A Federal Prison in NY State lost power on a Thursday and said it wouldn’t be repaired until the following Monday. What that meant for inmates is sporadic heat and power. Officials visiting the prison claimed there were no lights in the cells and the temperature was dipping into the high 40’s.
Last Saturday I camped out in my backyard in preparation for a summer camping trip. The low that night dipped into the 40’s. My wife did leave the porch light on and I had a key to come back inside the house at any time.
Do the inmates have a case for an eighth amendment violation (cruel & unusual punishment)? Maybe? Probably not as long as prison officials can show they were working diligently to restore power. But, seriously, where are the generators or backup power or PLAN?
Those of you who’ve taken Sociology of Punishment & Corrections from me may remember a documentary entitled “What I Want My Words To Do To You.” It was a story about a women’s writing group in a maximum security prison (Bedford Hills) in New York State. Click HERE to watch the movie trailer.
One of the women in this documentary was Judith Clark who was sentenced to 75 years to Life for Murder (click HERE for more info). Judith was paroled this week after doing 40 years. I’m wondering if you believe 40 years was enough time for her crimes committed (be sure to read the article about her case)
I spent 9 years at UW-W as the department’s internship coordinator. As such, I’ve spoken with numerous students going into the adul/juvenile corrections field. One of the most frequently talked about concerns was “being conned by offenders.” No matter whether your working in juvenile or adult corrections (and even students heading into law enforcement positions) this is a genuine concern. A good part of the tension lies between wanting to genuinely assist offenders in improving their lives and getting too attached. Click HERE and review this article on the topic.