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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Criminal Justice Collaboration

 Many organizations and groups  that work for or with prisoners or ex offenders operate in silo,  duplicating efforts as they seek funds for doing almost the same thing.  We spend more  on Public Safety than education. (Approx.  $12,000 - education and $30,000- $60,000 for incarceration) 

It is great therefore to see some collaborative effort: Second Chance Mental Health Collaboration  
http://csgjusticecenter.org/nrrc/announcements/second-chance-act-and-justice-and-mental-health-collaboration-program-conferences-convene-this-week/
in an upcoming workshop.  We should remember that for every one incarcerated or denied employment because of their criminal past, there is loss of another possible taxpayer.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Walter Lomax Wrongfully Convicted

Walter Lomax, released from Maryland prison system about 8 years ago, continued his fight to prove his innocence.  The 6pm news today showed a triumphant Walter at the courthouse step, finally vindicated.  Walter was one of the inmates who worked with me on the Family Literacy Program where prisoners read to their children.  I remembered my blog post when I first saw him on the street in 2008. Waiting to Hear Barak Obama

Congratulations to Walter

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ex Felons and Voting

The Supreme Court recently stated  Maryland's prisoners for census purposes should be counted at that their last address, instead of the prisons where they are housed.  Approx. 75% of Maryland's prisoners are from Baltimore  city and Prince Georges County. See Washington Times article. California, Delaware, and New York, and Maryland up to this point, are the only states that allow this.


States and ex felons voting status.     Rock The Vote site : http://www.rockthevote.com/election-center/voting-ex-felon/

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Liberal Arts Classes in Prisons

The years I worked in prisons and with prisoners, opened my eyes to the necessity for community groups to go inside the fence to help show prisoners other ways than the path that led them to prison.

Traditionally outside help had a mainly religious focus.  It is encouraging more recently,  to see a broader spectrum of community support with programs that will broaden prisoners' experience and help direct  them to be more successful when they return to society. The Goucher Liberal Arts Program  reported in the Washington Post is showing inmates another way.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/selective-goucher-college-brings-liberal-arts-into-maryland-prisons/2013/12/02/a9b3a058-5772-11e3-ba82-16ed03681809_story.html

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

High cost of inmate phone calls

Prison phone companies make huge profits from inmate phone calls.  An inmate phone call to a family member, that includes his/her child can cost up to $17.00 for 15 minutes.  The ACLU is trying to get the FCC to pass some regulations to reduce the cost.  Link to the ACLU site:
   https://www.aclu.org/global-tel

Monday, September 2, 2013

Safe Street Art

Funded by NEA and concerned citizens, the Safe Street art was established to help, create, and sell prison art.

According to the information on their site, while in prison, there is not much mentoring of prisoners to help prepare them for successful reentry.  They are located in Washington DC and seek volunteers. 
Their latest post highlighted the book by someone incarcerated for 38 years.
  See their post:
 

"Huck's Picks is written by Charles "Huck" Huckelberry who spent 38 years in prison before his recent release. He used his time on the inside very productively, honing his writing skills and accumulating numerous awards and honors. If you've seen our annual prisoner dramatizations at the Kennedy Center, you're familiar with some of his work".  Check out the Safe Street Art Website.  Safe Street Art