Top Ten Prison Reform Goals, Article 2: Prison Reforms Ought to Offer Incentives to Transform Prisoners into Students and Teachers

Our prison system churns out repeat failures at an alarming rate. As a prisoner who has been locked in various prisons since 1987, I’ve learned a great deal from the thousands with whom I’ve served time. Personal experiences, observations, and lessons I’ve learned from others convince me that I know the prison reforms necessary to […]

Dan is Getting Out of Prison

After 14 years of imprisonment, Dan is going home. Dan has been incarcerated since the summer of 1994. At the time of his arrest he was a 25-year-old without much more of a formal education than the GED he earned in night school. He had been working in an Arizona gas station when friends who […]

Effective Prison Reform: Restore Hope

Prisons operate with 70 percent recidivism rates for a simple reason. They extinguish hope. Instead of encouraging prisoners to develop values, skills, and resources that will help them live contributory lives, prison policies and the infrastructure of the prison system crushes the spirit and humanity of every man serving time. Overcoming the pervasive negativity requires […]

About the Bureau of Prisons

My wife sent me an article from that is titled About the Bureau of Prisons. The article states that the BOP “helps reduce the potential for future criminal activity by encouraging inmates to participate in a range of programs that have been proven to reduce recidivism. My experience of having been locked within various […]

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. […]

On the subject of parole

I recently received a wonderful letter from a young college student who is studying criminal justice in Michigan. He was assigned to read one of the books I wrote, and he asked a few questions that I thought readers of my Blog might have an interest in. Accordingly, I am posting his insightful questions along […]

Comments on Ted Koppel’s Prison Special

The television room at Taft’s minimum-security camp was packed last night. Many of the inmates gathered to watch Ted Koppel’s two-hour show on the Discovery Channel that detailed California’s troubled prison system. Not long ago, Governor Schwarzenegger renamed California’s Department of Corrections. Now it uses the catchy phrase “Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections,” or some […]

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 […]

Avoiding the Prisoner Profile

Every man in federal prison is assigned to a particular job. At Taft Camp, where I was transferred in June of 2007, I was assigned to work in the food service department. As far as prison jobs are concerned, I consider my job at Taft one of the best work assignments that I’ve had during […]