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candy@ss prison :: aka *i know my Rights*

April 30, 2007

* i . k N o W . m Y . r I g H t S *

god i hated hearing that phrase in prison.

gak

and i’d usually be hearing it from some guy who was listening to his personal cassettes on his personal walkman watching cable tv on his personal television set.

earlier that same day he’d been lifting weights with his choice of free weights and universal equipment.

he had a mattress, sheets, pillow, blanket, 3 sets of clothes plus personal sweat suit and tennis shoes and free laundry service.

he got three meals a day, at least two of them hot meals.

and he’s b*tching because they took two dollars off his personal account to help pay for 60 bucks worth of medication.

::

i’ll be the first to agree that inmates should have access to proper nutrition, proper medical attention, and adequate bedding and clothing. i would even advocate library access.

the rest is gravy.

and all the things listed above :: should be paid for by the inmate in labor.

i believe that now.

i believed it when i was down.

but still the state plods on

prison factoid of the day ::

did you know that inmates with life sentences or near life sentences have near unlimited access to education and trade skill training. while inmates with short sentences have almost no access (at least in the great commonwealth of VA)?

the system is set up for failure, and yet the system is followed religiously simply because it is the system in place.

the reason long timers (guys who will be old by any standard by the time they get out, if they get out) have access to these programs is that they are on spreads big enough (read as *with enough security*) to handle the extra operations.

short timers, guys with less than twenty years, almost always end up on medium to minimum security spreads with neither the space nor the security to accommodate such training. even though these inmates could conceivably use such skills upon their release.

here’s what i’d like to see the prisons do ::

currently they are paying anywhere from $15,000-$40,000 per year per inmate to house these men. work out a deal with some company/companies to have the inmates work, whether it be stuffing envelopes, assembling parts, whatever. the prison gets paid for their labor and uses the money to pay for expenses.

to pay for the privilege of being incarcerated.

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