Injustice in America

600 Days Without Mercy

September 12, 2010 marks President Obama’s 600th day in office–he has yet to grant a single act of mercy in the form of a commutation or pardon. The petitions currently on file number in the thousands.

Prison Lobbyists vs Prison Reform

Read Michael’s recent posts on Most Popular Posts by Michael Santos What Happened to Prison Reform? Do Longer Prison Sentences Make the Public Safer? The View from Inside: Prison Time Doesn’t Equal Justice Take Action on Long-Term Imprisonment Bring Back Federal Parole And here’s a related article addressing the issue of prison lobbyists vs. […]

Michael Hamden is Mad As Hell About the Failed U.S. Prison System

The following article is featured on Mad As Hell About the Failed U.S. Prison System by Michael Hamden category: Prison Reform Published March 10, 2010 @ 05:34AM PT Yeah, I’m angry. I’m all riled up because our misguided criminal justice policies destroy individuals, families and entire communities. I’m steamed because at a time […]

President Obama… Answer This

This is fantastic! Check out: What it’s about: 1. Alienation of people: We are creating refugees amongst our own people. Inmates come back not feeling like they are part of their own community; not knowing “we the people” means them too. 2. Break up of families: unreasonable prison policies and a culture of […]

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 […]

Senator Stevens Escapes Justice

As I waited in my prison cubicle for a census count to clear this morning, I listened to an NPR news broadcast over the radio describing how the former Senator Ted Stevens would avoid a term in prison. Senator Stevens had been convicted on political corruption charges last fall. Ever since then, I’d been waiting […]

BOP Director’s Misrepresentation to Congress

Harley Lappin, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, issued a prepared statement to a Congressional committee on March 10, 2009. In Director Lappin’s lengthy statement pertaining to the Second Chance Act, he expressed that an integral part of the BOP’s mission indicates that “the post-release success of offenders is as important to public safety […]

Poor Prisoners Differ From Rich

Bernard Madoff swindled billions of dollars from thousands of victims. Despite his crime, a judge did not incarcerate him immediately upon the government’s discovery of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Scooter Libby was a lawyer and a highly placed official in the Bush administration. He was convicted of a crime and a federal judge sentenced Libby to […]

Conservative Prison Policies are Ridiculous

Duke Cunningham was a Republican congressman who now serves a lengthy prison term. Ted Stevens was a Republican senator from Alaska who was convicted of crimes that will yield a prison term. Scooter Libby was a key player in the Bush white house. Had it not been for executive clemency, he would have been but […]

Justice Requires Redemption

Justice Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court said that he thinks our country incarcerates too many people and that American prisoners serve sentences that are too long. I agree with him. Prisons have become our nation’s only response to crime. The United States Sentencing Commission recently released reports that show how federal offender demographics change. […]

Institutionalized Failure Does Not Lead to Corrections

Ryan Thomas asked whether I thought “the institutionalized lifestyle of a prisoner is in itself a way of correcting.” He also wanted to know what I attributed the growth I have made over 21 years of imprisonment if not correctional officers. I appreciate this opportunity to respond to Ryan’s question, and I hope readers find […]

Prisons Divert Billions of Tax Dollars From Education and Health Care Programs

Rachel and Ana asked me some poignant questions on prison reform that I appreciate. An article I wrote on work-release and study-release interested them. They are criminal justice students and they understandably expect prisoners to pay a price for the crimes they committed against society’s laws. Rachel thought it unjust that people in prison could […]

Prison Made Me Liberal

Ana Diaz is a criminal justice student who takes issue with my assertion that prisons condition failure. She asks whether I have any suggestions on better alternatives to deter crime. As I read her question, I understood that it came from the premise of the conservative principle that prisons deter crime. I am much more […]

Serving Democracy from Prison

Prison administrators would like to stop me from writing about the culture of confinement. I know this because numerous staff members have admonished me for writing books and articles that describe what I have learned from other prisoners. Administrators have ordered my transfer from three separate prisons, each time as a consequence of my writing. […]

Rich Man, Poor Man

I read of several financial professionals who were charged with securities fraud and other fraud charges during the past week. On February 25, James Nicholson of Westgate Capital Management, was charged with crimes that defrauded investors of more than $100 million. Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh of WG Trading Investors were arrested on fraud charges […]