Am I Too Broken To Mend?

Yamaha DGX 650

This is the latest music written for my book. The chapter is being written today, largely focuses on Jamie have to live with epilepsy from birth. Any time you have more than one seizure for any reason you are considered to have epilepsy.

It can begin at any age, often developing  from trauma to the brain that may have happened many years earlier. But Jamie had a seisure as he was born so he has never known life free of the possibility of a seizure at any moment.

While rereading hundreds of letters in a short period of time, preparing to write the book, I was amazed at how many times the prison withheld his medication for preventing seizures for days at a time. He was never seizure-free but it did cut down on the frequency. Receiving the letters over a ten year period made it less  obvious how often it was.

Withholding medications and medical care in general is one of the main points prisoners wanted addressed in this latest prison protest. They are dying young from diseases they don’t need to die from. No matter what you think about prisoners, this was never part of their sentence – this comes from the greed of the corporations with the co-operation of the government, no matter what they say to try to convince you they want prison reform. Trump has tried this tactic recently. But releasing someone here and there does nothing to alleviate the problem. It just creates good PR for them.

Politicians receive a great deal of campaign money to vote in the best interest of the prison corporations. States let corporations run the prisons so the money doesn’t come out of their budgets. They promise they Will keep the prisons full so they can maximize their profit. Does that sound like prison reform to you. Inmate are worthless For any other reason, right? WRONG.

Sonni Quick

http://sonniquick.net

Prison Propaganda At Its Worst

Jamie spent a couple years in the prison in this video, the McConnell Unit, in Beeville, Texas, during the years 2010 – 2012. This is a video of a news broadcast on prisons made in 1995. Government was cracking down in a fictitious crime wave that began in the 1980’s and needed to appear to be tough on crime to the public.

Every politician is now afraid if they appear soft on crime they won’t be re-elected. But they aren’t afraid of what the people think. They are afraid of losing the donors who line their pockets and fill their war chests for re- election – the most important aspect of being a politician who is comfortable with being bribed in order to keep their job. New politicians are zealous about doing what is right for the country. Long time politicians not so much, which is why there needs to be a cap on how many terms they can stay in office.

I’ve been publishing some of the chapters of my upcoming book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside” on this blog. Last week I published a chapter about the Smith Unit in West Texas where Jamie was first housed. McConnell Unit is the next prison he is sent to. It is not uncommon to be shifted from prison to prison. One reason is it keeps the inmates from forming lasting friendships or planning something within the prison. It is located in SE Texas in Beeville, near Brownsville, not far north of the Mexican Border.

I’ve been reading through the letters Jamie sent me from the McConnell Unit. The difference between reality and the propaganda shown in this broadcast is overwhelming. But in 1995 the government needed a lot of propaganda to get the American people on board to support ramping up the “Tough on crime” stance and the “War on Drugs” which began in the 1980’s, thanks to the corruption of Richard Nixon.

A Brief History of the Drug War | Drug Policy Alliance
http://www.drugpolicy.org › issues › brief-hist…

There were two things Nixon was passionate about; winning the Vietnam War at any cost, and his racist views of Black people. Black people were not friends of the Republican party or their view of what was good for America. Nixon put pot smoking hippies center stage. Massive protests to stop the war were beginning to interfere with his drum roll. They were getting too much support to end the war and had to be stopped. But people were done with sacrificing their sons and buying into the concocted need to fight communism. The real reason for the war had been kept from the media. If he could heighten people’s fear of marijuana and increase drug laws he’d be able to control the young people and their ablility to gather in large groups, especially at the White House.

Propaganda began appearing in the media, teaching people that pot was as dangerous as heroin. It said people were becoming addicted and violent. (I have never seen a violent stoned person who wasn’t laughing and raiding the fridge.) It justified tripling the prison population over time and created the need for more prisons. They were now seen as a business opportunity to make profit. Ironically, even today, our Attorney General is trying to revive those laws and fears again but people aren’t buying it.

NEWS – http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/editorials/sd-trump-sessions-marijuana-20180416-story.html

Black people have been portrayed as dangerous heroin addicts and dealers who might come to your hometown to rape white girls and addict the young. (We have since learned it is the pharmaceutical companies in bed with the government who is to blame). Women were to fear black men walking near them on a street and move to the other side. Black men are used to women clutching their purses in fear of snatch and grab putting all black men in the role criminal.  Or government has perpetuated this false identity in the quest to destroy and incarcerate many black men – and women as possible. Incarcerated Black women is the fastest growing segment of society. Since 1980, the amount of women locked up increased 8-fold and are locked up 4x more often than white women. That would lead you to believe black women were more deserving of incarceration. 

http://www.incite-national.org/page/women-color-prisons

Black men became the poster image for the heroin drug dealer . In reality more heroin was sold and used by white people than black. It’s been proven overall that drug usage is equally used by both races, but in the prisons, the black population is much higher than white. Why? Prisons are a tool to enslave black people much the same way slavery did.

This video is a good representation of the type of propaganda fed to the American people in the mid 90’s. Heinous crimes are inflicted on those in prison. Think about it. Do you really think the prisons would bow down to inmates demands for nicer prisons with benefits like what is shown in this video, saying their hands were tied and there was nothing they could do about it? That’s a laugh. I don’t think so.

Twenty-five years ago prisoners couldn’t tell people on the outside the truth about what was happening on the inside. Information coming out of the prisons was censored. Not any longer. Now there is the internet and people are demanding change.

With social media, in the past few years, information began getting out. Videos from cell phones inside were being shared online. Prison beatings and murders by guards were now known. Unsanitary conditions. They have been hard to prosecute, just like cops who kill and priests who sexually abuse young boys. There its too much money behind them.  There are too many prison abuses to list here. Texas prisons began threatening and punishing inmates with time in solitary confinement if they were found supplying their writings to people on the outside to be put on social media. The prisons needed to stop the flow of information. It didn’t work. 

I began publishing information four years ago, but Jamie doesn’t write it. I do. I believe people have a right to know how bad it is. Millions of people are currently locked up and many more millions have already served time. These lives have been negatively impacted through racism.

Families have been broken and left without the ability to make enough money to survive. Lack of education has hurt the ability to raise families. Children grow up with the stigma of having a parent in prison. 70% end up in prison themselves because of it and the cycle continues.

One in three black men are now incarcerated because of this concocted war on drugs. They are targeted as young as preschool and expelled from schools for the same behavior by white boys, who don’t get expelled. They portray black boys as being more dangerous. But look at all the mass shootings. Every. Single. Shooting – every one – was done by a white person. So who is really more dangerous? The government will not call these white people domestic terrorists. They have mental problems we are told. What would they call a black mass shooter?

Disrupting education is a major cause in becoming part of the school to prison pipeline – and later – part of the prison to poverty pipeline. This is intentional. It isn’t hidden. It is as open crusade to make America white again – when has never been a white country.

People really did believe inmates have had it easy. People bought it hook, line and sinker. This video shows the cells looking nice. It appears to be a vacation getaway for criminals. The good life. Crime pays, it implies. But reality was far different.

The food looks plentiful. Even the tray being served through the cell door looks piled high with food with a female pouring ice tea from a pitcher just like at a restaurant. Really?? That’s ridiculous. Hot meals in reality are served cold, thawed right out of the freezer.

Medical care is not better than at a hospital. Much of the medical care is via a computer like Skype and involves being prescribed water and Tylenol. Heart problem? Take cough medicine. The law says they have to provide “adequate” care but doesn’t stipulate what adequate care is. ally ill patients with diabetes and heart disease are left to die because it costs the medical corporations like Corizon too much of their profit. Today I got a letter from Jamie saying they are withholding his seizure medication again. Playing dumb – again. They said they forgot to order it. 

From 1995 until now conditions have gotten much worse. The prison industrial complex, the corporations that control different aspects of the prisons such as medical care, food, education and skills, spend as little money as possible on the inmates because it increases their bottom line. Many people are now aware of the horrible conditions inside but changing the system through reform is difficult. These corporations throw a lot of money at politicians to vote in their best interest. Right and wrong no longer matter.

People should know by now the government is not on the side of the people. But they have to want to understand the world they live in. Many people don’t. They prefer to live in a world of make believe.

 

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Watch and Whirl – Sonni Quick.   My second blog. An odd assortment of rants and raves, music and poetry.

 

Can You Stop Prison Abuse?

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Can you stop prisons abuse? On a whole – no. But can you help the person you support? I believe you can. I’m not going to sit by with crossed fingers hoping they won’t succeed in hurting or possibly killing him. They crossed a line. 

I’m on a plane, headed home from a three week trip to Texas to see family and visit with Jamie. It was a hard trip but much was accomplished. I was able to go to Allred Prison three times for a total of 10 hours. It was good to see Jamie and the smile on his face told me he was looking forward to this visit, his only visit since my last trip in Sept ’16. One sad note – his son refused to go with me. More on that another time.

I have learned things. If someone you care about is locked up and you seriously want to help them, read this post through to the end. If you are writing to an inmate you met as a pen pal you probably aren’t invested enough to go to bat for him/her against the prison system, although taking the time to communicate with someone who needs the support of someone in the free world is no small thing.

I learned things about the prison system. How they get away with doing things that put inmates in danger. The prisons and staff should be held accountable and made to do the right thing but how is that possible? Who makes them? Does your call to the warden make them? If it doesn’t, can you just sit at home and worry while you wait for a letter or a call to know they are okay, if they even have phone privileges, which Jamie doesn’t?

Every politician, whose job is to create policies that are supposed to be for the good of the people, KNOWS how corrupt the system is. So why aren’t the prisons made to change and treat human beings kept inside the cages and cement closets as something other than a commodity they can beat and misuse any time they want?

Many people, due to lack of education about the prisons believe only the guilty are prosecuted and they deserve whatever torture they receive. The guilty inside lose the right to be human. There is abroad spectrum of guilt. Not everyone inside is a child abuser, murderer, rapist or the like. There are people inside because they couldn’t pay a court ordered fine or they were with someone who committed a crime and are guilty by association. Some are guilty but why are there different sentences for the same crime if you are white instead of black. Some are innocent left with no option but to take a plea deal because there is no one to fight for them. 17 years or 50-99. Would you plead guilty if you are innocent and risk never getting out?

New crimes are being decided this year to fill the gap left by less personal drug use arrests. They are prosecuting people who dare to protest. They are arresting kids as young as seven for fighting. They are handcuffing kids at school. Detention isn’t good enough anymore if money could be made for the prison system. Ruin them young, destroy their education and it later becomes a filled bed in an adult prison. Why do you think they want to lock up kids? Read Jamie’s story in the links at the to of the page and learn what they did to destroy him at 16 even though the only crime committed was by a cop who busted into his families home.

Many of the “guilty” inside are there because they couldn’t afford an attorney. It doesn’t matter how guilty someone is, they are treated the same. They lose the right to live as though their life matters. No one is going to make the prison system do the right thing, especially if you base it on the concept of actual right and wrong. Even the politicians who outright say the prison system needs changing don’t have the power to make that happen. There is too much money to be made. The corporations involved need to be fed. It doesn’t matter – at all – if thousands of people across the country die from abuse if it pads their bottom line. No family or friend on the outside who learns about the abuse of their loved one is going to change that.

We do the best we can to help our husband/wife/ son/daughter or other family/friend. We call the prison/medical unit/warden/mail room when things go wrong or we just need answers. An inmate files a grievance that gets lost. A guard can retaliate in many ways. The warden looks the other way. He lies to you and says, “My guards would never do that.” Medications are withheld that can cause death – heart/seizure /cholesterol/insulin/ depression and psych meds and others. Medical problems can easily be erased out of records. Wrong medications can be substituted. Dental problems not addressed. An abcess? Who cares? Pain? Too bad. The list of what they can do is long.

Let’s say your son has been sentenced to 10-20 years. Does he have a Medical issue? What if he is beat – by guards or inmates, how will you intervene? The prison staff is trained to lie to you. Do you know when they are lying? Do they sympathize with you while they lie? What can you do about it? Are we helpless to help?

The list of things done to Jamie over the years is long. Incomprehensible and cruel acts that are often life threatening. Judging by the comments guards and medical personnel say to him it seems as though they take pleasure in hurting people. Are they paid to be this way? Do they get satisfaction knowing their actions caused someone to possibly die? Many death certificates in prisons say, “Died of natural causes,” but it doesn’t say they withheld necessary medications that caused this natural death. Do you think an autopsy will be done to understand the cause of death? Absolutely nothing would be done that indicated the prison was responsible. You’d be lucky to even find out the whereabouts of the body.

If you have a loved one who is locked up you probably have been through some of what I am saying. There is no rule book. Where do you go to find out what to do? Who will help you? Who has the answers? Even if you talked to an attorney, does that person understand how the prison corporations operate? Probably not. That is field not practiced by the average attorney.

If anyone wants to know where hell is located, it is in the prison system and any entity associated with it. It mentally ruins anyone who works within it, including those who look the other way because they want to keep their job. At the end of the day they go home to the free world knowing what they witnessed and knowing they went along with being cruel to human beings way beyond what their sentence dictated. Inmates are sentenced to time, not abuse. All prison staff have to live with that. What goes around comes around.

At any given time there are millions of people in the system. Every year they lock up at least as many people as they let out. The prisons stay full – per the contracts the prison corporations have with the government. Since they can’t easily fill the prisons anymore with people caught with a personal stash of weed, they have had to make new crimes. Jeff Sessions has vowed to increase mandatory minimums. Why do you think he would want to do that? Because these people are too dangerous to be free? Or died he own prison stock? The major push of immigrant detention has made these corporations very happy and even more rich. Why else would you lock up women and children when they seek medical care or go to church? Are these the bad hombres? The prison corporations love Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions to pieces, they are so damn happy.

The next issue of ITFO NEWS will focus on this issue to help you understand how to fight for someone who is inside. No one knows what to do. You can subscribe below to make sure it is delivered to your inbox. I can’t stress how important this is if you have someone you care about inside, especially if you are already aware of wrongdoing. You will want to keep this issue as a resource. Share it with a friend you know who has someone inside.

If you have read my blog you know Jamie has epilepsy. I’ve been worried, even more so since they upped their game messing with his meds on a regular basic and giving him excuses why they wouldn’t give him his seizure meds. He had a seizure and they let him lay on his cell floor untreated. They lied to me when I called and said he didn’t have a seizure. I was also told I couldn’t call back to check on him because I was only “allowed” to call once a month. Is that true? How do I find out? This isn’t the first time they refused his meds but I didn’t know what I could do about it. I thought, “Why would they do that? Isn’t it wrong? How can I find out if he is okay?”

After my first visit his ID came up missing. Three days the following week he was again denied his meds because he had no ID, even though a new one was requested and they know they know him. A week later and he still had no ID. He knows his number and they can look it up. It was deliberate. They most likely took his ID. How else could it disappear into thin air? I am fighting this now.

You know the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” This is one of those times. We can’t force the system to change. That isn’t going to happen. But you can learn what to do to keep your loved one safe and fight back. You CAN force that horse to drink when you learn how to play their game. Knowledge is power.

 

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Incarcerating The Innocent- Prison is big business

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Prison is big business. There is lots of money to be made by prison slavery. If you think it is anything but that you are sadly mistaken or uneducated about our justice system. You believe the garbage put out by the news that black people are dangerous and Hispanics are rapists and murders. Who did we hear that from? And the attorney general wants to increase the prisons and make new crimes. 

What does it matter if the person arrested is innocent or guilty? Incarcerating the innocent? Locking up the mentally ill? Sentencing young children as adults? All of that is worth big bucks to the corporations who run the prisons as well as the American companies who make the products consumers buy.  They want the free labor, unless you think .10 – .22 is actually a wage. Do you? Seriously, do you?  Does it bother you at all?

Do you want to know which of the products you buy was made by the free labor of a prison inmate? As a consumer how much did you pay for that piece of Victoria Secret’s Lingerie? Prisons make more items than you realize, as well as a lot of the gear used by the military, the police and even the servers at fast food chains. Dentures, computer parts and furniture. How much is it worth to a company to not have high labor costs, workman’s comp, sick leave, maternity leave, overtime or vacation pay? Companies bid for prison labor. Do you think these companies want prisons to close down or should America  build more?  Do you think they care if the people inside are guilty or innocent? Absolutely not.  They think of their bottom line.

I have been writing about these issues for more than a few years, but I have reading, researching and learning about problems in prisons for a lot longer than that. It floors me that prisons are allowed to severely mistreat people inside and no one stops them. They are fed poorly. Only those inmates at the top level of minimum security – G2 – are allowed to take any educational classes. The lowest population of people are in G2. The rest are in G4, G5, adseg and solitary. They make sure people stay in those levels even if they have to file false cases to keep them there. If they do make it out of prison they don’t have anyway to get a job because they don’t have a GED. Some people put comments at My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison saying these people deserve every bad thing that happens to them because they are criminals, without knowing if they are guilty or if they were incarcerated as innocent. Many were kept from a jury trial because they couldn’t pay an attorney. Do say they had a public defender because they work for the DA and there job is to scare them into taking a plea or more charges would be added. What would you do if the choice was fifteen years or fifty? Would you take the plea – even if you were innocent?

How can that be? Now we have a president and an attorney general who wants to make it worse for inmates plus create new crimes to lock up even more people, especially those who aren’t white. Why would they want to do that? There was only four reasons I could think of. Money Racism Money and Money. Or they have serious mental issues. People at the top who have always had the ability to do something about it must be profiting from it in some way. Obama was finally “beginning” to do something, but this new administration hates him so much they want to undo anything he did.

Beginning of mass incarceration
The beginning of mass incarceration of Blacks

This has been going on for longer than Obama. Let’s go back to Nixon who began the war on drugs for the sole purpose of locking up black people. Politicians get campaign money from the Prison Industrial Complex to vote for laws to their benefit while entertainment licensed stations like Fox News convinced oppressors that black people are inferior, with a lower IQ and are born with a criminal gene – and white people actually believed it. Of course, white people were superior! I’m white, and I’d be embarrassed if I had to say I believed that.

Who are the people who have have money invested in the prison corporations? CoreCivic (prepare yourself for pure propaganda) – aka CCA- stock rose when Trump was elected because he was heavily promoting locking up more people and increasing mandatory minimums. Prison corporations probably had a party to celebrate.  Or maybe we have too many KKK affiliates in our government. But today people are dumping their stock is dropping because of what is happening in this administration. Why do we have so many people in power who don’t care if innocent people are locked up? Those of us with loved ones inside – we understand what is happening. We know the truth. But the truth doesn’t matter. Only profit does.

I never thought much about prisons before I met Jamie in 2005 shortly before he was arrested. I was ignorant. I only knew what I saw in movies or TV series like Prison Break. I didn’t question anything. It didn’t affect my life before this. When I started researching I thought, could this be true? Was it really happening? Why didn’t I know about it?

How about the series, Orange is the New Black? A fifteen month sentence and it’s been on what – five or six seasons? Their guards are like comedians. The inmates talk about awful food, but I saw what they serve at there nice little buffet in their once room cafeteria. This is what people watch to find truth about the prison system? The information can be found if they stopped watching TV. But then they are watching it to be entertained, not to learn something.

It’s a joke. It looks like a joke. It’s no wonder people think what they do. Unless you know someone inside or do some serious searching, prison looks like a great place to be. Free education, except you have to be on the top level if you want to study for your GED or learn a trade, and trust me, if you are black or a minority they have no qualms filing false cases to make sure you stay on the lower levels. 12 years Jamie has been locked and never has there been a GED class in sight for him.

I’m not going to take the time today to go through everything I know to be true, just understand that I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t. I have a few trolls who like to leave comments calling me names and telling me how stupid I am. They say all people are in prison because they ARE GUILTY! They deserve to be abused. If you do the crime you have to do the time. Yes, there are many people in prison who are guilty, and some are guilty of very bad things, but I am talking about the ones who are not. Being guilty or not guilty is rarely the reason one goes to prison. It comes down to this – do you have the money to pay for an attorney? If you don’t, you usually have to accept a plea deal. Plead guilty and you’ll get less years. Plead innocent and they will tack on extra charges. Either way, you now have a felony record. When you get out it will be nearly impossible to rent an apartment and if you find a job it will likely pay  less because they know you are a desperate for a job and will take anything In addition – you can’t vote.

Crime is down, so how can Trump and Sessions talk about there being a rise in crime when the courts have put so many innocent people in prison? In addition, the mandatory minimum sentencing is far to long to make any sense. How can I know this? Because I read about so many people, mostly black and Hispanic men who fight for decades to prove their innocence – and they get out. Even with proof the DA tries their damnedest to keep them locked up. Why? To save face? Because they can’t admit they were wrong? Or because when the prisons are full, our government doesn’t have to pay the Prison Industrial Complex for empty beds? The government is on the hook to keep the prisons full any way they can. They don’t care if people are innocent or guilty – only that they fill a prison bed. The system is corrupt. It is a slave system that imprisons citizens.

We need to support people who are tying hard to not get convicted for something they didn’t do, and to find an attorney who will take their case. Only 3% of those arrested get to see a judge to present evidence. They never make it court except to plead guilty and agree to go to prison. They don’t care when they make someone plead guilty when they aren’t?

I have talked to a fair amount of people who weren’t guilty. Some are out now, and some are still working on their cases. This must be stopped! The point of prison is to punish the guilty, not make corporations rich. A sentence should be equal to the crime and rehabilitation needs to be there to help them become productive citizens. The point of prison is not to destroy people so they can’t live. It also destroys the lives of the guards who have to live with the things they have done to these people.

Can it be stopped?

Issue #8 of the ITFO Newsletter

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Because of my limited html coding knowledge I can’t get the the newsletter to print out here. So I’ll give you the link that will pull it up for you and save me the frustration of figuring it out (or waking my husband up from his old hippie before dinner nap!)

I only ask (plead,cajole with a smile) that if you like what I have so far accomplished, to click on the subscribe button and add your name to the mailing list, and then send it to any social media accounts you have to help me grow.

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I am finally, in short spurts back to work continuing to edit the book I wrote that got put on hold while my thoroughly crumbled broken arm bone begins to heal. It’s hard to hold my arm up very long so I can type and my chapter files are on my computer, not my tablet. The nerves in my wrist and fingers are starting to heal so I can press my fingers down.  All in all it’s been a real pain.  But everything happens for a reason. It is giving me more time to build my mailing list.  Those addresses on the list will get first notice when it is being published and for a limited time can download the book for free. I’m still not sure if I will go for a traditional publisher because it costs a considerable amount to pay for editing and formatting and book cover art.  The more addresses I have and the more followers I have on all social media, and here at wordpress, can make a big difference on whether they think I am a good enough risk as an unknown author.

I know sometimes when I subscribe to something I end up getting up to three emails a day from them and end up trashing them and unsubscribing. I don’t have time to send out a bunch of emails. It takes 2-3 days to put together one issue. I’ve been putting out one issue a month so you won’t get flooded.  Click on the archive button and take a look at the issues I’ve put out since last May.  It’s been a learning process, but you can see the topics I’ve covered so far.

Anytime you share this anywhere it is a big help.  There are so many people and families who have been impacted by our justice system and it is going to get worse unfortunately. There are already 40 prisons built for deportations so the CEOs of the Prison Industrial Complex is probably drooling over all the money they are going to make locking up immigrants.  Because they have no rights they are getting even less medical care and worse food than the inmates that come from this country and they have no right to an attorney.  No matter how you feel about immigrants they shouldn’t be looked at as profit.  They are building and then auctioning off the prisons with the promise of an unending supply of people to fill them.

Once again here is the link

Thank you

If You Do The Crime You Should Pay With Time

Jamie’s son and Sonni’s grandson

 IF You Do The Crime You Should Pay With Appropriate Time

America is in denial. Instead of seeing us as the country that incarcerates more of is citizens than any country in the world – by a long shot – for corporate profit, many see America as this good Christian nation than benevolently lends a hand to countries who are aching for us to take over and teach them the kind of democracy we have; including teaching them how to set up a prison system that rapes it’s own country – literally – of any freedom or liberty people should be able to have.

America is about profit and if people’s lives need to be forfeited to get it – well, that is just the American way – unless it is your family that is affected.  Blindly, many Americans are sucked into “news” sites that are better at twisting the news than reporting it. People’s habits run deep. They don’t know how to understand an issue unless someone tells them how to understand it.The problem is, what they think they understand has been skewed to mean something other than the truth. This past year is a perfect example.  When people ignore the continual massive lies of our new leader(?) in chief, and want to give him a chance – to do what? Continue to lie and behave in embarrassing ways you would never accept from anyone else, what is the end result? We have a country that sees itself differently than the rest of the world sees us with a very twisted reasoning of right and wrong.

I have such a bad feeling about this because the writing is on the wall and has been for a long time. But this article is not about Donald Trump. I doubt his supporters are reading this anyway because the truth isn’t something they want to hear because it isn’t on Fox News. Their version of the truth and reality are two very different things.

I have read more articles on all facets of incarceration than I could ever count, trying to understand where we went wrong and why. How do we fix it? Can we fix it? We have a country that “wants” to think it’s a Christian nation yet doesn’t know how To apply it to their own lives. They are not devastated over the intentional ruination of an entire race of people where the only real difference is the color of skin. But somehow, because white people, and I am one of them, are often so insecure about their own worth they have the need to feel they are made of a high quality substance than people of color, missing the point that it makes them less, not more, than the people they put down.

Is this all white people? Of course not. But because people of color have been stomped down, and a high percentage treated unfairly by incarcerating them to keep them down, they have been kept from a decent education with good schools and good teachers. A vast amount have been kept from the very people who should have raised them and were instead sucked through the penal system from grade school on up through the juvenile detention system. This was the long range plan to hold down the black race since Nixon started the fictional  war on drugs so he could incarcerate blacks through the PR plan labeling blacks as heroin addicts on a war path to rape the white man’s daughters, along with all the pot smoking hippie war protesters.  It worked, and we’re still trying to undo that one.

I’m sick of hearing, “If you do the crime you have to do the time”, because you’d have to be a complete idiot or unable to read to not see the vast amount of information out there that talks about all of the innocent black people being freed from prison every year because they were falsely incarcerated. It often took 10-20-30 years to finally free them, now too damaged to pick up a life that was taken from them. They can’t go back to their wives or raise their children all over again. Their lives were destroyed. Their children’s lives were destroyed. My grandson’s life with his father was destroyed. Why?? Because they are black and you don’t like black people? Or because corporations run by rich white men have the power to keep slavery going in the prison system and their shareholders could make money off them by making them work for free? Or food or medical corporations could get rich from denying services while their families were made to pay fees so they could make a medical call and see a nurse on a computer screen who tells them to go drink more cruddy water that comes out of a spigot in their cell instead of actually treating their illnesses?

Our government, along with the Prison Industrial Complex – with your compliance, because you intentionally look the other way, has caused the suffering of an entire race – and America thinks it is a Christian nation? Is this what it means to be a Christian? I am sickened by the hate and I am astounded by the ignorance.

When it comes to incarceration there is a new problem beginning. Crime is down. No matter what our new leader tries to make you believe about how awful it is everywhere – Crime – Is – Down. But the prisons have to be fed. Our government has contracts with the prison corporations. If they aren’t kept full then your tax dollars has to pay them for empty beds. Did you miss those articles? Who will they fill the prisons with? With people who break the new laws. The are increasing the crimes your grade school children commit that will give the adult sentences. Michigan passed a law that went into affect on Jan 1st. Children as young as 5 will be prosecuted as adults if they are caught fighting.  Children. Just kids. So common. That’s what boys do. And now they can get sentenced and locked up for it. Think I’m kidding? Read. How many Detroit children will this affect? What color is Detroit?

N. Dakota is only one state that wants to make protesting a felony and if you kill someone by running them down with your car it’s okay. Is this sick? Do you want to be associated with this? How many haters would have a field day with this? Trump says he’s the “Law and Order President” but law and order has never been his strong suit. Ever.

Sentences will become longer. Approvals for parole will become less in order to fill the prisons still being built. It scares me. Too many people look the other way. Unless you are a family that has been affected by the draconian laws our prisons are run by, why should you care? Because it affects everyone. Nearly every day I read a message, usually by a mother, “My son, or daughter was arrested. What do I do?”

Maybe they are guilty and maybe they aren’t, but the handing out of 20 year sentences for non violent “crimes” is very common, and their entire life is ruined for profit. Absolutely nothing of value is made except more money for the rich. Educate yourself. Don’t assume you and your children will be safe. Your family could be next. Teach your children how to interact with police the same way black parents train all their children from a young age. Assume they will be stopped. Teach them how interact with authority. Being white isn’t always the only protection needed.

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LIFE BEYOND BARS-The Beast Must Be Fed

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Isn’t it ironic that these men were pretending to join in on being aghast at Hillary’s supposed lies, but now that Wall St is getting front row seats in the White House to manipulate the country’s finances, they want to make sure their shady dealings are glossed over during their confirmation hearings. Is there something wrong with this picture?

Unless you know someone in prison,  the way people think about prison issues is very narrow, if it is thought about at all. Take for example, the chanting, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” concerning Clinton. It didn’t matter if she did anything to be locked up for.  People were caught up in the emotional release of endorphins and the pleasure it gave them to anticipate her being hurt or possibly even dying. But they have forgotten about 2009 when the banks and mortgages began causing the ruination of many people’s lives, including my own.  Where is the outrage over them running the country from those who supported this ticket? Should we “Lock them up?”

A majority of people don’t follow world events close enough to truly understand what happens in the world around them, or they center what they believe on an infotainment station like Fox News and think they are getting all the truthful news they need to stay informed. But yelling  “lock her up” gave them something physical to get back at to relieve the failure of being able to do anything about it before.

They were looking for anything they could find to blame for unhappy lives. It must be someone’s fault and they would have had Clinton hanged on TV if they could, and even cheered, even though the issues they wanted her imprisoned for weren’t issues that would have affected the success or failure of their lives Would it matter if she was innocent? Again, no, and they wouldn’t have believed it anyway.

Sadly, there is something so exquisitely intoxicating being part of a large group of people who are all yelling at the top of their lungs, at the same time, to hurt someone. They even allowed their children to witness it, creating the next generation of haters. Who better to emulate than mommy and daddy. Why do you think we still have racism? It would have died out long ago if parents didn’t teach their children bad ways of thinking.

When a parent is the one to teach a child an important part of reasoning, the child naturally assumes it is the truth. Why wouldn’t they? Why would their parent lie? The same goes for religion. If you hear something enough it becomes the truth. It takes a strong person to examine those truths because it can affect those important relationships. Why else would a child grow up thinking they were a privileged part of society because of the color of their skin if it wasn’t something they were taught? Some children eventually become smart enough to think for themselves.

Some people must like it when it becomes legal to kill someone and get away with it.  It serves a purpose, like a hit of heroin. It’s a release. They enjoy it. It feels good. Why else have people gathered for centuries to watch people being put to death. It’s entertaining. For some it’s even sexual.  For some it’s revenge.  For some, curiosity. This mind set was used when people gathered to hang black men from trees like low hanging fruit. They needed only the smallest of reasons, a lie being spread that a black man had the audacity to touch a white woman – or maybe he only looked at her and that was enough to call for his death – with no remorse. Many still feel the same way today.

If you read history going back to the time of “The Games” in Rome, people absolutely loved watching well trained men kill each other. They cheered. The entire city emptied out to go to the arena to watch the games. People got angry if the politicians took their fun and enjoyment away. Moving ahead, they loved the burning of witches and hearing their screams. They even took their children to watch. Public hangings. Electrocution. Death by injection. What is is it about people who get off on the killing people and loving to watch?

emmett_till

Emmet Till (This video should make you cry that ANYONE could do to another human what they did to this boy! If it doesn’t, shame on you. ) Emmet was a 14 year old boy in 1955 who was kidnapped from the home of relatives, beaten mercilessly, killed and found in a river for flirting with a white woman. How anyone could condone this act is sickening. Emmet was just a boy! But even today there are plenty of examples of this happening by people who think being white is superior to being black and it’s okay to kill black people.  Look at how many cops have come under scrutiny for killing them for no reason. They say, “I was afraid for my life.” Can’t they come up with more than one thing to say? That excuse is used way too much. But they get away with it! It must be in the cop’s handbook of how to get away with killing people you don’t like.  This way they don’t get prosecuted because then the courts would have to admit it was wrong. It will continue as long as there is no price to pay for taking the life of another human being. Any human being. How long will that take?

The question has been raised many times; is murdering someone because they raped or murdered someone okay? What difference is that murder? Is it because we decided certain murders are okay because we legalized it? What does it matter if it is still the brutal slaying of human life? States go back and forth on the legality. But in the end they still have to bear the brunt and live with the consequences of making the cause of making it legal to kill another human life.

The US is a country that wants the people to think it is a Christian nation, yet allows this barbaric practice never thinking it through to the end. If they truly think an all-knowing, all-seeing entity in the heavens is watching what they do, what do they think this intelligence “up there” is thinking about when it sees, down here on earth, the people committing hate crimes and sees people who think their skin color makes them special when supposedly “He” created all people of all races to be equal?  Did he think, white people are special and they can use black people, Muslims, American Indians or Hispanics like dogs? I think God would be pretty disgusted with people who think they are the chosen few – if you believe that sort of thing.

But I guess we’ll never know because people separate their religion from their actions. They pray when someone is sick or when they die. They pray for unborn babies. Some even think a person can pray away being gay. But do white people pray for God to forgive them for all the black people who get killed just for being black. Do they pray for the children who lose their parents because of bogus charges or unreasonable sentences they themselves don’t suffer? Do they pray for the youth who get killed by people like George Zimmermann who thinks if they look suspicious he should be able to kill them, yet when a jury can’t convict him because he is white and so are they, it happens over and over and over again. Someone, explain it to me please – why is this okay? Is it okay with you, and if it isn’t, what are you doing about it?

This isn’t a fun subject to write about. I doubt we will ever completely understand why we let it happen.  Many people inside prisons were never guilty of their charges. Our justice system is corrupt. We have finally begun to let innocent people out after they spent decades inside paying for something they didn’t do. How many innocents have we killed? No one likes to think of that. It’s not supposed to be part of our lives. That’s we they are kept separate, so we don’t have to think about them.

Most people, if they have no one inside, don’t want to believe all prisoners aren’t guilty. We want them to deserve every atrocity that happens to them in prison. We don’t want to think we got it wrong and locked up innocent people. The courts will fight tooth and nail to keep convicted people guilty or they look bad.

race graph in prison

If we separated the guilty from the innocent and then sentenced the guilty appropriately, our prison numbers would be the same as other countries. How can we – just one country – imprison 25% of the WORLD’S population without imprisoning a lot of innocent people to satisfy the thirst of the prison industrial complex? Doesn’t that bother you? It bothers me a lot, especially because America thinks they live in a country of Christians. That is so hypocritical!

Our entire prison system needs a total make over, beginning with the ever-changing reasons why we decide certain segments of society should be locked up.  Because of the prison corporation’s increasing thirst for profit, the need to incarcerate more segments of society has to expand. If we are decreasing the penalty for drugs, then those people need to be replaced with others in order to keep the prisons full. So who gets locked up, and who doesn’t get let out?

Why do you think they fight to keep the elderly imprisoned? Exactly how dangerous is an old, sick prisoner who can barely get out of bed who wants to spend the last of his life with family? “But he pulled an armed robbery 40 years ago!”  What exactly is he going to do? He did enough time. But corporations get paid by the govt if his bed is empty. Family pays in so many other ways so it hurts the bottom line to let him go. Enough is enough.

Now we have increased sentencing of children, even as young as 5-10 years of age. “I don’t believe it! That will never happen!” Believe it. It’s real. Michigan made it law on January 1. kids will get slapped with a felony charge for fighting – at any age for any reason. Half of all schools now have a cop on the premises. Don’t kid yourself it is to protect the school. It’s for easy access to the children. The wrong kids of course.  The black and Hispanic ones. The beast must be fed.

I’m going to leave you with one last thing to read and I hope you take the time to do so. Open your eyes. See what is happening. Do what you can to help change things.

***************

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How Solid is Your Rock?

This year we had an example of what happens when we fight against wrong, and win. The people who have been marginalized for centuries after we took their land from them and then pushed them onto tiny patches of land and continued to strangle them as though their lives were worth nothing. They stood up and showed us what the word courage meant. Their intention was not meant to teach us that, they had decided they were not going to let the bullies in this country tell them once again it didn’t matter what they thought; they couldn’t have a say so about the land given to them in treaty if it went against what the bully wanted.

What a proud, strong name – Standing Rock. How appropriate. How unmovable. It was sheer will against sheer will.

“We are going to make you move,” the bully said. “We don’t care if we ruin your lives. We are going to put that pipeline under your water. We are bigger and more powerful and you can’t stop us!”

“This rock stands. It is solid,” The Americans, the true Americans said. “We will not fight you. We bring no weapons. We come in peace but you will not dig up our land to increase your profit. You have raped this land for too long.” The bully isn’t used to not getting it’s way. Other bullies, including our new president have invested much money in this pipeline, in the destruction of our earth and by God they were going to get their way – except they didn’t.

I’m sure the bullies are dreaming up other ways to force the Indians to do their bidding. Who are they, after all, to stop them? They have always won, until now.

The bullies in the land, the wealthy corporations, who can never have enough money and power, disguised their motive in the beginning as being for the good of the people. There is no need to pretend any more. They intend to take what they want and destroy the lives of anyone who gets in their way!

I wanted so much to see the American Indians win but deep in my heart I didn’t see how they could – but they did!

My heart swelled with joy and admiration. All they did was stand there, immovable, and thousands of people came and cheered for them, joining in solidarity. They faced off the bullies. One side with weapons and the Indians with peace. This was important enough to lay their lives down if they had to.

The call came in. The bullies were backing down. Today, while reading I learned something new. Originally, the pipeline was to be put in close to the town of Bismark. They said no! You can’t put it here. You might destroy our water! After thinking a about it they decided instead to put it through the protected land of American Indians, the only true Americans in this country. Bismark won, too, but they suffered no casualties. You see, Bismark is 92% white. The bullies would never have attacked them with guns and other means of hurting people. Bismark was filled with the chosen race, the pure race, the white race. The Indians were expendable.

(update 12/29: I found out with further research that the info I read on Bismark was misleading and was never viable as an option. My apologies for not double checking my resource)

This gave me so much hope and encouragement. It showed me what having faith in one’s convictions really was. For years I have been trying to help change what the bullies do to millions of people who are often innocent of crimes yet get caught in the money making teeth of the Prison Industrial Complex. Guilty or not guilty doesn’t matter. They just need people to make them money. They are forced to work for pennies if they pay them at all. Companies bid on slave labor to make their products. They twist the minds of people through PR until they say, “Let the notion of slavery rest. Why do you always call it slavery?” But if they were forced to work in often very poor conditions, ignoring medical issues, fed slop only fit for pigs and then use their pennies to buy hygiene and cannot use it to help their families, then slavery is exactly what it is. Many are sexually assaulted. Men and women and often by guards.

They twist the minds of people through PR until they say, “Let the notion of slavery rest. Why do you always call it slavery?” But if they were forced to work in often very poor conditions, ignoring medical issues, fed slop only fit for pigs and then use their pennies to buy hygiene and cannot use it to help their families, then slavery is exactly what it is. Many are sexually assaulted. Men and women and often by guards.There are many groups of people across the country and around the world who are fighting to help the men, women and children who are caught in this hell. We fight for sentences to be reasonable and for the non guilty to be freed.  We do not want anyone to be forced in a plea deal out of fear because they are told if the choose to go to court they will add charges so they will never get out. 

White people, black and brown people who commit the same crime should get the same sentence. Parole should fair, and people granted more than a few minutes on a video screen to plea their case while the parole board looks at the next case.

Prison corporations need to go. Education and rehabilitation need to be there so when they are introduced back to society they have a chance of survival instead of being forced to do something illegal so they have enough money to buy food.

prison labor

There are millions of people inside prisons working hard so you can buy the products made for the companies that bid on prison labor. You have no idea if it is made by an inmate who had no choice but to work for for pennies an hour. There are three times that many people affected on the outside as well, and many on probation and parole who can’t find places to life or get a job. Slowly it is changing because people like me,  are working to educate people that prison is nothing like what they watch on TV.

There will be a stand-off coming where people are going to have to choose whether they want their lives ruled by corporate profits. Starting in 2017, for the first time, we will have a government run by the very corporations we railed against. I don’t have to list these corporations. Read the news at Common Dreams, Alternet, Truth Out and others that actually print the truth and not what they are paid to print. Verify at more than one site before you believe anything, the mistake I made earlier in this article. Open your mind and learn the truth. I have no time to fill my mind with the things they want us to believe. Some people are gullible and believe something because they want to and it has no bearing in truth.

The wrong people are changing our country in the wrong way. It’s time we stand up and fight for each other and with each other instead of fighting against each other for our destruction. Make your life count for something. That is the legacy you leave behind.

Americans For Prison Reform

This is Going To Be a Year of Change For Inmates – If We Try

There are quite a few people who have Facebook pages and groups who feel that prison reform is very important and it’s time for those changes to begin happening. We read a lot. We post articles we find that talk about the problem. Some of us have loved ones who are locked away so we have first hand knowledge of the cruelty they endure yet we don’t know how to change things. We stand a better chance of changing things if we come together and fight together.  The powers that be – the government, prison industrial complex and the people who run the prisons don’t care how we feel because they are so sure there is nothing we can do. They think their profit is safe.

There are millions of us on the outside who can be a force to reckon with -if we organize. We don’t have to continue to let this happen. The blacks, the poor, the minorities, the juveniles are being used to make some people wealthy. The lying politicians at the beginning of this election cycle all said they were going to fix this. Half way through they stopped talking about at all.  All politicians lie. No one is going to help. They all have a finger in the profit pie.

There are many groups of people in many states who are doing all they can. Some have attorneys who have a better grasp of the legalities but one major problem is – we are all separate. We may recognize the name of a group but we don’t know what their plan is. There is absolutely no cohesiveness. How can we support each other when we don’t communicate? This election showed us the power of the internet. We need to use it more effectively

There is so much that needs to be fixed but people feel helpless about what to do because the problem is so huge and has so many parts. Aside from the many people locked up there are millions of people on the outside who get hurt. Some of my friends and I are beginning to come together and talk, to see what we can do. No one group is going to fix the prison issues. The people need to help themselves. Watching what the American Indians did showed us we aren’t helpless.  But did we really believe they would push them back? Really? It was an eye opener for me. So why are we letting them do this to us? It will take time to sort this out.

We need people with skills, fundraiser skills down the line. Social media skills, etc. who are willing to take on the corporations and their profit making machines and change the laws that are against the health of the people inside. Am I biting off more than I can chew? Probably, but I know if you reach for the stars and land on the moon you’re a hell of a lot closer next time you reach. You accomplish nothing if you don’t try.

I have been fighting for Jamie for almost a decade. I work on my projects that have to do with our prisons like a full time job – because it is. I spend most of my day researching, writing and connecting with people. I understand not everyone can do that because of commitments in their lives and families to care for.  Some only have time to read and share it, but even that is so important.

There are many people who have no idea what the prisons have been built for and why we have more than anywhere else in the world. Many people believe everyone who is inside deserves to be there. They believe they are all bad guys, except we know that isn’t true  because they are our husbands and wives, our children and our friends. We know what happened to put them in prison. Being guilty isn’t important.  The truth isn’t important. Only money is important. Keeping prison beds full at all costs is important. Their only purpose is to fill a bed and they need someone to exploit to do that – and yes, there are bad people in there, too, as well as those who are mentally ill with no place to put them.

mentally ill inmates
photo credit: photos.pds.org

With 5% of the population and 25% of all the prisoners in the world, if that were true then America has a pretty lousy life philosophy if we truly produced that many hard core criminals who need our lengthy mandatory minimums. Everyone knows our prisons are a racket. Why is it being allowed? Why haven’t they been changed? Why is it allowed?

Judges sentence someone using the mandatory minimums because they have no choice. I am sure most people have never read what those minimums are. They use use the phrase “mandatory minimums” because they know it is something that should be changed because they heard it somewhere else. But what does it mean? When did it start? How does one go about changing any one of them because they all have different years they began, some as early as 250 years ago.

Regardless of when it started, the sentence is how many years they were to be incarcerated. The judge did NOT say they were to be abused in prison. THAT is criminal. They don’t have the right to starve them with rotten food. The law states they are to be cared for medically – and that means mental health, too. Women are to be cared for with women issues. Men and women who are raped should have the right to press charges – against the guards our other inmates. Some inmates have to contend with near daily rape. Just because they are incarcerated does that mean the staff has the right to abuse another human being with no consequences?

Everyone know this so why does it continue! Right to lifers say every life is precious and fight for that. When does  a life lose the right to be precious? How many rapes does it take? How many beatings? How many ignored sick calls? For Jamie, how many epileptic seizures until he gets the right treatment?

seizure webmdcom

The list of abuses goes on and on with the higher staff allowing it by looking the other way. In many cases the guards and staff are more criminal than those locked up. So often, if an inmate files a case against a guard, not only is it not filed, they retaliate against the inmate, and write up more cases against him, throw him in ad seg and take ALL of his belongings away, including even his mattress, his flimsy, thin, 3″ piece of foam. At Jamie’s last prison he had 13 sexual harassment cases filed against him in one month. He had to force them to move him by threatening a guard so they would classify him as ad seg (solitary) because then they would move him. He is safer now – but he is still in ad seg. He had to deal with having his belongings taken away. 19 books including his GED book. He recently got his radio back after a year. His fan was replaced with a broken one. They gave him 2 more years of ad seg because that is what they do. He’s endured this to get away from a prison where the guards beat him up more than once, split his head open with a wall and sprayed him with chemicals.

Often we read an article and move on, shaking our head, wondering who will fix this. I tend to get very angry when I write about these things but anger keeps me going. You can find me easily at:

http://facebook.com/JamieLifeInPrison and http://mynameisjamie.net  A group of us are starting an alliance of people who want to do something. We have to start somewhere. Many have someone inside. If you want to help, come and talk with us.  Prison reform isn’t an easy thing to change but we’ll give it all we have. We need the input of people with experience. We need people who have the ability to stick with something or at least to know what your level of commitment could be. Even if all you can do is pass info, or reach out to people you know, that would be a help.  Let me know if you want to find out more. Send me an email at squick@mynameisjamie.net and I’ll get back in touch with you. This isn’t a commitment on your part. It’s a beginning. If you see this after it’s posted on facebook you can leave me a message there as well.

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There being different stages we will go through. We have to start at the bottom before we tackle issues. At the bottom is simply getting organized. And although many of us have people inside this is not about getting people out, it is about reforming the system, about fairness, about the prisons abiding by the law even as it stands now. We have to do that before changing bad laws. It took a long time to get here and it will take time and a lot of effort to change things.

Personally, I would like to see for each inmate:

  1. Proper medical care – instead of using Tylenol for every condition. An outside system needs to be used to treat inmates that doesn’t say, for example, “You have water on the knee and it needs to be drained but the prison will never approve the cost. Here, take a Tylenol. Or, ” You have an abcessed tooth but it will be at least a month before we can get you to a dentist even if your face is swollen so bad you can’t eat. Here, take a Tylenol. Or, you had an epileptic seizure and you woke from it with your hands and feet cuffed, and not taken to medical because a guard didn’t want to do the paperwork. The prison medical corporations do not want to pay medical expenses. It is cheaper to let them die.

2. Decent, edible food they don’t have to be afraid to eat. The food corporations want to feed them on the cheap even if it kills them. We should make then feed their own families what they feed our families.

 3. A cell that isn’t too hot or too cold. I’m tired of hearing about deaths from the heat. That is murder.

 4. Ability to trace complaints against the guards by us on the outside so we know they are taken care of. They can’t be trusted and right now the fix is guarding the hen house. We get lip service by the warden. We need to know their complaints don’t end up in the trash and repercussions don’t blow back on the inmates. The prison has ways of stalling complaints so they become invalid. They do it on purpose so every single complaint is pointless. The law says they have the right to file for mistreatment but they is no law that says they have to do anything about it.

 5. People on the outside need the ability to file against a guard or staff if inmates are abused, and bring legal charges if their behavior warrants it. We don’t all have money to hire attorneys, in fact most of us probably don’t but we need a way to make sure they are safe. 

I’m going to stop there so the rest of you can add your concerns in the comments. If anyone has any idea of how to do this or has an idea of what to do first to get started, I’m listening. The tenetive name on facebook for this group is “Americans for Prison Reform.” Our prison system affects all of us.

I sure do hope to hear from you!  Sonni

THE NEXT MONTHLY ISSUE OF THE ITFO NEWSLETTER WILL BE GOING OUT SOON. TAP THE LINK TO GET IT DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX. EACH ISSUE NOW WILL FOCUS ON A DIFFERENT ASPECT OF PRISON ISSUES EACH MONTH. THERE HAS BEEN NO TALK OF PRISON REFORM SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN WHEN EVERYONE JUMPED ON THE BANDWAGON SAYING THEY WOULD BE THE ONE TO FIX IT. NOW NOTHING IS BEING SAID. IT WILL BE THE PEOPLE DEMANDING CHANGE THAT HAS THE ONLY CHANCE OF CHANGING THIS. PLEASE POST THIS ON YOUR OWN SM AND ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO SHARE IT, TOO. WE’VE SEEN WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE COME TOGETHER AS THE AMERICAN INDIANS HAVE DONE. WE NEED TO MAKE PRISON REFORM IMPORTANT, NOT JUST TALK ABOUT IT. CAN WE DO THAT?

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Society’s Parasite: The Treatment Industrial Complex

light from sky

BRAVE NEW FILMS

If this doesn’t scare you, you aren’t human. If you think this isn’t happening you don’t understand greed. Because I have made it my business to try to understand why our justice system is the way it is and how none of us is really safe agains the corporations, especially if you aren’t full blooded white or if you have a mental history of asking for help. Bi-polar, needing meds and therapy – irratic behavior – needing therapy but no money for treatment so you get “sentenced ” for therapy. Shoot, what IS this about? Can they really do this to people? I know what they do in the prisons. Is this a version of the Twilight Zone where they smile and let you in – but never let you out?

Criminal justice reform efforts are at an all time high and have more momentum than ever. At the same time, there is a dangerous new scheme coming from the for-profit prison industry. The same companies who have made billions off of keeping Americans behind bars, the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of American (CCA), are now profiting off of another destructive system, the Treatment Industrial Complex (TIC). The TIC is the the expansion of the incarceration industry into areas that traditionally were focused on treatment and care of individuals involved in the criminal justice system–prison medical care, forensic mental hospitals, civil commitment centers, and ‘community corrections’ programs such as halfway houses, electronic monitoring, and home arrest.  Many factors are at play in the rise of TIC. As the public has grown more aware over the years of the large scale disenfranchisement of people of color by way of mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex, so has there been rise in support for an end to the for-profit prison system. This social awakening is perceived as a threat to those who have been profiting off incarceration. This new approach is an attempt at repackaging the prison system for continued profits. Society’s Parasite: A Look Into The Treatment Industrial Complex, shows how dangerous this development is to the widespread movement for real criminal justice reform in the name of safety, not profits.

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