make-a-crane

Category: Prison

“The Robber, the Judge, and the Case for Leniency”

Two quotes from former bank robber Shon R. Hopwood, who recently won a prestigious clerkship:

“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason,” Mr. Holder said.

“From my experience,” he wrote, “sentences over five years do little to help society or the prisoner.” 

Read the article.

Advertisements

Henry David Thoreau

Here is a wonderful 3-part series on Thoreau, a great thinker who lived peacefully, with integrity, and in harmony with nature. He stressed the importance of individual reflection and thought.

 

 

World’s Most Powerful Photographs

Deceptive Peace

Maybe a zoo, like a prison, creates an atmosphere of deceptive peace — there is much screaming involved, but in a language we do not understand or do not bother to listen for.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Global Peace Index

Here is the 2012 Global Peace Index.

“Welcome to the world’s nicest prison”

See the full CNN article for details and definitely watch the movie clip! This is a wonderful approach to rehabilitation.

“Who would you rather have as your neighbor? Someone who’s set free after years behind bars–or a prisoner who for such a long time has had the chance to be part of a community?”

“This is what we call ‘human ecology’…It has to do with human relationships and the awareness that you’re part of a greater whole.”

–Arne Kvernik Nilsen, governor of Bastoy prison

Our Prisons Reveal Our Values (and lack of)

We are social beings. Solitary confinement takes a part of our being. Here is an article on a hearing that took place Tuesday on solitary confinement.

Anthony Graves: In response to people who claim it has no psychological effects, “I say, ‘Go live there for 30 days, and then tell me that.’…Solitary confinement makes our criminal justice criminal…It dehumanizes us all.”

“An online word-sculpture protesting the prison-industrial complex”

This is a wonderful idea:

“I Am Writing A Letter Each Day to My Brother Who Is In Prison For 4-15 Years” 

Here are posts.

Free Documentary Site

This is a wonderful site! You can watch documentaries ranging the spectrum of possibilities.

Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law

Read this, on the American Civil Liberties Union website page.

Too many politicians talk the talk and neglect the walking part.

Inside-Out Prison Exchange

Here is a quote from the editorial:

These are no Florence Nightingale-minded do-gooders. These women are locked up to learn. They are among the first in Canada to participate in a remarkable program that brings university students and prison inmates together to study in a post-secondary class.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program allows those in prison who never dreamed of going beyond high school to achieve that seeming impossibility. It is rehabilitative, character-changing and confidence-building. It has been shown to reduce crime and violence.

Projects for Peace

I love the idea of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis, who dedicated $1 million for 100 Projects for Peace. I also love that the word “peace” is not defined, and left to the individual(s) to creatively interpret. There are so many projects created by so many creative young people, and the best part is that the proposals and reports are accessible by clicking on the title of the project. Here is one college president’s opinion:

“…if the 100 Projects for Peace stimulated as much initiative across other campuses as it did here, it can be declared a success already – it is a wonderfully conceived catalyst for public service in the best sense of the word.”

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a global movement of 2.8 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights, according to the website.  What a wealth of information! You can find information by country and topic, watch videos, and learn about how you can help, such as by writing letters standing up for individuals at risk. (i.e. Liu Xiaobao would be an example, as would someone convicted of the death penalty.) Here is Amnesty International’s blog.

PEN

PEN American Center is the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization, according to the website. PEN has many programs, including a Prison Writing Program, Translation Committee, and the World Voices Program. Here is the explanation for the Prison Writing Program:

Founded in 1971, the PEN Prison Writing Program believes in the restorative and rehabilitative power of writing, by providing hundreds of inmates across the country with skilled writing teachers and audiences for their work. The program seeks to provide a place for inmates to express themselves freely with paper and pen and to encourage the use of the written word as a legitimate form of power. The program sponsors an annual writing contest, publishes a free handbook for prisoners, provides one-on-one mentoring to inmates whose writing shows merit or promise, conducts workshops for former inmates, and seeks to get inmates’ work to the public through literary publications and readings.

I believe that prisons need to be more related to peace in the rehabilitative sense, not only in the sense of punishment. Three Strikes, mandatory minimums, the “war on drugs,” and the tough political stance that politicians too often embrace must end. Putting people in boxes is not the answer.