Saturday, March 21, 2009

More Big Picture Information

"It's extremely bad. So you have more people coming in with more problems and more calamities to add to the frustration of the people that are there. Some of these people have no respect or compassion. So when they come here, they take their aggression on the next man, which is right next to you, again because the bunks are so close to you. And then in turn, turmoil, fights, arguments constantly. The noise level is beyond measure, on a constant level. It's very very hard."

--Raymond, inmate sleeping in gym

Those who attended the conference and would like more background - and those who didn't and would like to know more about the broader picture - will benefit from Prisons in Crisis, a radio documentary produced by JoAnn Mar. The entire documentary can be downloaded and listened to; and for those of you who prefer reading, the transcript is available from the same location.

3 comments:

Frank Courser said...

I was amazed how well organized and planned this conference was. I was honestly doubtful if anyone could ever be able to bring together in one place the knowledge and expertise of all the speakers that attended. I could not be more grateful to those that worked so hard to accomplice this task. Many thanks to you all! Although all of those that attended learned so much and were likely overwhelmed with information, it is unfortunate the true policymakers in Sacramento were not present or were only able to attend for a short period of time. In fact this conference should have been mandatory for every legislator, the Governor, Attorney General and every employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation including state wide law enforcement leaders and prison reform advocates. Time limited the amount of information each speaker could share and I am sure each could have expanded on the nature of every issue. Even after years of research and study the complexity of each subject is difficult if not impossible to convey in just 15 minutes of time. Hundreds of questions went unanswered yet I was left with the feeling the problems of our criminal justice and corrections system can be resolved if the efforts of those that have a vested interest are brought together shared and discussed. The savings to the state in not just a monetary sense could be enormous and the lives of millions affected would not only make us safer, but produce a more productive and benevolent society.

Hadar Aviram said...

Thank you so much for the kind words, Frank. This was really a labor of love for us; I think the conference brought together many people who were deeply interested and concerned about our correctional situation, and our hope is that some good may come out of this.

Anonymous said...

WE AS PEOPLE NEED TO COME TOBETRHER AND WORK VERY HARD ON A BROKEN SYSTEM THAT DOES NOT WORK AND HAS NOT WORKED. THE PICTURE I JUST SAW WAS REALLY BAD WE TREAT ANIMALS BETTER THAN THAT. IT REALLY LOOK LIKE A WAREHOUSE WITH ITEMS PILED ON TOP OF EACH OTHER. GOD CREATE US EQUALY AND THIS IS JUST NO WAY TO TREAT A HUMAN BEING THIS MUST STOP, OUT OF CONTROL WITH A BROKEN SYSTEM. WE CAN NOT AFFORD THIS. PLEASE KEEP THE PRISON SYSTEM BUT LET THE NON-VIOLENT PEOPLE GO THAT HAVE FAMILIES AND LOVE ONES TO CARE FOR THEM. LET THEM GO. WE AS PEOPLE CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS AND FIND BETTER WAYS TO SPEND OUR MONEY. ON SCHOOLS, TRAINING REHABILITATION, MENTAL HEALTH, PLEASE KEEP THE MURDERS, THE CHILD MOLESTERS, THE VERY BAD PEOPLE. BUT LET THE VERY WEAK AND NON-VIOLENT PEOPLE FREE. WE ARE THE TAX PAYERS THAT HAVE TO PAY AND IT IS JUST NOT WORTH IT. I WOULD BE WILLING TO HOUSE THEM IF I COULD AND HELP THEM IF IT WAS SO POSSIABLE WE NEED EACH OTHER SUPPORT IS VERY IMPORTANT WHEN THERE IS A CRISIS. AND THIS IS A CRISIS.................