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skye
skye

UPDATE: 70 Inmates Barricaded in Second Riot Happening Now at Holman Prison

The situation, according to the article, doesn't seem to be ending soon.

The inmates are 'Fed Up' with the conditions.


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skye
skye

Oh absolutely. And what I'm trying to say is that in other countries or other societies, people actually vote to cover such services by publicly funding them, and therefore someone like you and me can even be paid for our efforts.

Not to mention the fact that a paid position will bring in people with an advanced set of skills geared towards helping that particular population. I mean, prisoners routinely complain about the rough treatment they get at the hands of health care workers in prisons --- not only receiving subpar medical treatment but also being treated poorly as people. Time and time again they dub a dr. "Dr. Death," or Dr. Mengele," or some such. And that's if they see an actual Doctor, which on many occasions they don't. I hear P.A.'s often fill the positions of doctors. I personally know of many a case of neglect that would have been grounds for a serious malpractice suit out here in free society. I know of an instance of one PA who misdiagnosed a condition and 'treated' it according to his estimation. The result was a life-threatening emergency necessitating a chaotic transport to a local hospital, rushed cops with guns drawn, the prisoner shackled because his clothes could not be safely removed from his body so 'procedure' could not be followed in stripping him first. He was literally dragged by the arms like this through a hospital full of people who started to scream. I mean, that's what happens to inmates every day.

Did the prisoner sue? Are you kidding? Where would he start? Do you know of any lawyers who'd take that on pro-bono?

There are instances, like here in Georgia , where a doctor at the prison was under the impression he could 'cure all' with Advil. This resulted in numerous deaths, misdiagnoses of breast cancer and other horrific medical stories.

He has only lost his job. That's it.

It is horrific what the women went through. He should be held accountable, but I'm not sure he will be.

At least not to the extent he should be.

Prison doctor Yvon Nazaire faces GBI probe | The Watchdog blog

I do know lawyers who take one 1-2 pro-Bono cases per year. It is all they can afford to time wise as some of these cases are very complex.

A group of work together based on what we see when we are at the prison. It is sad that we can only help a low number per year, but none the less, it is a step in the right direction.

 
gooddog
gooddog

This article makes a lot of sense why Norwegians would be satisfied with his sentencing, withing the system that they have there:

Norwegians Relieved After Anders Breivik's Sentencing | TIME.com

 
gooddog
gooddog

I too would hope that even the tolerant Norwegians will not feel required to offer him any more than they already have which is probably already better than 99% of other prisoners would expect to get in this world after an offense like that.

Actually, I would imagine that not all victims' families can be happy about the fact that he gets to live, gets a chance to get out again, gets to have lawsuits about how unfairly "he" is treated. He got a sweetheart deal if you ask me. Those who have lost loved ones would probably think the same, no matter how tolerant or humanitarian you are.

Here we go: Norwegians outraged after mass killer Anders Breivik begins uni studies from prison - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

 
gooddog
gooddog

Did anyone notice that just this week Brevik was in court, bringing so-called human rights violations against Norway for his "inhumane" treatment which I'm sure is 700 times better than the best humane treatment in other places.
Made me wonder if Brevik had considered the human rights violations he'd committed against the 77 innocent people he'd gunned down. My guess is no.

***sigh*** They exist in all countries. I'm sorry that Norway has one too.

The fact that Norway lets him have his day in court for his Hitler salute speaks volumes about their humanity.

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

It's the result of collective histories, certainly. I am also inclined to think that The Dream is also to blame in a significant way. Europeans, Australians, and pretty much no one else in the world have been sold The Dream in the wholesale sacharine way that America has sold it to themselves.

Metaxu, one day we need to discuss these things over coffee or port sitting in comfy chairs somewhere :)

That's a date. Coffee first, then port.

 
sunray's wench
sunray's wench

As much as I hate to say it, I agree with you. There is a violent streak in American consciousness that baffles me and whose origins I am not sure about. People like to say it's our gun-toting, Wild West tradition, and perhaps that's part of it, but it doesn't satisfy me. The way our inner ghettos look and the insane amount of drug use and trafficking, which contributes to the violent crime, just have no precursor in the Wild West. There was a time Europe was violent and weapons-wracked, but somehow that hasn't laid a foundation for more violence.

I really don't have a good answer. These days I like to attribute it to an impoverished education and a greatly diminished cultural activity. When you take away critical thinking skills, a platform to express them, and a constructive way to channel destructive impulses, which we all possess, then you'll get a lot of acting out. I guess.

It's the result of collective histories, certainly. I am also inclined to think that The Dream is also to blame in a significant way. Europeans, Australians, and pretty much no one else in the world have been sold The Dream in the wholesale sacharine way that America has sold it to themselves.

Metaxu, one day we need to discuss these things over coffee or port sitting in comfy chairs somewhere :)

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

I've often wondered that, and also why so many more violent crimes occur in America by both civilians and state sanctioned individuals. Are Americans intrinsically just bad people compared to other first world countries? I want to say no, but evidence suggests that many are. My head wants to say that it is the over-reliance on military that America has, and pseudo-military institutions - look at the multiple layers of law enforcement that exist just in Texas (including campus police forces, which are virtually unheard of in Europe). Places such as Norway do still have compulsory military service for young people, and yet they do not have the prevailance of violent crimes that the US does (per 100,000 population, as DanPal mentioned).

As much as I hate to say it, I agree with you. There is a violent streak in American consciousness that baffles me and whose origins I am not sure about. People like to say it's our gun-toting, Wild West tradition, and perhaps that's part of it, but it doesn't satisfy me. The way our inner ghettos look and the insane amount of drug use and trafficking, which contributes to the violent crime, just have no precursor in the Wild West. There was a time Europe was violent and weapons-wracked, but somehow that hasn't laid a foundation for more violence.

I really don't have a good answer. These days I like to attribute it to an impoverished education and a greatly diminished cultural activity. When you take away critical thinking skills, a platform to express them, and a constructive way to channel destructive impulses, which we all possess, then you'll get a lot of acting out. I guess.

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

Actually in Norway in 2011, 77 of the murders were committed by the same person.

Thank you for that clarification. :)

 
sunray's wench
sunray's wench

And why ARE our crimes more severe (if that's true)?

I've often wondered that, and also why so many more violent crimes occur in America by both civilians and state sanctioned individuals. Are Americans intrinsically just bad people compared to other first world countries? I want to say no, but evidence suggests that many are. My head wants to say that it is the over-reliance on military that America has, and pseudo-military institutions - look at the multiple layers of law enforcement that exist just in Texas (including campus police forces, which are virtually unheard of in Europe). Places such as Norway do still have compulsory military service for young people, and yet they do not have the prevailance of violent crimes that the US does (per 100,000 population, as DanPal mentioned).

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

Of course I know why I am not paid!

I Volunteered and volunteer work is generally not paid.

I chose to volunteer as I understand the importance of counseling and the benefits of psychotherapy.

And because it is my way of helping someone who otherwise would not be able to get the treatment they need to cope with where they are and release.

Counseling is a very beneficial service to inmates and the least funded in every state.

Oh absolutely. And what I'm trying to say is that in other countries or other societies, people actually vote to cover such services by publicly funding them, and therefore someone like you and me can even be paid for our efforts.

Not to mention the fact that a paid position will bring in people with an advanced set of skills geared towards helping that particular population. I mean, prisoners routinely complain about the rough treatment they get at the hands of health care workers in prisons --- not only receiving subpar medical treatment but also being treated poorly as people. Time and time again they dub a dr. "Dr. Death," or Dr. Mengele," or some such. And that's if they see an actual Doctor, which on many occasions they don't. I hear P.A.'s often fill the positions of doctors. I personally know of many a case of neglect that would have been grounds for a serious malpractice suit out here in free society. I know of an instance of one PA who misdiagnosed a condition and 'treated' it according to his estimation. The result was a life-threatening emergency necessitating a chaotic transport to a local hospital, rushed cops with guns drawn, the prisoner shackled because his clothes could not be safely removed from his body so 'procedure' could not be followed in stripping him first. He was literally dragged by the arms like this through a hospital full of people who started to scream. I mean, that's what happens to inmates every day.

Did the prisoner sue? Are you kidding? Where would he start? Do you know of any lawyers who'd take that on pro-bono?

 
skye
skye

I used to volunteer as a counselor in a prison too, and do you know why my position was non-paid? (Probably why yours is, too).

Of course I know why I am not paid!

I Volunteered and volunteer work is generally not paid.

I chose to volunteer as I understand the importance of counseling and the benefits of psychotherapy.

And because it is my way of helping someone who otherwise would not be able to get the treatment they need to cope with where they are and release.

Counseling is a very beneficial service to inmates and the least funded in every state.

 
DanPal
DanPal

By severe.... I mean if you were to compare the county as a whole to a much smaller country we would collectively have more violent crime.

It isn't fair to compare a small county to a large country.

Of course their system may work for them, with less offenders.

But our average state is much larger than Norway. More people ... More crimes.

Hi Skye,
You CAN compare larger and smaller countries. You do it by counting per 100.000 inhabitants or using percentages or similar.
If you read the defintions at the top of the article that compares Norway and the US, you'll see explanations like these:

''Murder rate: Homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants in various countries.
Police officers: Number of police officers per 100,000 population.
Rape rate: Number of rape incidents per 100,000 citizens in different countries. Figures do not take into account rape incidents that go unreported to the police.''

You do not compare straight numbers as you suggest. Check it out, if you want :)

 
skye
skye

By severe.... I mean if you were to compare the county as a whole to a much smaller country we would collectively have more violent crime.

It isn't fair to compare a small county to a large country.

Of course their system may work for them, with less offenders.

But our average state is much larger than Norway. More people ... More crimes.

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

I do not have a hardline when it comes to criminals. Society does. And that same society are the voters and decision makers.

I actually do a lot of volunteer work for local prisons as a counselor. I help file early release requests and prepare parole packets. None of which I am paid for, because I get it. They don't have the resources.

You can't just take one side of the coin. You have to look at both. Taxpayers have a right to vote on what their money is spent on.

When I speak of letter writing campaigns, I'm not saying the inmates are the ones to write. That would have little impact.

The families and friends who are in society should be the ones writing.

They may not have families. I get it. It takes one person out here in society who is a registered voter to start a campaign.

Case and point... Steven Avery. This man does not have the financial resources to challenge his conviction, which is a wrongful conviction. The county was not properly reviewed by an ethics board. Two filmmakers brought this to light.
I know, not everyone gets this luxury. But not everyone gets two wrongful convictions.

Due to this, thousands of people have put pressure on the state and federal government with petitions.

The innocence project previously declined to take his second case. With the pressure, they have in recent months signed on along with a new lawyer.

That would not have happened without the pressure from the public.

Yes, basic medical needs should be covered. It isn't like they can just go to a doctor like we can. Sadly, many states have subpar medical care for offenders. That won't change until there is pressure from the outside to change it. That can be by voting in just more than the presidential election, which many don't do. It can also be in a class action lawsuit.

The thing with class action suits is that the inmates don't pay the legal fees.

I used to volunteer as a counselor in a prison too, and do you know why my position was non-paid? (Probably why yours is, too). Because the re-entry program was not and could not be adequately funded. This was a topic we covered intermittently -- how to secure funding. The reason it always ended up with a zero budget was because no one in the business/charity/government sectors wanted to give money to inmates. There are A LOT of much more appealing, deemed worthier causes than prisoners' rights or re-entry services. Just about all of them. Given a toss between homeless children with leukemia, who are you going to pick?

To my way of thinking, the problem is endemic and rooted in our very culture, which is merciless and pre-occupied with punishment and vengeance. The prisoner is the 'other,' the evil scapegoat in public consciousness. It's not a very civilized or even pragmatic approach. It will contribute to increasing social malaise, violence and drug abuse. Felons will simply perpetuate their lifestyle (re-enforced in prison itself) on the streets and spread it to ever younger generations who themselves are struggling in desperation, poverty and lack of education. As Phillygurl mentioned, they have severely restricted options once they're out. They can't vote. They can't secure housing in a decent neighborhood. They're often un-employable (whether due to employer prejudice/caution or lack of skills). They're doubtless suffering from many mental health problems, some of which were brought on by the process of their criminalization as persons.

I have personally written letters to my representatives. I have written to wardens and regional directors. I have written to judges. At best, I have received back a form letter. That's at best. I learned that it takes an extraordinary coincidence of luck, good timing and an extreme situation for anyone to even blink. Yes, class-action lawsuits have been launched by that one letter that happened to fall into the right hand at the right moment. But for every such Steven Avery instance there are virtually hundreds of thousands whose pleas fall on deaf and indifferent ears.

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

Another factor is size. The US is much larger than Norway. Norway is only slightly larger than the state of New Mexico.

With 4.7 million people in Norway compared to 323,451,023 people in the United States. The crime ratio here will be much higher.

The Atlanta Metro area where I live has more people than Norway at 5.5 million people.

In 2011 Norway had only 111 murders.

In the same year, Atlanta had 87 murders.

The same year for the US was 14,612

The point I am making here is that we can't compare grapes to watermelons. They aren't the same in size and structure.

What works for a very small country, may not be effective for a much larger (in size and population) country.

Especially when the crimes may be more severe over here,

Well, the US is comprised of states, which in and of themslves approach many Europeans countries' sizes, and which exercise considerable jurisdictional independence. And yet taken individually, they still do an inexplicably poor job with the whole way in which the criminal justice system is administered. Is there one state in the union which comes close to Norway? :-)

And why ARE our crimes more severe (if that's true)?

 
skye
skye

I do not have a hardline when it comes to criminals. Society does. And that same society are the voters and decision makers.

I actually do a lot of volunteer work for local prisons as a counselor. I help file early release requests and prepare parole packets. None of which I am paid for, because I get it. They don't have the resources.

You can't just take one side of the coin. You have to look at both. Taxpayers have a right to vote on what their money is spent on.

When I speak of letter writing campaigns, I'm not saying the inmates are the ones to write. That would have little impact.

The families and friends who are in society should be the ones writing.

They may not have families. I get it. It takes one person out here in society who is a registered voter to start a campaign.

Case and point... Steven Avery. This man does not have the financial resources to challenge his conviction, which is a wrongful conviction. The county was not properly reviewed by an ethics board. Two filmmakers brought this to light.
I know, not everyone gets this luxury. But not everyone gets two wrongful convictions.

Due to this, thousands of people have put pressure on the state and federal government with petitions.

The innocence project previously declined to take his second case. With the pressure, they have in recent months signed on along with a new lawyer.

That would not have happened without the pressure from the public.

Yes, basic medical needs should be covered. It isn't like they can just go to a doctor like we can. Sadly, many states have subpar medical care for offenders. That won't change until there is pressure from the outside to change it. That can be by voting in just more than the presidential election, which many don't do. It can also be in a class action lawsuit.

The thing with class action suits is that the inmates don't pay the legal fees.

 
phillygurl
phillygurl

So yes many psychopaths need to be locked up. But I do have compassion for the rest of them. Being locked away is very scary because they can do whatever they want to you and there is nobody, really, there to go to for help.

And they do do whatever they want. The CO's are so rude and disrespectful and just mean! I used to wonder who in the hell goes to work everyday and is just strait mean and nasty all day long and takes pleasure in seeing you suffer???? Like, who does that? How can you keep up that attitude for a whole eight hour shift? That right there has you wanting to clock someone.

The abuse is ongoing and never stops.

 
phillygurl
phillygurl

Skye...

I just don't think like you.

I understand they committed crimes but while in the custody of the State they should be provided with adequate medical care. A lot of people die in jail from lack of proper medical care.

When you file a grievance in jail it is usually ignored. The system takes forever and he would have lost his eye waiting for help and the help probably would never have come.

I wrote the ACLU. Who in prison has money to pay for the kind of postage needed to wage a letter writing campaign? Class action suits take years and years. If you can find an attorney wiling to take a chance. It is almost impossible to sue a Federal Prison. They are protected by laws, seriously. It's so crazy. . Suing the state is Extremely difficult. Like, nearly impossible. I looked into all of this, and I do forget some of it. but that is what sticks in my mind.

You should not have to consult an attorney and pay their fees to receive adequate medical care. Many do not have that kind of money anyway.

The issue with inmates not having a vote so they are not represented is not unfair to the judicial system. It is unfair to the inmates.

You seem to take a hard line with the prisoners...like they deserve all of this because they committed these crimes. Our penal system is extremely harsh and very inconsistent. It is unfair. A lot of these guys, had they been able to afford a lawyer, would not be serving these majorly long and life sentences. Our system is based on money and it is really unfair. I saw this for myself in the many times I was arrested and put in jail. I saw for myself the draconian process that is the American prison system.

Holman Prison was just about the worst in the country. It was operating at 200% capacity and built for 100%. There were not enough correctional officers to provide as safe an environment as could be had. That's dangerous to CO's and inmate. This was widely known and yet nobody did anything. It's just a classic example that demonstrates that inmate rights and the prison system is largely ignored.

There are many guilty people doing time. But there are also so many people who really do not deserve the sentence they got and when they are up for parole routinely denied even though they have satisfied all the requirements. And lets not leave out the parole system. Are you aware of all the rules rules and conditions that they have to follow in order not to violate and be sent back to prison? It entails paying money and then they have child support and other obligations but they cannot find work. And that is a fact because my record is not bad at all and yet I will forever be excluded from may fields and there are so many jobs that wont hire me. It is almost impossible to comply with the conditions of parole and I think that is a major reason these guys keep going back.

It's a really stupid system and we need , really, to overhaul the entire thing.

 
skye
skye

It would take a monumental culture shift for America (in general) to accept, implement, analyse and continue with the kinds of programmes that Norway and other Scandinavian countries use. A country's incarceration has to fit the population, and though I'm speaking in general terms here and I accept that some Americans are not as stereotypically American as we see portrayed outside of America, the level of crime and the types of crime in Norway should be an indication of how different the culture is right from the start.

Norway vs United States Crime Stats Compared

And then you have the geography and climate. America doesn't have that many islands to put prisons on.

Another factor is size. The US is much larger than Norway. Norway is only slightly larger than the state of New Mexico.

With 4.7 million people in Norway compared to 323,451,023 people in the United States. The crime ratio here will be much higher.

The Atlanta Metro area where I live has more people than Norway at 5.5 million people.

In 2011 Norway had only 111 murders.

In the same year, Atlanta had 87 murders.

The same year for the US was 14,612

The point I am making here is that we can't compare grapes to watermelons. They aren't the same in size and structure.

What works for a very small country, may not be effective for a much larger (in size and population) country.

Especially when the crimes may be more severe over here,

 
skye
skye

You can name one senator in all of the US that advocated for prisoner's rights. That is sad. Let's face it. They can't vote so they don't count.

Prison reform groups, I don't think, have much influence. Victims of crime and their advocacy groups have A LOT more influence. You hear about them on tv and new laws are passed all he time in their names......their protests are covered by the media and they do make for a very sympathetic group . Politicians pick up their cases all the time and push for tougher sentencing and new laws etc etc.

I cannot remember ever, not ever hearing about prison overcrowding or the human rights violations that take place in the jails.

Nobody cares :(

I had a pen pal with medical issues that were not being treated and he was going to lose his eye and I wrote everybody I could think of....the Warden, state reps, advocacy groups...I sent out like a hundred letters I am not lying. I made up a form letter and just sent it to everyone I could find that could help. Not one responded. He asked me,"doesn't anybody care????" and I actually had to say to him,"No...nobody does care." Thank God he was at the end of his term and got released and got proper medical attention.

Nobody cares.

The issue with saying they can't vote so they don't count is not fair to the judicial system.

The courts, government, etc... Did not force these offenders to commit crimes. Many things are taken away from them once they are a convicted/incarcerated felon. Sadly, that happens due to their poor choices.

To say no one cares is not fair either. It is sad and unfortunate what your pal went through. There are agencies who do care and who can help.

When it comes to writing for help, one person and one letter alone per agency does not always work. It takes more than that.

When it comes to medical issues, it can be very challenging. Based on which state this was, there is a process in place to challenge or even push for additional care.

I know this for fact for the state of Texas. My husband had a stroke. It was not good. We already had the HIPPA forms in place so medical staff could talk to me. But they were not treating him correctly for the symptoms. I'm no doctor, but I know that Advil won't relieve symptoms of a stoke.

In our situation, our attorney got involved and he was immediately taken to the prison hospital in Galveston for proper treatment.

Not everyone has an attorney. I get it.

There are agencies who help. The local ACLU office would have gotten involved in some form with your pal. It takes a phone call. If they CAN'T help, they will refer you someone who can help.

Making change by letters, not form letters, is only effective when more than one person is involved in sending those letters. One letter alone does not put pressure on the state, but 200 letters would.

Those 200 people could be local voters. That is where the pressure comes in.

When it comes to hearing about prison overcrowding in the news. It just isn't a news worthy story. It sound crass, I know, but it doesn't sell the story.

If you ask those who are out here, the law abiding citizens, would they really want hardened criminals released just because of overcrowding ? That would spike concerns about increased crime rates. Overcrowding does not warrant release alone.

You may not hear about Human Rights violations in the news. Again, it doesn't capture the audience as it would if this were to happen in a school or workplace.

It doesn't mean that nothing is being done about it! There are avenues the inmates can take, such as a class action lawsuit, to bring awareness to conditions. It can and does happen. The same applies to overcrowding.

I'm sure this may be hard to believe. But it happens. The class action lawsuits do make the news, as it can and does cost the state money. This method is effective for inmates in jail and prison.

Judge Rules Some Detained Inmates Can Join Class Action Lawsuit | NBC Chicago

Santa Clara Co. Inmates File Lawsuit Alleging

Judge allows class-action lawsuit over Mississippi prison - Washington Times

Baltimore Jail Class Action Settlement Reached over Inmate Care

https://www.aclu.org/cases/prisoners-rights/dockery-v-epps

Judge grants class-action status in deaf prisoners lawsuit - Chicago Tribune

To say no one cares is not true. There are people who do care. We often times have to reach out to the right person/agency for help. I'm not saying you didn't, I'm just saying there may have been additional resources to reach out to.

We just can't expect everyone in society to have a soft spot or even an understanding as it relates to inmates. Society did not force their hand to commit crimes to be in prison.

It doesn't mean they deserve to be treated in less than humane ways. It just means those of us who do care have to use other resources to bring these conditions to the surface.

Letters in mass quantities will help and class action suits are an alternative for change without the violence.

These offenders at Holman are now on an indefinite lockdown. We're the riots worth the lock down? Perhaps, but it doesn't get their request for release met, as it demonstrates the behavior has not changed.

 
sunray's wench
sunray's wench

Out of curiosity, SW, what makes you believe the Norwegian model would not work in America? Are Norwegians just a breed apart, lol? They do have maximum security prisons with thirty feet high metal walls, after all...:padlock2:

It would take a monumental culture shift for America (in general) to accept, implement, analyse and continue with the kinds of programmes that Norway and other Scandinavian countries use. A country's incarceration has to fit the population, and though I'm speaking in general terms here and I accept that some Americans are not as stereotypically American as we see portrayed outside of America, the level of crime and the types of crime in Norway should be an indication of how different the culture is right from the start.

Norway vs United States Crime Stats Compared

And then you have the geography and climate. America doesn't have that many islands to put prisons on.

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

There are groups in the US that do have influence and do work to improve inmates' conditions. I think assuming they don't because it doesn't get covered in mainstream media is a natural thing, but it does happen. Often it requires a combination of inmate families and DoC staff to create pressure for change as the families by themsleves have less influence. And there was a politician in Texas who was a strong advocate for inmate families, but unfortunately she got caught with her hand in the till and had to experience the other side of the fence for a couple of years.

I'm not convinced the Norwegian model would work in America, but the middle ground would be a good place to aim for.

Out of curiosity, SW, what makes you believe the Norwegian model would not work in America? Are Norwegians just a breed apart, lol? They do have maximum security prisons with thirty feet high metal walls, after all...:padlock2:

 
skye
skye

Yes! They did approve 4 new prisons to be built.

This is in alignment with the demands the inmates have made. Their main complaint has been the overcrowding.

Alabama has a 3 Strikes law for habitual offenders. This is part of the overcrowding issue. The state is not going to Willy Nilly release offenders who have a life sentence. But they ARE working on the overcrowding issue.

This is the first step in the process. Sure, it will help for a while. But the state can't control who is committing crimes and they certainly can't prevent an habitual offender from reoffending.

They are asking for the habitual offender law to be abolished. I assure you that the law abiding citizens of Alabama would counter this argument. When do you say enough is enough for an habitual offender? Do you continue to let someone rape, harm, kill? How many times does one need to do an aggravated robbery before they are given a lengthy sentence? The line has to be drawn somewhere. That is why this law was put into effect to begin with. The government has a right to protect the law abiding citizens and this law is designed to do that.

Sure laws can and do change. But having a riot is not the way to change a law. There is a system in place for this. But a riot is only going to push the congressmen and women and senators away from making any change to that law. It shows the behavior has not changed.

They are asking the parole board to release inmates who meet the criteria to be released into society.

They may have a parole date, but that isn't criteria enough to warrant a release. Their history inside prison is looked at. Have they had cases? Have they taken advantage of any program they qualify for to prepare for release? Have they attended the drug rehab classes , if in for a drug offense? Has the person had a parole violation and back in prison for that violation? Have they attended anger management classes? There are a whole lot of 'What If's' when it comes to parole.

It is the parole boards duty to ensure they are releasing the right person. A person that is less likely to reoffend. If they haven't met a parole date, and/or have not maintained a clean record inside those chances are very slim. That is the nature of parole. Some states are more notorious than others for set-offs and denials.

The Governor can push for early release. Letters, NOT FORM letters, and petitions to his office can and do make a difference. It takes more than 1 person to be part of this change.

They are asking for better classes to prepare for release. I totally concur!!! This should be a given! As a counselor, this is important to prepare them for release and lessen the recidivism rate. The pre-release program sucks and needs to upgraded to modern times. If we aren't sitting them up to succeed, we aren't doing are out part. The counseling in many prisons is limited, and the funds are dried up. It would benefit the state to find funding for proper counseling. I've seen real counselors make differences. With only 1 or 2 per prison of 200 or more inmates, there is no way to effectively counsel someone. Group sessions only do so much.

They want to feel as if they are not begging for jobs upon release. That is the nature of a felony on your record. Post 9/11 every employer does background screenings.

There isn't much the state can do about that. There are limited education classes available in every state. Prison was not designed to be a college. The state cannot be expected to provide a full college degree to offenders.

There should be options to provide a form of a trade. But asking to be released with education to start your own business is asking for full degree and the state would go bankrupt providing that to each offender. The state should be able to prepare them for reentry, but again this isn't college with a job placement program.

The state can't put all of its resources on the line for inmates. That just isn't going to happen.

The inmates are asking for monetary compensation for mental anguish and physical abuse.

There is yet ANOTER peaceful way to handle this. Like many inmates before in other states, all they have to do is file a class action law suit. This not only brings additional awareness to the conditions, but also amicably resolves the complaint of abuse and anguish.

Don't believe this one? Here are a few links that show where other inmates have done this.

Illinois settles class-action suit on mentally ill inmates - Chicago Tribune

Ashker v. Governor of California | Center for Constitutional Rights

Class action lawsuit alleges inmate abuse in San Bernardino County jails

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/10/02/us/judge-allows-class-action-suit-…

Those are just to mention a few.

So yes, the state is constructing 4 new prisons and this targets their (the inmates) concerns.

Interestingly, in the demands, they never mentioned their deplorable conditions.

The whole riots could have been avoided if they followed the footsteps of their neighbors in Mississippi and filed a class action law suit. A lawsuit based on conditions in the prison. The conditions are different, but none the less it is based on conditions.

I GET that they are at their boiling point, but violence does not get your demands met.

The inmate demands:
https://medium.com/@aintacrow/list-of-demands-from-men-incarcerated-at-…

1. We inmates, at Holman Prison, ask for immediate federal assistance.

2. We ask that the Alabama government release all inmates who have spent excessive time in Holman Prison — due to the conditions of the prison and the overcrowding of these prisons in Alabama.

3. We ask that the 446 laws [Habitual Felony Offender laws] that Alabama holds as of 1975 be abolished.

4. We ask that parole board release all inmates who fit the criteria to be back in society with their families.

5. We ask that these prisons in Alabama implement proper classes that will prepare inmates to be released back into society with 21st century information that will prepare inmates to open and own their own businesses instead of making them having to beg for a job.

6. We also ask for monetary damages for mental pain and physical abuse that inmates have already suffered.

 
Amantha
Amantha

For how long will building more prisons even reduce overcrowding? Unless they address the other issues it won't matter how many prisons they build.

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

Apparently they have decided to build four more prisons to reduce the overcrowding. They also mentioned safety issues and that they would be hiring more officers. I don't know if they decided that from pressure from advocacy groups or the ACLU or what. So that is great. But the planning and building of these prisons is going to take like....I am guessing...ten years? And they weren't exactly on it as far as expediency was concerned.

This apparent humanitarian gesture (the building of four more prisons) only serves those nefarious schemes I mentioned earlier on in this thread. The contractors and corporations are already lining up for the contracts. There are personal and political incentives for growing inmate populations and building more prisons. Those are pretty powerful forces that have only grown more formidable with time.

 
VioletGrey
VioletGrey

Apparently they have decided to build four more prisons to reduce the overcrowding.

That is the kinda thinking that perpetuates the problem - how about incentives to NOT go to prison, and education in all forms (not just schools, schools are one tiny sliver of the education pie to me)?
In NZ, we're relatively young as a country, and things seem "better" here, but you can see the same decadent and indulgent way of thinking forming future social problems.
Like Driver says, many care - they just aren't in a position that society deems them worth hearing.
So sad.
Every little effort counts though, if you never speak up, then no one will ever know that the people that want change are out there...

 
A Driver For Hire
A Driver For Hire

Nobody cares.

Disagree. Many people care. Unfortunately, none in a position to change the status quo.

 
phillygurl
phillygurl

You can name one senator in all of the US that advocated for prisoner's rights. That is sad. Let's face it. They can't vote so they don't count.

Prison reform groups, I don't think, have much influence. Victims of crime and their advocacy groups have A LOT more influence. You hear about them on tv and new laws are passed all he time in their names......their protests are covered by the media and they do make for a very sympathetic group . Politicians pick up their cases all the time and push for tougher sentencing and new laws etc etc.

I cannot remember ever, not ever hearing about prison overcrowding or the human rights violations that take place in the jails.

Nobody cares :(

I had a pen pal with medical issues that were not being treated and he was going to lose his eye and I wrote everybody I could think of....the Warden, state reps, advocacy groups...I sent out like a hundred letters I am not lying. I made up a form letter and just sent it to everyone I could find that could help. Not one responded. He asked me,"doesn't anybody care????" and I actually had to say to him,"No...nobody does care." Thank God he was at the end of his term and got released and got proper medical attention.

Nobody cares.

 
phillygurl
phillygurl

Apparently they have decided to build four more prisons to reduce the overcrowding. They also mentioned safety issues and that they would be hiring more officers. I don't know if they decided that from pressure from advocacy groups or the ACLU or what. So that is great. But the planning and building of these prisons is going to take like....I am guessing...ten years? And they weren't exactly on it as far as expediency was concerned.

These are gross human rights violations. They knew it was going on and they knew they had the worst prison system in the US. I'll bet now that the staff and the warden were almost murdered and all of this in a very public way and that they are directly responsible they will hop to it. Light has been shed on it and it has been made very public their gross negligence. They still do not care about the conditions the inmates are in....it's all about safety. The fact that the inmates are suffering human rights violations is secondary.

And the laws and the parole issues are still ongoing.

What about now????? In the interim. The next ten to twenty years it will take to complete this project. By the time building is complete the new prisons will be full and they will still need to build more.

I am wondering if lawsuits will come out of this. If I was the CO that got stabbed I would absolutely sue. Hazardous working conditions and whatnot.

 
sunray's wench
sunray's wench

I am not saying this to be rude or contrary, but when was the last time writing a governor changed anything for prisoners? What real ways do we, ordinary citizens, have of 'pressuring' the state? No politician, of whatever stripe, will touch the prisoners' rights issues for fear of committing political suicide. Besides, having more inmates per cell is to a politicans' advantage, for many, many reasons, many of which have to do with nefarious corporate-state schemes to fatten wallets. Honestly, I find the idea of writing my governor an exercise in black comedy for these reasons.

There are groups in the US that do have influence and do work to improve inmates' conditions. I think assuming they don't because it doesn't get covered in mainstream media is a natural thing, but it does happen. Often it requires a combination of inmate families and DoC staff to create pressure for change as the families by themsleves have less influence. And there was a politician in Texas who was a strong advocate for inmate families, but unfortunately she got caught with her hand in the till and had to experience the other side of the fence for a couple of years.

I'm not convinced the Norwegian model would work in America, but the middle ground would be a good place to aim for.

 
skye
skye

The inmates are already living in deplorable conditions. Recommending they do a hunger strike is dangerous....and why should they have to further jeopardize their health just to be able to live in a humane way. What would be the reaction if unions required hunger strikes in order to negotiate what they want? There would be an uproar and it would be all over the news, yet we expect inmates to starve themselves to get what they should be getting in the first place.

A hunger strike is always dangerous. I wasn't saying they should do it, I was illustrating the various ways prisoners can and do protest to make change.

Violence is never the answer. It never has a positive outcome.

 
skye
skye

I am not saying this to be rude or contrary, but when was the last time writing a governor changed anything for prisoners? What real ways do we, ordinary citizens, have of 'pressuring' the state? No politician, of whatever stripe, will touch the prisoners' rights issues for fear of committing political suicide. Besides, having more inmates per cell is to a politicans' advantage, for many, many reasons, many of which have to do with nefarious corporate-state schemes to fatten wallets. Honestly, I find the idea of writing my governor an exercise in black comedy for these reasons.

You can't expect change of you aren't proactively seeking to make it happen.

I am very active with the ACLU and I have been following this specific case very closely.

I know for 'FACT' that putting pressure on the governor has put him into a position to address these concerns with the state senate.

They are first working in the overcrowding issue.

THIS would not be happening without PRESSURE from those out here pushing the issue and the coverage of the riots.

So doing more than posting on a forum DOES have an effect on change.

 
Amantha
Amantha

The inmates are already living in deplorable conditions. Recommending they do a hunger strike is dangerous....and why should they have to further jeopardize their health just to be able to live in a humane way. What would be the reaction if unions required hunger strikes in order to negotiate what they want? There would be an uproar and it would be all over the news, yet we expect inmates to starve themselves to get what they should be getting in the first place.

 
phillygurl
phillygurl

I find it completely hilarious that you are recommending they do a hunger strike as a way of protesting!!! Have you ever tried to not eat for like, weeks on end? Seriously?

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

Even lengthy class action lawsuits filed by the ACLU on behalf of prisoners being held in absolutely torturous and inhumane conditions take years to launch, and more years to resolve.

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

The conditions are bad. Those of out here CAN do something by writing the governor and by putting pressure the state.

I understand why they have snapped, but it doesn't mean it's the right solution.

I am not saying this to be rude or contrary, but when was the last time writing a governor changed anything for prisoners? What real ways do we, ordinary citizens, have of 'pressuring' the state? No politician, of whatever stripe, will touch the prisoners' rights issues for fear of committing political suicide. Besides, having more inmates per cell is to a politicans' advantage, for many, many reasons, many of which have to do with nefarious corporate-state schemes to fatten wallets. Honestly, I find the idea of writing my governor an exercise in black comedy for these reasons.

 
Metaxu
Metaxu

I personally don't know what the answer is in a situation like prisoners' rights having a platform that actually registers in public consciousness, but the fact is that it is a subject that hardly anyone ever cares about in this country. Even the massive hunger strikes in California's Pelican Bay SHU a few years ago barely registered, and the changes made quite puny --- puny in relation to what REAL change would amount to. Basically we don't give a crap. If there was ever a poignant, peaceful way to stand up to the system!

Michael Moore's newest film gobsmacked me in what it showed of Norway's prisons (also in how drug offenders are viewed and treated in Portugal). I don't know about the rest of Europe, but at least seeing glimpses of the Portuguese and Norwegian mindset, I came away seeing starkly how merciless and thoughtless we are here in treating our prisoners. It's not about seeing them as victims, lest anyone misunderstands me. It's about the fact that prisoners and the problem of crime exist as issues of social well-being in these countries' collective consciousness. As such, they are treated seriously and thoughtfully. People in Norway apparently believe that prisoners are people who are capable of becoming contributing members of society. Not so here. Not in practice.

 
VioletGrey
VioletGrey

From all I've heard, from pen pals and from stories through the grapevines (I do not watch/read/listen to the news, sorry - so I don't know the particular details of this story) American prison conditions are already, to me, cruel and unusual as they are. If the conditions of this prison are [U]worse[/U] than "regular" prisons, then I can understand people reaching a "breaking point" if they are already dealing with a lot of other issues. Helplessness can push people to do things they might not do under different circumstances. But as I haven't walked in their shoes, I can't comment on motivation, just hope and pray that there is a solution to reach without more harm coming to anyone else in the situation.

 
skye
skye

Broken toilets, moldy walls...how long would any one of us be able to endure even just those two conditions without becoming enraged. Even the Govenor admits that the conditions are deplorable. I can understand why they felt violence may have been the only option. It's easy to say there is no excuse for violence while we are out here drinking lattes and and shopping at Target. There is also bravery in numbers an sometimes people just say enough is enough. The sad thing about all of this is that even going to this extreme it doesn't sound like anything will change. WHAT will it take?

The conditions are bad. Those of out here CAN do something by writing the governor and by putting pressure the state.

I understand why they have snapped, but it doesn't mean it's the right solution.

 
skye
skye

Violence is never the answer. I don't blame them for reaching their boiling point, but it isn't the answer.

Many in Death Row have had to have hunger strikes and other forms of protests to make change.

These inmates could do the same. What they are doing now could cause them to face additional charges.

The prison is in deplorable conditions, so I get it. But stabbing someone is not going to make for positive change.

 
Amantha
Amantha

Broken toilets, moldy walls...how long would any one of us be able to endure even just those two conditions without becoming enraged. Even the Govenor admits that the conditions are deplorable. I can understand why they felt violence may have been the only option. It's easy to say there is no excuse for violence while we are out here drinking lattes and and shopping at Target. There is also bravery in numbers an sometimes people just say enough is enough. The sad thing about all of this is that even going to this extreme it doesn't sound like anything will change. WHAT will it take?

 
phillygurl
phillygurl

I am not trying to argue with you but I am kind of interested to know what you would do differently if you were them???? To effect the sort of changes that they were asking for? What are the other options that they may have had?

I don't know.....I think that prisons are very dangerous places and should not have double the amount of people it was built for and not the proper amount of correctional officers to provide proper security.....it's filled with people that are known for murdering people....that was a disaster waiting to happen.

 
sunray's wench
sunray's wench

When was the last time you heard, publicly, an inmates concerns over their prison? Like, in national news or from a politician...or anybody really?
Never...until they do something like this.

Not in the US no, but in Europe and particularly the UK, quite a bit. I'm not excusing the treatment of the inmates, I am simply saying that violence, by any party, is not the answer.

 
phillygurl
phillygurl

I don't know that the people who were stabbed were stabbed as part of the protest. I honestly was thinking that stabbing the guard (maybe he was a real *******) and the Warden, was probably something that most of them had been wanting to and did as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I mean, you never see the Warden, I don't think. I really don't know how that went down.

I said that people have a first amendment right to express themselves and that violence was really uncalled for. But if you are living in deplorable conditions and subject to dehumanizing conditions 24/7, being kept locked up and away from your loved ones even when parole guidelines stipulate you be released, and you are receiving life in prison for small offenses just because it's the third time, and when they don't give you the tools to be a part of society and instead would rather keep you in prison.....that's a little different than someone calling you a name. Now you are ruining people's live and those of their family members and subjecting them mental torture......on a daily basis

Sort of like how it took the Civil War to free slaves...they had to protest drastically to make the public see that there were people being enslaved to the prison system for their entire lives......people nobody cares about because they are locked away and can't really make themselves heard. When was the last time you heard, publicly, an inmates concerns over their prison? Like, in national news or from a politician...or anybody really?
Never...until they do something like this.

 
sunray's wench
sunray's wench

I'm sorry but violence is never the right answer. Protest, yes, but not violence. It doesn't matter that the 3 people who were stabbed had non-life threatening injuries, the fact that someone thought it was OK to stab them is simply wrong. A few inches either way, a slightly different angle or more force and it could have been very different.

There cannot be one rule for inmates and another for people at a Trump rally.

 
skye
skye

I do not blame them. My cousin did his time there and the conditions back in 2008 were horrendous and from what I understand, they have only gotten worse. He was released in 2012. The state can do better than this.

 
sunray's wench
sunray's wench

My Islamic pal is there. I do blame the inmates for stabbing others, but I also blame the whole state for letting this mess go unresolved for so long.

 
phillygurl
phillygurl

you can hardly blame them

 
sunray's wench
sunray's wench

Not good at all. Inmates at Alabama Holman prison release demands after riots | Fusion

 
phillygurl
phillygurl

Wow.....I really think about the people in prison that maybe cannot protect themselves very well and that scares me as to what can happen to them with no guards to protect them.