The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Highway
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

Post by Highway »

I've been amazed at ICE's ability to make normal correctional workers not the group of the worst bastards on earth. Not that it makes CWs good, but it gives them someone to look at and go "daaaaaaamn, that's going too far, bro."
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Jennifer
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Highway wrote: 03 Dec 2020, 18:43 I've been amazed at ICE's ability to make normal correctional workers not the group of the worst bastards on earth. Not that it makes CWs good, but it gives them someone to look at and go "daaaaaaamn, that's going too far, bro."
Or a new career position to aspire to.
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Hugh Akston
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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JD
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Thank you for posting that, Hugh, that was very interesting. I would really like to see a deeper exploration of the topic - what does Finland's overall crime rate look like, what are their sentencing policies like, are there limitations on who gets this sort of treatment, how did they move away from their earlier policies models and to the new ones, etc. I did quickly find one article which is interesting in what it implies:
The 70 inmates in this facility go to work every day in the greenhouse. Today, they’re potting seedlings in preparation for a big spring sale. And yes, there’s a pen of bunnies to hang out with and pet. There are also sheep.

But there aren't any gates, locks or uniforms — this is an open prison. Everyone at the Kerava open prison applied to be here. They earn about $8 an hour, have cell phones, do their grocery shopping in town and get three days of vacation every couple of months. They pay rent to the prison; they choose to study for a university degree in town instead of working, they get a subsidy for it; they sometimes take supervised camping and fishing trips.

Inmates know it wouldn’t be hard to escape. "You can go if you want,” Kallio says. “But if you escape, you go back to jail. Better to be here.”
...
Open prisons have been around in Finland since about the 1930s. Back then, they were more like labor colonies. These days, they’re the last step of a prison sentence before inmates make the transition back to regular life.
...
A fellow inmate, Juha, who doesn't want to give his last name, is expecting his first child. He's serving a life sentence, but most such sentences in Finland are commuted to 10 or 15 years. "“It’s a pretty big deal,” Juha says, “but I don’t know when I’m going to get out. Basically, his mother is going to raise him.”

Juha’s not sure when he’ll be able to go home to his new family, but he knows that he eventually will. And for someone who started out in maximum-security prison with a life sentence, that says a lot.
(https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-04-15/ ... -have-keys)

That article is almost more interesting in what it doesn't explicitly say: there are also jails and maximum security prisons, which are worse and to which you can go if you break the open prison rules; not everybody gets to go to the open prisons, and not for their entire sentences. That actually makes it sound less different from the US than you might think, because we have some prisons like that; in Mr. Smith Goes To Prison, the author describes serving some of his sentence at a prison (in the US) where you could have basically just walked away if you wanted to, but most inmates didn't, because then you'd be a fugitive being hunted down and subject to being sent back to a higher-security prison.
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Aresen
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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JD wrote: 18 Dec 2020, 17:11
The 70 inmates in this facility go to work every day in the greenhouse. Today, they’re potting seedlings in preparation for a big spring sale. And yes, there’s a pen of bunnies to hang out with and pet. There are also sheep.
I thought visitation rights took care of that. :P
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Eric the .5b
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

Post by Eric the .5b »

If I'm not mistaken, Norway is a better example of trying to humanize their prison system, which happened to look a lot like the US one as late as the turn of the century. I believe it's also a piecemeal sort of reform, but they actually put full-on violent killers in their more humane prisons.
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Ellie
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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A thread about the absolute fuckery of mental health non-treatment faced by people in jail (pretrial! presumed innocent! Not that this is acceptable for convicted criminals either.) I do not recommend reading unless you want to become completely enraged.

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JD
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Ellie wrote: 23 Dec 2020, 14:53 A thread about the absolute fuckery of mental health non-treatment faced by people in jail (pretrial! presumed innocent! Not that this is acceptable for convicted criminals either.) I do not recommend reading unless you want to become completely enraged.

Jesus, that's pretty horrifying. Not just the meds (which seems guaranteed to fuck up people on mental health meds, and what about people on, say, heart medication, without which they could just up and die?) but they don't provide soap?! It sounds like maybe not all jails are the same, but still, it''s unbelievable that anywhere would do that.
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thoreau
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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When you lock a man up and keep him from earning money to provide for himself, you should be responsible for his meds.
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Hugh Akston
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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thoreau wrote: 23 Dec 2020, 15:55 When you lock a man up and keep him from earning money to provide for himself, you should be responsible for his meds.
They're not men, thoreau, they're law-breaking scumbags.
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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If I was abruptly taken off my meds, I'd kill myself in about two days.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Warren wrote: 23 Dec 2020, 17:43 If I was abruptly taken off my meds, I'd kill myself in about two days.
Now you tell us!
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Highway
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

Post by Highway »

And of course, the CO's probably use the non-responsiveness or instability of the people who have just gone off their meds as excuses to be even bigger assholes.
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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@2:50: fuck you, America.
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Ellie
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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I'm not gonna follow the link because just the tweet makes me want to stab somebody but maybe y'all want to read it I dunno

fucking HELL why is everyone the WORST
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Ellie wrote: 13 Feb 2021, 15:22

I'm not gonna follow the link because just the tweet makes me want to stab somebody but maybe y'all want to read it I dunno

fucking HELL why is everyone the WORST
Because Trump. Trump made everybody the worst. It's all his fault. Everything bad is Trumps fault. Trump is bad, and all bad things are because Trump for ever and ever amen.
The opinions which are still persecuted strike the majority as so monstrous and immoral that the general principle of toleration cannot be held to apply to them. But this is exactly the same view as that which made possible the tortures of the Inquisition. - Bertrand Russell
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Pham Nuwen
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Warren wrote: 13 Feb 2021, 19:51
Ellie wrote: 13 Feb 2021, 15:22

I'm not gonna follow the link because just the tweet makes me want to stab somebody but maybe y'all want to read it I dunno

fucking HELL why is everyone the WORST
Because Trump. Trump made everybody the worst. It's all his fault. Everything bad is Trumps fault. Trump is bad, and all bad things are because Trump for ever and ever amen.
Yes. Because that's all anyone has been saying without evidence for years now.
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Kolohe
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Ellie wrote: 13 Feb 2021, 15:22

I'm not gonna follow the link because just the tweet makes me want to stab somebody but maybe y'all want to read it I dunno

fucking HELL why is everyone the WORST
The second link on the thread goes to a story where the proposed initiative seems to be praised by prison reformers and opposed by the guard’s union.
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Ellie
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Kolohe wrote: 14 Feb 2021, 17:12The second link on the thread goes to a story where the proposed initiative seems to be praised by prison reformers and opposed by the guard’s union.
Okay, that makes me feel a little better. I had assumed it was a shitty "no mail for you!" initiative because "fuck prisoners, that's why"
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Hugh Akston
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Illinois is the first state to eliminate cash bail
Under Illinois’s new law, judges will no longer be able to set any kind of bail for a defendant charged with a crime, making it unique among states that have reformed the bail system, according to legislators.
Mr. Buckner said the legislation was the culmination of exhaustive research into the laws and practices in other states and countries. Under the new system, judges will be presented with evidence to determine what kind of risk releasing a defendant poses to the community and whether the defendant can be counted on to return to court. A judge will then determine if the person should be held in detention until trial.
I can't see any potential for bias in that system. Especially in Illinois.
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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Hugh Akston wrote: 24 Feb 2021, 09:56 Illinois is the first state to eliminate cash bail
Under Illinois’s new law, judges will no longer be able to set any kind of bail for a defendant charged with a crime, making it unique among states that have reformed the bail system, according to legislators.
Mr. Buckner said the legislation was the culmination of exhaustive research into the laws and practices in other states and countries. Under the new system, judges will be presented with evidence to determine what kind of risk releasing a defendant poses to the community and whether the defendant can be counted on to return to court. A judge will then determine if the person should be held in detention until trial.
I can't see any potential for bias in that system. Especially in Illinois.
Nope. No bias at all. Especially against the poor, for whose benefit this legislation was ostensibly passed.
The opinions which are still persecuted strike the majority as so monstrous and immoral that the general principle of toleration cannot be held to apply to them. But this is exactly the same view as that which made possible the tortures of the Inquisition. - Bertrand Russell
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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I thought NJ eliminated cash bail two years ago?
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

Post by Hugh Akston »

dhex wrote: 25 Feb 2021, 08:15 I thought NJ eliminated cash bail two years ago?
Jersey and Alaska eliminated most cash bail, but still allow it to be set in some cases. IL appears to be the first to take the option off the table entirely.
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nicole
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

Post by nicole »

Wow that's so weird and shocking that the NYT article pretends it's never heard of Chicago or the results of bail reform here.
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Re: The Sheriff Joe Arpaio Memorial Prison Reform Thread

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ME prisoners are growing and preparing their own food
Prison food is high on refined carbohydrates, sodium and sugar and low on nutrients — diets the rest of us have been told to avoid. Like everything about prisons, it disproportionately affects people of color, and it has grown worse during the pandemic. With most states spending $3 or less per person a day for meals, penitentiaries have become hidden food deserts, paralleling the neighborhoods from which many inmates have come.
At the Mountain View Correctional Facility in Maine, however, an organic farmer with dirt under his fingernails and reform on his mind is demonstrating a new path, making the prison a pioneer in a nascent farm-to-prison table movement. “It would be a whole lot easier to just go ahead and throw on some chicken patties,” said Mark McBrine, the facility’s food service manager, who comes from generations of farmers. “But by putting time into it and cooking from scratch, we can provide much healthier and better-quality meals that save money and benefit the well-being of residents and staff.”
This medium- and minimum-security prison has a 750-tree heirloom apple orchard and a three-acre vegetable farm. The inmates cultivate and harvest crops, learn to prepare healthful meals from scratch and bake virtually all the prison’s rolls, breads and muffins. For what they don’t grow, Mr. McBrine aggressively courts fellow farmers and other local sources, scoring significant “opportunity buys” — from surplus organic mushrooms to multigrain stone-milled flour.

Early in the pandemic, when local suppliers were overflowing with food for shuttered restaurants, Mr. McBrine snapped up 45 free-range turkeys at 59 cents a pound and prepared a full Thanksgiving-style dinner in March with all the trimmings, followed by his grandmother’s recipe for turkey potpies with biscuit toppings.
The issue, though, goes way beyond fostering good behavior. Though the average American rarely spends time worrying over how incarcerated people are being treated, their physical, psychological and emotional health has a ripple effect on all of us, especially after they serve their time. If the goal of prison involves not only punishment but also rehabilitation and lowering recidivism, then sending a healthier person back into society is in everyone’s interest.

“Mark teaches them the science and health values behind what they’re doing,” Mr. Morin said. “So when they leave they have a knowledge base that they can utilize in the community.” Over the last five years, more than 25 of Mr. McBrine’s “graduates” have landed full-time work at a large commercial bakery.
In Maine, the enlightened approach comes from the top: Randall Liberty, the state’s corrections commissioner, is a certified master gardener and beekeeper. He is also a former inmate’s son and grew up in a trailer on public assistance and ate molasses and biscuits for dinner when money was tight.

When he was warden at Maine State Prison, Mr. Liberty instituted composting after learning, to his horror, that leftovers from the 3,000 meals served a day were being thrown away. The composting saved $100,000 annually and enriched the soil where a two-and-a-half-acre vegetable garden now flourishes. He also installed beehives “outside the wire” periphery that he initially tended himself (inmates now care for the hives throughout the system). Prisoners can become certified master gardeners or beekeepers through the University of Maine’s cooperative extension.
The public health ramifications of a poor diet are profound: Incarcerated people suffer from higher rates of costly chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. “Lifestyle changes are a significant tool for these conditions, and diet is a huge part,” noted Dr. Shira Shavit, a professor at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine and the executive director of the Transitions Clinic Network, a constellation of 44 health clinics for formerly incarcerated patients. In addition to a lack of daily fresh fruits and vegetables, Dr. Shavit pointed out that in prison, “people don’t learn needed skills about healthy eating because there are very few food choices.
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