January, 2009

Ice Pick Leaves Prison for Compton

Ice Pick is 35-years-old, and he has been incarcerated since he was 21. He was sentenced to serve 30 years, but a judicial decision resulted in Ice Pick’s sentence reduction. He transferred to this minimum-security camp in Taft, California because his time cut resulted in reclassification. Ice Pick hails from what he described as a […]

Prison Reforms Yield High Success Rates, Low Recidivism Rates

In the January 2009 issue of Inc. Magazine, I read Mike Hofman’s article that described the Prison Entrepreneurship Program sponsored by the Texas Department of Corrections. A former financial executive leads the program that teaches skills to prisoners that they’ll need to function in business. During the five years of the program’s operation, 440 prisoners […]

Prison Administrators Should Not Close Programs that Encourage Prisoners to Contribute

On Tuesday, January 13, 2009, Patrick McGreevy published an article in the LA Times describing how state prison officials eliminated a program that had been allowing non-violent offenders to earn their freedom. Instead of allowing the inmates to make contributions to society through meaningful work projects, those in charge of corrections made the administrative decision […]

Prison Reforms Should Include Incentives for Prisoners to Earn Freedom

Congress made several findings in its publication of the Second Chance Act. One finding indicated that American jails and prisons release 650,000 felons each year into American communities. Of those people who re-enter society from places of confinement, more than six in ten will return to confinement for one reason or another. That means 400,000 […]

The Moment Prison Was Harder On Me Than On My Wife

On most occasions, I would say that imprisonment is harder on the family members who are not incarcerated. The prisoners grow used to life inside boundaries. The rules and rituals become part of life, no more annoying than a rainy day. I grew up in Seattle, so I’ve learned to thrive in spite of the […]

Helping At-risk Youth Avoid Criminal Decisions

I enjoy contributing to a program at Taft Camp that strives to help at-risk adolescents avoid criminal behavior. As federal prisoners, those of us who participate in the group have a degree of credibility with those who sit in our audiences. With the 45-year sentence that I’m serving, and the 21-plus years that I’ve been […]

Taft Prison Camp Makes Budgetary Cuts

The prisoners at Taft Federal Prison camp are feeling pinched by the economic crisis. Administrators are citing budgetary restrictions as a reason for discontinuing subscriptions to all newspapers and magazines. Inmates support the library by donating books. Now, the only way that prisoners at Taft Camp will have access to news periodicals will be if […]

Expand RDAP-Type Incentives in Federal Prison

Forbes published Time Off for Bad Behavior, by Kai Falkenberg, in the magazine’s 12 January 2009 issue. The article described how white-collar offenders maneuver their way into the Bureau of Prisons’ Residential Drug Treatment Program. The RDAP represents the only program available for qualifying federal prisoners to earn an administrative time cut. Those who qualify […]

Taft Prison Administrators Block Inmates From Maintaining Community Ties

Prison officials at Taft camp issued a memorandum on 8 January 2009 that prohibits inmates from using typewriters for anything besides correspondence with the courts. As a consequence of this memorandum, any inmate who uses typewriters to communicate with family, to complete academic coursework, to solicit support from community leaders, or to type manuscripts, subjects […]

Please Share News About Your Prison Experience As Guest Bloggers

If you would like to share your prison experiences concerning the prison system, please consider contributing to this Blog as a guest. Prison News Blog exists to let the world know how the prison system operates. I have been incarcerated since 1987, and I have written about what I have learned from others as well […]

Another Birthday in Prison

I’m very happy to have celebrated my 45th birthday today, January 15, 2009. I shouldn’t say “celebrate.” I am still confined in the Taft Federal Prison Camp, and one day in prison is hardly distinguishable from another. Tomorrow, on the other hand, will be wonderful. I am scheduled for a visit with my wife, Carole. […]

Why I Don’t Watch 24 From Prison

Millions of Americans tuned in to watch Jack Bauer defeat terrorism on the popular television series, 24. As a prisoner at Taft Federal Prison Camp, I was not among them. Many of my fellow prisoners watched the fast-paced show. They rely upon television to escape the loneliness of confinement. Even in a minimum-security camp, longings […]

Obamanomics Book Report

Date Read: January 11, 2009 Book title: Obamanomics. How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics Book author: John R. Talbott Book publisher: Seven Stories Press (2008) Nonfiction/218 pages Obamanomics was the second book I read in 2009.  Why I read Obamanomics: My wife Carole and I have been huge fans of Barack Obama since […]

How Does Michael Santos Help Other Inmates?

I received an email message from Marlene, at Kirkland and Ellis of Chicago, asking how I help other inmates. That’s a question that would require a book-length response. Since 1987 I’ve been serving a 45-year prison sentence. I’ve tried to live as an example for my fellow prisoners, showing and guiding them to adjust in […]

Let Prisoners Contribute to Prison Reform Panel

Sandhya Somashekhar, a Washington Post staff writer, published an article reporting that Senator Jim Webb plans to introduce prison reform legislation this coming spring. That legislation will strive to create a national panel to recommend ways to overhaul the criminal justice system. As a long-term prisoner, I make a public audition for an opportunity to […]