During the “get tough on crime” 1990’s Missouri’s sentencing laws took a radical transformation. Our sentencing laws were greatly influenced by what is now “commonly” referred to as the 1994 Crime Bill. The purpose of this 1994 Crime Bill as endorsed by our then president, Bill Clinton, was to “ensure that violent offenders remained incarcerated for substantial periods of time.” (Truth in Sentencing Report of May 25, 1995 – U.S. Department of Justice). Two Incentive Grants were offered up to states for their support in pursuing increases in time served for violent felonies and for states to qualify to receive the additional federal grant money promised in the legislation through the “Truth in Sentencing Incentive Grant program”.
- Don’t back-talk the administrative staff or guards.
- If you do be prepared to deal with the consequences. Talking back is shunned. The staff and guards in jails and prisons expect total compliance with their authority at all times. For this infraction you may be issued a CDV (Conduct Violation Report) and lose your privileges, or worse, be remanded to Administrative Segregation (aka “the hole”) for an indefinite period of time. Back-talk may be any emotional (e.g., body language) or quizzical reaction (i.e., questioning the rational of the officers)
- Do always be on alert when you are incarcerated… watch your back at ALL TIMES!
- Never let your guard down under any circumstances. Don’t allow yourself to become “comfortable” – you’re in jail/prison! Don’t ever forget that! Incarceration is like being trapped inside of a barrel of crabs. Remember: everyone in jail isn’t innocent. There are some bad people inside. Broken and desperate men and women who have allowed themselves to become spiritually and oftentimes mentally defeated. Jails and prisons are a lot less dangerous than they were 30-40 years ago or so, however, like they say, “Don’t let the smooth taste fool you. “
Each year Missouri locks-up more and more non-violent/first time offenders. This costs the tax-payers millions of dollars each year. Additionally) these non-violent/first time offenders are now being incarcerated in Level 5 (Maximum Security) prisons – these types of prisons do not have the Programs needed to return them to society Vocational Training} Computer Classes, etc. This makes it more likely for them to re-offend once they are released.
William Ray Price, former Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, stated in his State of the Judiciary Address that we need to: “Rethink our strategies dealing with non-violent offenders} which includes crimes for alcohol and drug abuse.” He also said that harsh sentencing laws have cost the State billions of dollars in revenue, yet “We have just as much crime now as we did when we started. ” [We may even have more crime now.] [Read more…]
Anyone has ever provided 24 hour care fostering dogs in their homes or otherwise will tell you it is absolutely impossible to love one more than the other because all dogs are special in their own way!
One of the many dogs I fostered in my 6’8 ft prison cell stole my heart. About a year and a half ago, Riley left my care forever in route to his new home, and I am not afraid to admit that I still get teary eyed at the mention of Riley’s name.
Riley is a beautiful! White, black and spotted with short hair. He is a Pointer mixed. A stray rescue who came into this program in a situation that could’ve only bee describe as an “emergency”. Riley’s story was unclear for a while. However, soon I learned that Riley and I had more in common than our current situation of confinement inside of the South Central Correctional Center. [Read more…]
The criminal defendants we consult with for the most part do not have a working knowledge of the law. Prisoners come to us seeking a basic understanding of the criminal justice system. “I am not giving people any exclusive knowledge or advise in most instances,” says Anthony. “The information we provide more times than not, is information I have gained through my experience 20 years experience navigating the system.” Anthony says usually the answers are out there “somewhere”, but people have to sift through so much Red Tape to find it that they turn to consultants like myself for assistance. [Read more…]