An Arizona court ruled that a fee charged to prison visitors is constitutional. Once again the burden is placed on poor families already struggling to keep their loved ones connected to a support system that study after study shows is essential for keeping ex-offenders out of jail. I am sometimes overwhelmed by the mean-spiritedness of our penal system and have to work hard to maintain my faith in people's goodness.
If anyone doubts that the young people locked up in our jails are children they should spend some time in one of those prisons around holiday time.
I did just that for the 10 years I taught high school students, some as young as fifteen, in an adult county jail, and every year it got tougher to deny the impact being locked up for the holidays had on these teens.
Jail’s a pretty isolating place. That’s one of the ideas. But in lockup they watched a lot of TV—that great purveyor…Continue
Added by David Chura on December 22, 2011 at 4:19pm — No Comments
The Christian Science Monitor did an interesting story on yoga and meditation in jails and its effects on violence, something that we are all pretty aware of, but I always find it heartening when stories like this appear in the mainline press. It's a great reminder to the general reader that people locked up in our national jails are people capable of change and demanding of respect.
Added by David Chura on December 14, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments
It was like a giant switchboard, the kind you see in 30s and 40s movies, a bevy of operators plugging in a crisscross of wires, taking calls, making connections, a cacophony of chatter.
That image came to me recently as I walked into the lobby of the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA. The only difference was that the conversations filling the hall were about the same thing: girls and young women in the juvenile justice system.
We were there—teachers, social workers, lawyers,…Continue
Added by David Chura on December 13, 2011 at 2:44pm — No Comments