Prisons Do Not Inspire Growth

Prisons used in moderation serve as a useful tool for society. Used in excess, however, prisons lose their potency. I was convicted of a nonviolent crime in 1987 and I have been in prison ever since. My adjustment has made me better qualified to offer positive contributions to society, though I do not attribute my […]

Close Prison Camps

Bernard Madoff appeared in a Manhattan courtroom and plead guilty to numerous federal crimes. He admitted to orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that swindled victims of more than $50 billion. Jesus Rosales, a criminal justice student, has asked a question that causes me to consider an appropriate sanction for white-collar ciminals. The Madoff case presents an extreme […]

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 […]

Reform Prison Guards

In the 1970s, Professor Phillip Zimbardo conducted the famous Stanford Prison Guard experiment. Many academics have cited his findings. Matt Kelley quoted some of Professor Zimbardo’s findings in an article he recently wrote for The academic experiment at Stanford, together with my own experiences as a long-term prisoner, convince me that when guards enforce […]

President Obama and Prison Reform

I feel confident that President Obama will take significant steps forward with regard to prison reform. I know that our country faces significant challenges going forward. American citizens are rightfully concerned about the economic crisis that has brought high unemployment. They want to see reduced costs and expanded coverage for health care. They want reforms […]

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 […]

Speech on Second Chance Act

I delivered this speech from memory to a large audience at a Toastmasters Group meeting at Taft Camp on March 31, 2008 to share my understanding of the Second Chance Act. Good morning Toastmasters and guests. Thank you for the honor of your attendance and attention. I want everyone in this room to know that I […]

Suggestions for New Prisoners

Now is a much better time to begin serving a prison sentence. That may sound ridiculous to the casual reader, the normal person who doesn’t believe there is ever a good time to begin a prison term. I am speaking relatively. The time is much better than 1987, when I began serving my sentence. In […]