May, 2009

Book Review: When Prisoners Come Home

Date Read: May 6, 2009 Title: When Prisoners Come Home Author: Joan Petersilia, PhD Publisher: Oxford University Press (2003) Nonfiction/296 pages When Prisoners Come Home was the seventh book I read in 2009 Why I read When Prisoners Come Home: On March 27 of this year, Carole relayed an email message from Professor Joan Petersilia, […]

Puppies Behind Bars program

I was incredibly moved by the Puppies Behind Bars segment featured on Oprah last week. The PBB program trains inmates to raise puppies to become service dogs for the disabled, and for the military men and women who return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). […]

Bipolar Disorder Leads CEO to Embezzlement and Suicide Attempt

Many men who once held discretion over financial accounts that exceeded hundreds of millions of dollars slept on steel prison racks beside me. They used to oversee the careers of thousands, though their imprisonment required them to submit to prison counselors who could assign them to jobs cleaning toilets, scrubbing showers, or raking rocks. Before confinement, […]

Eliminate Prison Camps to Cut Domestic Spending

President Obama ought to call for the elimination of prison camps to cut unnecessary domestic spending. This type of expenditure should not continue, as prison camps do not contribute to making society safer. Indeed, prison administrators have classified all prisoners in prison camps as minimum-security offenders and require those men to serve time on their […]

What About Parole?

People in prison ask me about parole. That is a concept of allowing a prisoner to serve the final portion of his sentence in the community under clearly defined conditions as enforced by a parole officer. Essentially, parole is a conditional release from prison. In the federal prison system, parole only exists for certain offenders […]

NFL Coach Tony Dungy Motivates Prisoners

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy has been an inspiration to me and other prisoners since he coached the Colts to a Super Bowl victory. My wife knew that I admired his leadership skills and ordered copies of his books. On April 19, I read Jarrett Bell’s article in USA Today describing the efforts Coach Dungy […]

Prison Reform Can Lower Recidivism

In 2002, the Bureau of Justice Statistics published Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 by Patrick Langan and David Levin. “The study found that 30 percent [of] released prisoners were rearrested in the first six months, 44 percent within the first year, and 67.5 percen within three years of release from prison.” I gathered this […]

I Need Sponsors to Advance Prison Reform

I need sponsors to advance arguments for prison reform. As a long-term federal prisoner, I am in a unique position to serve as a voice from inside prison boundaries. The reason my background qualifies me as an outstanding candidate to speak on the need for prison reform is that while serving my entire adult life […]

Human Smuggling from Mexico

Today I spoke with Ricardo, a family man and business owner who turned to the crime of human smuggling as a strategy to cope with the pressures of debt. America’s financial crisis had hit Ricardo’s small construction company hard, and in a panic over how he would sustain his business and his family, he ceded […]

Reform the Pardon Process

President Obama ought to order the Department of Justice to reform the pardon process. Access to a Presidential pardon could be an effective tool in motivating prisoners to commit to prison adjustments that would help them emerge as successful, law-abiding citizens. For pardons to serve as a force for good, however, the President must order […]

Squandering Billions on Corrections

America squanders $59 billion each year on a system that ridiculously calls itself corrections. According to the famous social scientist James Q. Wilson, society should limit the purpose of this system to isolating and punishing offenders.  I wonder when American citizens will tire of this failed public policy. Too many American citizens live with delusions […]

Bad Leadership in the Bureau of Prisons

We have bad leadership in the Bureau of Prisons! The Second Chance Act of 2007 provided federal prison administrators with the authority to release prisoners to halfway houses one year before their sentences expired. That Act also urged administrators to expand programs that would help prisoners build stronger family and community ties while the prisoners […]