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 [...]

Prison Furloughs Can Lower Recidivism

American citizens have a vested interest in preparing offenders for successful re-entry into society. Those who leave prison without strong networks of support, without employment prospects, without a fundamental knowledge of the communities to which they will return, and without resources, stand a significantly higher chance of failure. When offenders revert to criminal activity upon [...]

Top Ten Prison Reform Goals, Article 4: Prison Reforms Should Include Partnering Prisoners with Community Leaders and Mentors

Blinky and I were confined in the same housing unit when I began serving my term. He had been incarcerated for ten years and he had a set pattern for serving time that I found typical of the penitentiary. Every morning he left for work in the prison factory, where Blinky presided over an operation [...]

Top Ten Prison Reform Goals, Article 3: Prison Reforms Should Encourage Prisoners to Build Supportive Success Networks

Prison administrators like to hang signs and posters promoting success platitudes. Reach For The Stars! Be Persistent! Never Give Up! The motivational signs might fool those in groups that tour institutions into believing that administrators make authentic efforts to prepare offenders for successful re-entry into society. Those locked in prisons, on the other hand, recognize [...]

Prison Reforms We Can Believe In

Ultimately, society relies upon these prisons as tools to encourage law-abiding behavior. Yet flaws within the design of the prison system render it less effective than its potential. Statistics show that more than six of every ten people in America’s prison system return to confinement after their initial release. Reforms can lower those recidivism rates [...]

Does Prolonged Prison Exposure Leave a Negative Influence?

People who meet me for the first time have a hard time believing that I have been in prison since 1987. When I tell them that I served more than 16 years in higher security prisons before administrators transferred me to minimum-security camp, they think that I’m exaggerating. Yet it is true. Almost all of [...]

Does the Corrections System Care About Inmates?

After having served more than 21 years in prisons of every security level, I would conclude that very little correcting goes on. These places are more like human warehouses. Changes may come, but for now there does not seem to be a lot that would suggest to me that the system particularly “cares” about inmates. [...]

What Second Chance?

Two months after the passage of historic legislation, Second Chance Act, designed to reduce recidivism, administrators continue with obstacles that hinder successful transitions from prison to society In April of 2008, President Bush signed the Second Chance Act of 2007. According to an overwhelming majority from both houses of Congress, the legislation had several purposes. [...]

Hoping for More Access to Telephones and Visiting Time

As a long-term prisoner, maintaining close family and community ties is extremely important to me. The more love and support I receive, the more able I am to grow and prepare myself to emerge successfully from this quarter century that I expect to serve in federal prison. Over the past 20 years, I have served [...]