this will change the system as a whole, but you can be proactive in helping the one you are waiting for. You can learn what the prisons don’t want you to know in order to keep this person safe, especially when not getting the right medical care could kill them.

Go to their website and read. Contact them. I did. I read an article about them and left a comment. I didn’t expect to hear anything in return but in 45 minutes they sent me a text and said, “We need to talk. Call me please.” I did. The woman who called me talked for a good half hour and explained some things that has my head spinning. I have honestly been afraid for Jamie and for the first time I knew I had someone in my corner who could help me help him.

 

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The Cage

The music “So Long Old Friends” might begin to play automatically. Click on the arrow of this music and it will switch over ( or listen to both and tell me which one you like better!)

Leaving a prison cell

 

by Sonni Quick

THE CAGE

The only place life exists
for me
It doesn’t change, I can’t resist
or see
a world beyond, a chance to choose
and be
a man who craved to learn and grow
humbly

I look around and see a rat-
filled box
a metal door, a gray food slot
with locks
Afraid to eat the food they bring
guards stick
filthy hands into my tray
that’s sick

I bide my time, I count the days
and weep
months and years go slowly by
I sleep
dream away my years of life
the loss
was greater than I understood
it cost

Years tick by one by one
they pass
four years left it’s gettin close
at last
the cage gets small, it seems to breathe
with me
Will I fit into the world one day?
hopefully

 

Sonni Quick © 2017

 

Sonni’s Pinterest

Jamie Life in Prison at Facebook . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Piano Improv Music of Sonni Quick . . . New facebook page of the past and present

ReverbNation . . . Website of Indie music not on traditional radio stations. Sonni’s featured page.

SkunkRadioLive . . . Indie radio station out of London playing music composed for  the book being written for Jamie.  If you can, help support by sharing the music and leaving a comment or following. Thank you to those who have.

 

From Prison to Ph.D.: The Redemption and Rejection of Michelle Jones

Who decides – and how is it decided if someone shows the “required” degree of horror in a crime that was committed decades ago? It can’t be undone – so shouldn’t the decision be based on the actions of that human being during the decades she paid in prison to become a better human being? What are the causes she made that would have an effect on society in a positive way? There have been light sentences given to white people of prominence that amounted to a slap on the wrist because a heavier, appropriate sentence might adversely affect their life, education or career. The man – a Rothschild I think, or another family of that economic status, that sexually molested his infant daughter and was caught by his wife. All he got was mandatory counseling. What degree of horror did he show? Michelle Jones is a remarkable woman and her acceptance at a university after release should be based on her accomplishments now – not judged on whether she showed an adequate degree of emotion over what happened. That sentence was carried out. End of story. Oh, that’s right. She’s black. And she wants to go to a white ivy league college. Of course, everything would be done to stop her until they ran out of options.

Please go to the original post to read, comment and share.

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Go to Jamie’s facebook page to read other posts and article of injustice to educate yourself to what is really happening outside of the garbage opinions posted by sites like Fox News.

Follow the twitter page as well.

We have heard a lot about “fake news” sites since Trumps arrival in politics, mostly because he wants people to believe the things printed about himself aren’t true. I read all sites and compare what they say and follow up with it. I don’t believe anything just because I read it somewhere. The websites I have found I can trust are:

Truthdig    Truthout    Commondreams    Alternet

Start with these and compare what Fox News writes – if they write about these news stories at all. This admin is tearing America apart.  Racism is worse. People being killed because of it has risen.  We can’t afford to not understand all sides of the story and create a truth over just a piece, and twist it into a truth that doesn’t exist – like what Trump did to the truth over why the NFL players were kneeling.  If you don’t take the time to learn then the fabric of what is left of our country will be completely ripped. The way black people are treated in society – in prison – and continually made to come in second is adding to our destruction as a country. This story – this very story – is evidence of that.

 

100 Years of Solitary

……This is such a familiar story I feel like it is a letter from Jamie. There are so many names for solitary. There was a time Jamie was acused of winking at a very large unattractive woman and put in 23 hr lockup. This woman had wishful thinking he had winked at her. He has been in lockdown almost 3 years this time. It worried me how he will be in 2023, when he he gets out after 17 years. Your description of the squat and cough – is in a chapter in my book. I think the guards enjoy humiliating people and getting away with it. Kick the dog syndrome.

Soul On Rice

There were two points during my prison stint when I was subjected to extreme and extended periods of confinement. They called it CM, Close Management. Six DR’s, Disciplinary Reports, in 6 months would earn you an express ticket to “The Red Roof Inn,” the CM building. It was designed for the most dangerous and belligerent inmates. I never considered myself to be amongst the most dangerous and belligerent, not even close, but I do believe there was something about my indifference towards “The Box” that may have irked some of the guards.

One time, as punishment for “looking at” a female officer, I was given a 5-gallon bucket by another officer, a skinny dude with a big mustache, and led to a desolate area behind the medical building, in sight of a Guard Tower.

“Fill it to the top with those rocks,” he said.

I’d heard stories of officers handing…

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