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“When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely,
he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape.
Often of course, the situation is too tough for him.
“In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him.
Sometimes he masters his difficulties; sometimes they are too much for him.
His struggles are all that the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them.
It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one.”
~~ Karl A. Menninger, quoted by Chaim Potok in The Chosen

Prison Reform

Inside Chino Prison
The interior of one of the barracks that is exactly like what Jon lives in at the Chino Prison.

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Links - Join our efforts to provide adequate housing, health care, rehabilitation and education for re-entry for the inmates. Add your thoughts to blogging at news sites to improve the education of the citizens of California about our embarrassing prison system.

Reform Sex Offender Laws

Human Rights Watch

Critical Resistance

The Sentencing Project

ACLU

Prison Law Office (California)

United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect (California) News -

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Jon's ongoing trouble with prison mattresses
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Google or Bing often for "California Prison" and learn what's happening!!

When Junk Science about Sex Offenders Infects the Supreme Court. This month the Supreme Court will have a rare opportunity to correct a flawed doctrine that for the past two decades has relied on junk social science to justify punishing more than 800,000 Americans. New York Times, September 12, 2017.

Narrowing the Gate. A CPJ article by Jennifer Walsh, this speaks to the issue of our need for sentencing reform, July 25, 2016.

The Secret US Prisons you've never heard of before. While Jon Andreas has not been held in one of these awful prisons, he feels and I feel that our government is free to make heavy-handed decisions about sentences, willful transfers of inmates and their confinement, and that my speaking out about this may even put me in trouble. How can this kind of "injustice" be a part of America? This is a TedTalk, filmed August 2015, placed online October 24, 2015.

What We Learned from German Prisons. In the words of a friend, who sent this link, "Unlike in America, they reflect their country’s commitment to human dignity." Fine article by Nicholas Turner and Jeremy Travis, New York Times, August 6, 2015.

Prison Revolt. A former law-and-order conservative takes a lead on criminal-justice reform. Good in-depth perspective from Bill Keller in the June 29, 2015 issue of The New Yorker. Patrick J. Nolan's own experience led him to challege decades of conservative policy.

The Radical Humaneness of Norway's Halden Prison. The goal of the Norwegian penal system is to get inmates out of it. This is an extensive article by Jessica Benko from the New York Times Magazine, March 26, 2015. Thought-provoking and Lots of good perspectives.

Ted Talks about Prison. There are several good videos to watch about improving rehabilitation for inmates.

Prisons are Terrible and there is finally a way to get rid of them. Researchers have tested electronic monitoring as an alternative approach to criminal punishment—and its been a huge success. June 27, 2014 article online.

Prison without walls. Graeme Wood writes article for August 11, 2010 The Atlantic magazine.

Treating Humans Worse Than Animals. We must continue to care about the greater issue of what we as humans do to others when we lock them up. Democracy Now! exposes the conditions in Prison Solitary Confinement of Mentally Ill. April 1, 2014

Delay...Delay...Delay...This is scandalous. Why the Court decided to allow Jerry Brown two more years to squeeze the inmates into hellish conditions is incredible. February 11, 2014 issue of The New York Times.

Why Scandinavian Prisons are Superior The Sept. 24, 2013 issue of The Atlantic has an extensive and well-written analysis of what we need to do here in America to rehabilitate our prisoners and make sure that when they're released they will be able to stay "outside," not returning to prison in three years and crowding even further the horrendous conditions. There is a picture of cages our prisoners in America sit in....very much like what Jon goes through everytime he must be transported to the local doctor....sitting in it for long hours....just disgusting! Please take the time to read this article's positive ideas.

The Prison Problem The March-April 2013 issue of the Harvard Magazine tackles the Prison Problem. Worth reading, here's some pithy statements: "THE UNITED STATES has the dubious distinction of having the world’s highest incarceration rate: more than seven-tenths of 1 percent of the population (about 1 in 100 adults) are in prison. Only eight countries have rates above one-half of 1 percent. The United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, has nearly one-quarter of its prisoners."

"The United States currently has 41,000 inmates serving life sentences without parole, according to a recent report; England has just 41."

"...the United States has finally reached 'a reform moment' for prison policy. As voters chafe at swollen prison budgets and the costs of social disruption—an estimated two million American children are growing up with a parent behind bars—other states have also revisited mandatory-minimum sentence laws, increased use of parole, and placed drug offenders in treatment instead of prison."

"...for all the dissatisfaction with the amount of money spent on prisons, tough-on-crime arguments are still popular. 'If the crime rate drops, people say, ‘see, prisons work. We have to spend more money on them,’ explains Marieke Liem. Conversely, 'If the crime rate rises, people say, ‘We have to spend more money on prisons.' Western seeks to broaden the options."

"...the United States serves a smaller segment of its population with public housing than do most European countries—but makes up for it in spending on prisons, which are used as de facto public housing."

CORPORATIONS ARE CASHING IN ON CALIFORNIA'S PRISON OVERCROWDING CRISIS
By Ray Downs: Be sure to go to this link posted October 2, 2013: "For years, California’s massive, out-of-control inmate population has been a cash cow for the prison industry. Now, with the state being forced by the courts to reduce the number of men and women it’s keeping in boxes, the prison profiteers—including both corporations and prison-guard unions—are trying to squeeze every cent they can out of the government."

Predator Panic A major problem is the American public's perception of "sex offenders." The constant barrage of media hype about the next predator they've discovered does NOT give us a true picture. A full view of the problem was published in the September/October 2005 Skeptical Inquirer by Benjamin Radford. As he writes, "The issue is not whether children need to be protected; of course they do. The issues are whether the danger to them is great, and whether the measures proposed will ensure their safety..."

Connecticut Tragedy and Need for Psychiatry A wonderful essay titled "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" provides the perspective of what it is like to live in a family with a troubled youngster. The response to this essay "I Am Adam Lanza's Psychiatrist" is a powerful appeal to wake up Americans. I feel the same frustration that when my own son reached out to a psychologist for help, he was thrown into prison for 28 years instead of getting the help he needed.

The Emergency Is Not Over ... In January of this year (2013) California Governor, Jerry Brown, petitioned a federal panel overseeing a 33,000 prisoner population reduction order by the Supreme Court, seeking an end to its judicial oversight. Referring to years of health crisis in California’s notorious prison system, Brown bellicosely declared, “The emergency is over.” On April 11, 2013, the federal panel rejected the governor’s request and demanded that the state "identify prisoners unlikely to re-offend" and reduce the population by 9,000 people before the end of the year. The state has until May 2 to submit a plan or be held in contempt.

We didn’t need a federal court ruling to confirm what people behind bars have continued to tell us even after California shifted prisoners from state to county control. Conditions in California’s prisons are crowded and inhumane. But now that the federal panel has rejected Brown’s attempt to wiggle out of compliance to reduce the state’s prison population, we have an opportunity to advance meaningful population reduction measures. These measures could result in the release of thousands of imprisoned people, returning them home to their families and communities.

Solitary in Iraq Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons
October 19, 2012 by Shane Bauer. We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here's why.

Shane Bauer was one of the three American hikers imprisoned in Iran after being apprehended on the Iraqi border in 2009. He spent 26 months in Tehran's Evin Prison, 4 of them in solitary. He lives in Oakland, California, with his fellow hostage and now wife, Sarah Shourd.

Life Lesson Teachings by a Squirrel by Keith A Higgins, an inmate at California Men's Colony
Suggestions from the INSIDE about what needs fixing in our prisons. Written in 2012.

Like to view YouTube? There are many exposés on American prisons there. Here's a good one (not totally factual, but will open your eyes...done with humor): Stephen Fry on American Prisons and while you're there, view some of the other prison videos.

Supreme Court Decisions ... Universal Health Care ... Prison Health Care
April 10, 2012 by Michael Daly for the Daily Beast. This is a terrific article with good historical background about why the Supreme Court ordered the State of California to reduce our prison population and provide adequate health care. go to
California Inmates Get Better Health Care than Regular Citizens - The Daily Beast

The Role of the Prison Guards Union in California's Troubled Prison System
Jailing is big business. California spends approximately $9 billion a year on its correctional system, and hosts one in seven of the nation's prisoners.
by Tim Kowal, Orange County Attorney, June 5, 2011. A long article, well documented and intelligently written, it is well worth your time to read. Go to http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/timkowal/2011/06/06/the-role-of-the-prison-guards-union-in-californias-troubled-prison-system/

Supreme Court Rules California Prison Overcrowding Unconstitutional
Hooray! We are celebrating this wonderful news. Go to Google and search for "Supreme Court Coleman Plata Case" and you'll be indundated with the great news on May 23, 2011: the efforts of Governor (formerly Attorney General) Jerry Brown must stop delaying the needed releases of inmates to bring the prison population down to something humane. Inmates must be given necessary medical care. The unnecessary deaths must stop.

Report promotes alternatives to prison as national recidivism rate holds steady
A state-by-state study has found that four in 10 offenders return to prison within three years of their release, a figure that has held steady for the past 30 years despite massive state spending increases on prisons, the Pew Center on the States said Wednesday.
CNN Aprl 13, 2011...http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/13/report-promotes-alternatives-to-prison-amid-steady-recidivism-rate-nationwide/

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