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A "bold" 2014 indeed, Kay! I was just sitting here, wanting to extend greetings to you and Nancy for the New Year, just not feeling it for the traditional "Happy" stuff. Happy it ain't, or likely to be. But bold, yes, that's good, maybe even "audacious!"

My feeling is that neither of you will have difficulty embodying that, so, a bold and audacious New Year to you both!

1 year, 2 months ago on CI: Imagination, at the Intersections


The first "1,000 words" tells an interesting tale. Total number of incarcerations remained fairly steady, even as the overall population rose, with a slight rise through the economic hard times of the Depression, a significant decrease for most of WWII, rising slightly, steadily, not as fast as population growth until the Viet Nam War, falling again until, perhaps coincidentally, the end of the draft and the aftermath of the Black Power movement.

Things that make you want to go "hmmm."

1 year, 2 months ago on CI: More Than 1000 Words…


Hi Nancy, Kay. Sorry to be such a stranger. This is the first Wednesday evening I've had to call my own for quite some time.

It seems events have given lie to the jury's notion of who was the homicidal aggressor.

1 year, 3 months ago on CI: Remembering Trayvon Martin, Special Edition of ProudFlesh


Hey, Nancy, great piece! Sister Helen deserves every kind word and far, far more.

1 year, 7 months ago on CI: Sister Helen Prejean, Abolition, and The Power of One Voice


Having often visited 'control units' during my sojourn at ISP there's no way A3N's words, powerful as they are, can convey the special horror that they are. The'air' on one of those units is so thick with the tension of imminent explosion you could cut it with a knife.

About eighteen months was the longest I ever saw even the hardiest convicts endure that hell on earth before they began psychologically decompensating, what we called 'going around the bend.'

2 years ago on CI: Strategizing to Defeat Control Unit Prisons and Solitary Confinement


Thanks for this, Nancy. The art is magnificent. Provocative. Yet it brings me face to face with very mixed emotions about the medium. There is much beautiful wall art in my neighborhood, and too many gang signs and the like as well. Very mixed emotions.

2 years ago on CI: Crimes of Style ~ Jean-Michel Basquiat


 @KayWhitlock Thank you, Kay. Still boycotting, huh? You've never struck me as a woman who'd back down easily.

2 years ago on CI: The Black Panther Party’s Living Legacy --Touring Oakland and Berkeley with Billy X Jennings Part 1


"Facility staff will create a new policy and procedures manual, to replace the one that was lost after the facility flooded."


Amidst the horror, something to laugh about. They lost the only copy of the manual! Gee, I'll bet they scrupulously followed  "policy and procedures," they even had it written down. Somewhere. Before the flood.


The whole sordid story is written between those lines.

2 years, 1 month ago on CI: The PIC – Old School/New School



 There's an even more nefarious form, Vikki, than the models that >benefit politicians and business executives who create them." Since Kay's last eye opening piece about the "con game", a vicious pun there, I've become more convinced than ever that the road "community corrections" will eventually ease on down is to follow the model of community based behavioral health.


Tonight's reading only reinforces that belief.


After the crooked politicians and the greedy for profit prison corporations have finally so disgusted the larger public that they are run out of the prison industry the last model standing will be the "genuine" not-for-profits competing for grants and contracts to provide the "necessary" services. These not-for-profits are that only in that they have no shareholders to distribute profits to. It's all in the salaries.


Once "community based" corrections is truly up and running it will fall prey to the no shareholder not-for-profit and the rapacious class of graduate degreed "professionals" who are in it for nothing but their own careers. Given the total dollar amount of any particular grant or contract, they will be faced with the choice of spending the allocated funds on worthwhile programs or each others salaries. Need I go on?


I already see this model at work housing the homeless and the Seriously Mentally Ill. Just as I see the shameless exploitation of the alleged client classes every day. Vultures with LCSWs

2 years, 1 month ago on CI: Community Corrections, Profiteering, Corruption & Widening the Net


Same as it ever was.

2 years, 1 month ago on CI: Real Justice?


Tough post, Nancy, tough to read. As if one kind of PTSD weren't enough.


A quarter century next year since that horror was my day to day and all it took was reading your words to be right back there, the same dreadful feelings churning in the guts, the same tension in every muscle. Not that you wrote anything wrong, that you wrote it so right.


From one who has been there, albeit with advantages too many of my brothers didn't share, I can only shout Amen!





2 years, 2 months ago on CI: How to Convey the Horror?


The Second Chance Act is key. Lately I've been working with (against?) the "behavioral health system". Compared to the bandits with LCSWs who profiteer from the suffering of the mentally ill and the homeless, the prison-industrial-complex is benign. And that's going to be the model for how "community based corrections" gets delivered.

From the first line of the linked press release: "Attorney General Eric Holder today announced $58 million in Second Chance Act grant funding to reduce recidivism, provide reentry services, conduct research and evaluate the impact of reentry programs."

I wish I couldn't tell you that the handwriting is on the wall, but if you want to see what community based corrections is going to be just look at your nearest residential behavioral health system.

They are grant writing fools, though.

2 years, 2 months ago on CI: Confidence Men & “Prison Reform”


 @nancy a heitzeg

 I suppose there's an argument to be made that convicting Colson and sending him to prison was the worst of all possible outcomes.

What he did in the Watergate scandal was the least of his "obstruction of justice."

2 years, 2 months ago on CI: Confidence Men & “Prison Reform”


Great job, Kay. The image is one that will stay with me a long time, a shell game. And that, of course, is exactly what it is, a shell game. Distract the suckers with the patter while the possibility of "winning" gets pocketed.

You give Chuckie Cheese and his Prison Fellowship a lot more credit than I do. Among other things they induce prison officials to play favorites with their "marks" in the prison population. "Marks" because they seduce bored-to-death convicts to attend their functions so they can take the inflated numbers back to funding sources with a "look at how many conversions we're making" line of crap to keep the money flowing. They're not making converts (not a bad thing from my pov), they're tallying up bored and lonely folks who're desperate for any sort of change in their routine. And they know. Chuckie told me so himself when they pulled their scam at ISP when I was there.

The suckers are whoever they can get to put up the money, benighted church people or oppressed taxpayers, makes no difference. Chuckie was a con man until the day hedied. 

2 years, 2 months ago on CI: Confidence Men & “Prison Reform”


 @nancy a heitzeg  @KayWhitlock A first step in standing up: my new Congressman, Rep. Ron Barber (D AZ-02), Gabrielle Giffords handpicked successor and himself wounded in THAT tragedy, is ideally suited to lead a national inquiry concerning what we're going to do about senseless gun violence. is circulating a petition asking Rep. Barber to step up to the plate. He brings a special authority to this issue. The petition is here

Please sign and share.

2 years, 2 months ago on CI Special Edition: Of Guns and Bitter


Morning, Nancy, all. (Wish I could have written "Good Morning", but there's nothing good about what brings us together this morning except perhaps the opportunity to change it).


As we all know the last couple of days the internets have been in a frenzy as at last the society kind of faces what's been going on. I can only hope it lasts. Two messages have particularly caught my attention:


One, in the debate about the "Right to Keep and Bear Arms" I've seen what is for me a useful phrase - the "Right to Keep and Bear Children".  Interesting juxtaposition.


Second, maybe closer to home for me personally, and, I believe, closely related to the violent basis of our culture which is the theme of today's essay, twenty kids dead at the hands of a shooter is all of a sudden a big deal when twenty kids dead at the point of a drone happens quite regularly, in our names, and we go about our business as if it's just another day. Little to no outrage, certainly no internets in a frenzy.


Can someone help me understand why twenty kids dead in Connecticut is so much worse than twenty kids dead in Pakistan or Afghanistan? No, it was a rhetorical question. All kids are equal but . . . .

2 years, 2 months ago on CI Special Edition: Of Guns and Bitter


Evening, all. This topic brings to mind a distressing story from the next county north of me, Pinal County, Arizona (yeah,that Arizona, where the Governor's Chief of Staff used to be a lobbyist for CCA). FWIW, about the only indushtry in Pinal (many of us pronounce it penal) County is the numerous state and local prisons located there.

Anyway, a public high school in Casa Grande "locked down", a high school, mind you, not one of the prisons, locked dow for a drug sweep with dogs. What made the incident remarkable was that they used CCA personell and dogs! See

Talk about streamlining the pipeline!

2 years, 2 months ago on CI: School to Prison Pipeline Under Federal Scrutiny


Thanks for this, Nancy. And thanks for the MHP piece. I've been so turned into my own little cacoon, I no longer even have a tv, that I miss a lot. I certainly miss MHP!

With my attention turned elsewhere the ALEC/NRA coup has sort of snuck up on me. I knew it was bad, but those maps are terrifying. The pattern looks pretty familiar, though.

And, of course, we 'Zonies are one of only three states with no permit concealed carry. Makes walking down the street an adventure! 

2 years, 2 months ago on CI: Standing Up to “Stand Your Ground”


 @nancy a heitzeg Amazing? It's absolutely shocking! 

2 years, 2 months ago on CI: Standing Up to “Stand Your Ground”