Prison Pete

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Did you read the story (also in Monday's paper) about the California Prisons? The guy who was appointed by the federal courts at the outrageous salary of $500,000 a year. And then they are shipping 8,000 inmates out of state to private prisons. That is a disaster waiting to happen. See story by Logan on private prison that was used to house District of Columbia offenders in the late 90's. They closed it down because of the inhumane conditions. Several hundred of those prisoners ended up at with me, so I heard some of the horror stories first hand.

Maybe someone smarter than I could explain how if one of the major problems with prisons is improper funding, you are going to come out ahead of the game (the game being adequate care for prisoners at the least cost to the taxpayer) if you take monies that previously went 100% to the care of said prisoners and now give it to a private company that still has to provide adequate care with those same dollars, but also takes a cut for the profit of the stockholders?

Meanwhile in the September 2007 edition of "The Lutheran" I was encouraged to learn that the national church body, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is developing a Criminal Justice Statement. The item states:

"The assembly approved (957-68) an initiative that grew out of memorials from three synods that will result in a social statement on criminal justice to be considered by the 2013 assembly. The statements will likely deal with the prison system, rehabilitation for those convicted of crimes and the cost of incarcerating criminals."

2013... Maybe I will be out by then.

I seriously think someone got the idea from reading my blog. No, really seriously, I am going to write a letter to the national church, suggesting they be sure to consult with people who have been and still are in the system. That's right, if you are going to take a position on people in prison, it would be a good idea to talk to those who have been on the inside to find out what needs to be addressed. As far as it taking all the way to 2013 to figure that out, well one must not just rush into a project of this scope.

There you have it. Long holiday weekend coming up, already gone by the time you get this, and perhaps I will use the day off from work to dig into the stack of clippings that continues to grow but never seems to make it into the blog.

Into the envelope this goes. Stay well, have fun, and be careful out there.
You're right, private prisons is a very dangerous idea. There can never be enough regulatory oversight to assure prisoners are not treated unfairly. What kind of nutrition will they get when it comes time to cut costs?

There are a thousand good reasons to keep the system out of the private sector.
I hate to sound rude and voyeuristic, but how about blogging about some of the more personal and/or sordid details of prison life? I think that's the cachet of a blog such as yours. People want to hear about the day to day interesting bits about the types of characters you're locked up with and the odd, violent, irritating situations that arise in such an environment.

It's like living in a lion's cage and writing about how they give you white bread instead of wheat bread for breakfast. It can be a bit mundane. Kind of disappointing to readers when they want to hear about the specific and peculiar aspects of life behind bars in richer detail.

If you want an idea of what I'm talking about, take a look at jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com
Now this is a fabulously written and genuinely original and exciting blog about prison life.
I agree with "ad" on one point. It would be nice to hear more about the "sordid details of Prison life". I would like to hear more stories about what is going on with other inmates and your interactions with them. As far as JonsJailJournal goes I think Jon takes a lot of liberties and his writing while it is well written comes off as Part Fiction to myself.
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