Category: About Prisons

Being in prison is something you cannot imagine until you’ve been there. Learn first-hand what it’s like and the things you need to know if you or a loved one are headed that way.

Lyme Disease: Are inmates being exposed to Lyme Disease?

I sit here today as a free man. But, I guess the irony of the Universe wasn’t done with me, because I now have Chronic Neurological Lyme disease. Yep, I am married, I have two kids, I HAD a great job as a construction foreman and I was strong, healthy, and happy. I was the one who didn’t go back, I had moved on, life was good. They say I have had Lyme disease for many years. Nobody can say when I got it. About 50% of those infected with Lyme never remember being bit by a tick, and never

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60 Days In on A&E: A “real” reality show about incarceration?

Today I heard about this new show coming up and it looks kinda interesting. It’s on A&E and it’s seven individuals who volunteer to actually go to a county jail for two months. This is what A&E says about it: “Sheriff Jamey Noel has devised an unprecedented program to root out crime and corruption in the Clark County Jail. His plan is to send seven civilian volunteers into jail as undercover inmates. The participants all have unique motivations for joining the program, and have been given cover stories, training on the rules of inmate culture, and instructions on how to

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Ma, you did the time too

I was reflecting on some of the site regulars, and how in general they were mothers, wives and girlfriends. There are some fathers, and siblings, and a few children of those incarcerated. And there are comments from those who have done time, or worked in corrections, and folks with addiction problems. But most of who visits here are the women left behind – the mothers, wives and girlfriends. When I got locked up I had a lot of emotions to deal with. I was angry, first and foremost. And I had some fear, naturally. I also had a lot of

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inside texas prison

Going back to prison…

A guy I know, who I met and came to consider a friend while I was in TDC, got out a couple months before me. He is currently sitting in jail, on quite a few charges ranging from DUI to breaking and entering a habitation with a weapon and with intent to commit a felony – that is a bad one, for those who don’t know. He has been in jail for over a year now, and he was just sentenced this week, to go back to prison. The sentence is for 25 years and he will have to do

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Should you hire a lawyer or go with a public defender?

If a family member or a friend was recently arrested for something more serious than a misdemeanor, you may have found this site while looking for answers to the many questions you are now faced with. Hopefully for most of you reading this site, getting into trouble with the law is not something you are very familiar with and it can be confusing and terrifying to deal with. Some of the questions you may have, apart from if they are going to do time, is if you should post bail for the person in jail and if you need to

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The National Registry of Exonerations

Have you heard of the National Registry of Exonerations? Founded in 2012 by the University of Michigan Law School in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The registry keeps track of every overturned conviction and exonerated person in the United States since 1989. With the ability to use DNA evidence, the list is ever growing. It’s a fascination website full of information for anyone interested in social justice and change. There is a list of recent exonerations with some details, recent news in the progress of exonerations, interesting graphs with statistics, and more.

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Willacy County prison where recent riot was loses contract and closes

The company that runs the Federal prison facility that was recently the site of a prison riot has lost its contract. The company, Management & Training Corp. out of Utah, has stated that the reason for the contract cancellation is that the inmate population has dropped and there is not a need for that federal facility. Also, they are looking for a new client for that facility. I have no idea who they will find to contract with, but that facility has beds for around 3000 inmates so certainly that would be far too much space for a county jail

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How Realistic is Orange is the New Black?

Having never spent time in women’s prison, I cannot say with certainty if Orange is the New Black is accurate or not. However, based on my own experiences of being an inmate in prison, I do have an opinion that it is doing pretty well, as far as prison shows go and depicting things realistically. Yes, there are clearly segregated groups, tensions, fights over stupid things, and there are lots of irrational, mean and actually nutty people in prison, and that includes inmates, guards and those in charge. One thing they can’t portray in a Netflix TV series is smell.

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riot-at-willacy

Prison privatization, inhumane conditions and incarceration of illegals cause of recent riot at Willacy

In February the inmates at the Willacy County State Jail rioted. Fires were set in 3 of the 10 housing units and damage was done to electrical and plumbing. The offenders at Willacy are for the most part low-level offenders and many are also here in the U.S. without proper documentation. The riot was a reaction to the conditions they are being held in and a lack of proper medical care. There are plenty of folks who read these reports and their response is that the incarcerated don’t “deserve” decent conditions. That by committing a crime, they deserve just what

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prison bus crash

Prison Bus Crash in Texas results in 10 Dead

Yesterday, there was a terrible accident out west of Odessa. A prison bus with 12 inmates and 3 correctional officers went off an overpass and fell onto train tracks. It was then hit by a train. Of the 15 people in the bus, 10 are dead and 4 are in critical condition in the hospital. 8 of the 10 dead are inmates, 2 are correctional officers. The details of the wreck are still being investigated and much is not known, but I pray that the time from when the bus went over to when the train collided with it was

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Texas is Closing Prisons – What’s Behind It?

In news today, the BBC reports “The US is known for its tough criminal justice system, with an incarceration rate far larger than any comparable country. So why is it that Republicans in Texas are actively seeking to close prisons”, asks Danny Kruger, a former speechwriter for David Cameron. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30275026 Read about this hopeful news and learn more why even conservative Republicans in Texas are realizing that today’s existing penal system is badly broken, and that low level offenders – mostly drug offenders – are spending too long in prison and not being rehabilitated. Long prison terms for relatively low

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GUEST ARTICLE: How Corrections Help Prisoners Reform

Today we have a guest article submission. Daphne Holmes article is about reform programs within prisons. Based on my own experience I have to be honest and say I doubt the effectiveness of many of today’s typical prison reform programs — for instance one prison I was at, rehab class consisted of us sitting in a room, without instructor or instruction, for a designated amount of time so that the prison got the credit for a rehabilitation program — but I do agree that “reform” ought to be the main objective, for drug cases. Hope you enjoy the read, send

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How to Find Someone in Prison in Texas and Elsewhere

I have found that over the past couple of years, the page on this blog that gets the most traffic, comments and questions is the Inmate Locator page. It is a nerve wracking time for family and friends when a person is incarcerated, and a lot of the time there isn’t very clear information about how to find out where they are, what prison they are at, and how you can communicate with them. I am going to write today’s post with some explanations of all of this, hopefully it will help y’all find your people who might be incarcerated

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Felons – Reality vs. Fiction

Hey everyone. Sometimes I catch something on television or see something online about prison or prisoners, and I have to laugh at the stereotypes that persist about us felons. Today I saw a thing on the internet news about a recently released prisoner coming to the rescue of a little girl that had fallen into a septic tank and was drowning. Now that is cool whether the guy is an ex-con or not. But what is troubling is that this was reported under “Odd News”. Like, it’s ODD that a man who has a record would help someone. Here is

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Correctional Officers Join Lawsuit Over Texas Prison Deaths Due to Extreme Heat

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/02/texas-prison-guards-union-to-reportedly-join-inmate-litigation-over-hot-state/ I’ve not been paying attention. Looks like getting the correctional officers behind the push to provide some cooling for Texas prisons might be the final straw to make it happen. Anybody have more updates on this news?

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Texas Prison TDCJ News: Court of Appeals Rules Against Prisons

U.S. FIFTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS RULES AGAINST PRISONS IN EXTREME TEMPERATURES CASE Appellate court finds extreme temperature conditions can violate 8th Amendment The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a Corpus Christi federal judge’s ruling dismissing a prisoners’ lawsuit claiming extreme temperatures violated his Eighth Amendment Rights. Lawyers for the Texas Civil Rights Project and DLA Piper represented Eugene Blackmon, a sixty-four-year-old prisoner suffering from hypertension and other medical conditions. Temperatures inside the prison, which was not air conditioned, reached a heat index of 130 degrees. Expert testimony established the temperature during the summer of 2008 temperatures reached

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Change is good – catching chain is not good

Well I now can say what is my least-favorite part of prison life. Catching chain for transport to another unit – God, seriously, it sucks. I left my old unit on Friday night and got here on Wednesday. In that time I stopped over at three different units. One is well known for being one of the oldest and worse units in the state of Texas. As you can imagine, that is a bold statement considering the size of Texas and the conditions of many of the TDCJ prison units. But, from my short stay there, I would say it

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