Death in Custody: a PDF From the DOJ

By BitcoDavid

Below is a report from the Department of Justice, listing the number of deaths among prisoners in custody for the period from 2001 to 2007.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Book Review: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

By Joanne Greenberg

English: Piper Kerman at the 2010 Brooklyn Boo...

Piper Kerman at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a memoir of fifteen months spent in Danbury Federal Prison work camp. In the range of prisons, this was the highest (best); the others were downhill from there. Piper had been a drug dealer, left the drug game, and ten years later was arrested in connection with a sweep arrest of her former gang members. This woman brought to her experience the absolute best possible strengths – she was healthy, young, attractive but not beautiful, cultured but not pretentious, and flexible.

The book reads well. The reader is brought into Piper’s  prison life as she goes through different levels of the experience, and the reader admires her ability to adjust to what are often uncomfortable but never horrific situations. Later, in jail, pending an appearance in court, things are not as manageable. The writing is smooth and interesting. I had some quibbles with her take on her fellow inmates. I don’t know of any group anywhere as comfort giving, stimulating, appreciative, or loving as how she describes her

fellow prisoners. The administration didn’t count at all. They appear and disappear in a mist with one or two exceptions that she managed to work around. The positive relations that she had with her fellow prisoners made me a little suspicious. I think she was using them to show how useless and ridiculous the modern American prison system is. I agree with her, but I can’t help feeling a little bit manipulated.

This book was highly recommended to me by a friend, and I haven’t had a chance to discuss it with her. I can see why the book would be very popular, because it strikes all the right notes. The prison system sucks, but ordinary people are the salt of the earth. As you already know, this is not the case. Most of the people I picked up when I was doing rescue just thought they were going someplace else. Occasionally, though, we got scuzzballs. I thing the police get bitter because of the scuzzball ratio and this influences their outlook.

The book can be purchased through Amazon.com as well as other outlets.

Joanne Greenberg was born in 1932, in Brooklyn, NY. She was educated at American University and received and honorary Doctorate from Gallaudet University – the world’s only college for the Deaf. She has written 2 books on the subject and has spent decades working with state mental hospitals for appropriate care for the mentally ill Deaf.

The School to Prison Pipeline Is Even Bigger for the Deaf

This is an article published in the New York Times. It states that children with disabilities are more likely to be suspended from school, than are non-disabled students. But, they didn’t need a study to prove this. They just needed to read DeafInPrison.com. We’re well familiar with both the school to prison pipeline, and the difficulties disabled students – in particular, the Deaf – are faced with. They are often disproportionately punished, in both schools and in adult life.

According to a new analysis of Department of Education data, 13 percent of disabled students in kindergarten through 12th grade were suspended during the 2009-10 school year, compared with 7 percent of students without disabilities. Among black children with disabilities, which included those with learning difficulties, the rate was much higher: one out of every four was suspended at least once that school year.

Want to read more? Here’s the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/education/analysis-examines-disabled-students-suspensions.html?nl=todaysheadlines&adxnnl=1&emc=tha23_20120808&adxnnlx=1344434486-xodqHeoT4VfB4e3f4d4s1g

Too Many Prisoners – From Prisonmovement’s Weblog

Image courtesy of Prisonmovement’s Weblog

This is a reblog of an article that appeared in Prisonmovement’s Weblog, over the weekend. For those of you not familiar with them, here’s what they say about themselves:

Against the death penalty; the United States Criminal Justice System is flawed, broken, yet fixable; Prison Reform and Sentencing Reform should be major agenda’s for each state- we need to stop warehousing prisoners and ready those who are going to parole.
Inmate rehabilitation improves public safety and lowers prison costs.
“We have to care because we can’t afford not to”.

DeafInPrison.com loves Prisonmovement’s Weblog, and we hope you enjoy this post.

Here’s the link.

http://prisonmovement.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/too-many-prisoners/

 

 

bitcodavid:

Due to the correlation between Deaf inmates and mentally ill inmates, I felt this excellent article from PrisonMovement’s Weblog was appropriate to share with our readers.

–BitcoDavid

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:

Solitary confinement

Solitary confinement (Photo credit: Chris.Gray)

By REMA RAHMAN, Associated Press

Troy Anderson is a mentally ill inmate in isolation at the Colorado State Penitentiary, deemed for more than a decade too dangerous to be among other offenders.

His lawyers argue, however, that prolonged solitary confinement is contributing to a vicious cycle, making his psychiatric conditions worse and resulting in misbehavior that warrants further punishment.

Prison officials defend the practice, saying administrative segregation, which can include up to 23 hours a day alone in a concrete cell, is a fundamental part of security.

Art Leonardo, executive director of the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents, says keeping prisoners away from the general population is a way to “keep them from being harmed.”

But prisoners’ rights advocates around the nation say putting mentally ill inmates in long-term solitary confinement amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. In some states, activists…

View original 550 more words

Deaf Prisoners – When Deaf People Are in Prison

Image courtesy of Catboxx (http://catboxx.blogspot.com/2010/05/parchman-farm.html). One of my favorite images of the old Parchman Farm chain gang.

The other day, I posted the DOJ report on prison populations as of Mid-year 2011. I did so, in an effort to respond to a question I was asked by a reader. Quite simply, how many Deaf inmates are there, in American prisons. In numerous searches, including having read the above report, I have not yet been able to find a reliable answer to that question.

One answer bothered me, however. On Yahoo answers, one respondent claimed that Deaf inmates are not sent to conventional prisons, but rather to special halfway houses or dorm facilities. Needless to say, anyone who reads DeafInPrison.com knows this is – sadly – just not true.

This is an article I found on About.com.

Deaf Prisoners – When Deaf People Are in Prison.

Latest Letter from H.E.A.R.D.

We’ve been fortunate enough to be receiving some help from Heard. This is a great organization that is dedicated to advancing the rights of the Deaf through education.

If you are Deaf and behind bars, or you know someone who is, please contact Heard. They are building a database of cases, and may serve as a powerful tool in the effort to effect change within this dreadful system.

Deaf Illinois inmates sue for access to interpreters – Peoria, IL – pjstar.com

Image

Deaf Illinois inmates sue for access to interpreters – Peoria, IL – pjstar.com.

I’m looking for an update to this story. Will keep you posted.

Book Review of Katrina Miller’s (2005) book: Deaf Culture Behind Bars: Signs and Stories of a Texas Population. Published by AGO Publications

Unfortunately, this book is out of print but perhaps is available through a library.  After I visited a county jail and a state prison and met with two deaf inmates, I reread Dr. Katrina Miller’s book and found it most relevant and informative so I am submitting a book review for deafinprison readers.

Katrina R. Miller.  (2003) Deaf Culture Behind Bars: Signs and Stories of a Texas Population.  Salem, OR: AGO Publications.  https://www.agostore.com

The jail and prison environment is an isolating and cruel existence for the culturally Deaf as well as hard of hearing inmates because of lack of access to communication, services and programming with correctional officers and fellow inmates. Dr. Katrina Miller’s pages spill out compelling life stories of Deaf inmates who find themselves behind bars and without services that are typically given to hearing inmates.  Written for sign language interpreters, social workers, police, correctional officers and the Deaf Community, Dr. Miller’s book will be informative to attorneys working on cases involving Deaf clients who are in jail or prison. Dr. Miller’s book is based on her doctoral dissertation published in 2001 where she described the background and crimes of 99 deaf inmates in the Estelle Unit in Huntsville State Prison in Huntsville Texas. (Forensic Issues of Deaf Offenders, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas). Much of the book includes many interviews Dr. Miller conducted with the Deaf inmates. Dr. Miller provides statistics on the kinds of crimes Deaf inmates committed as well as information on services they need and barriers they face in the prison environment.  There is also a section on deaf signs used in prison that are linguistically different than signs used outside the prison walls. The book presents many interviews of deaf inmates and the reader can learn from the inmates “first-hand” how it feels to be Deaf and in prison—all of which riveted this reader to the page.

Deaf slaying suspect had also stabbed another woman | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Deaf slaying suspect had also stabbed another woman | Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Reading Levels and Miranda Warning

The Miranda Warning and Waiver continues to be administered inappropriately to deaf suspects by police officers. This research article adds to a growing base of other research demonstrating how difficult the Miranda Warning is to read as well as to comprehend even with an ASL interpreter for most deaf suspects.

This article attached below is based on the research of the late Dr. Boley Seaborn. He developed the Miranda Warning and Waiver Test (MWWT-ASL). This is a bilingual test to assess the deaf person’s comprehension of the Miranda in written English and in ASL.  The six-item MWWT-ASL was administered to 34 participants.  Group 1 (n = 10) were deaf graduate students in Deaf Education who read at the 10th grade level or above. Group 2 (n = 14) were postsecondary deaf students at a community college whose reading levels ranged from sixth to eighth grade. Group 3 (n =10) were deaf postsecondary students in community college who read at the first to the third grade reading level. Dr. Seaborn found that deaf adults who are reading at the eighth grade level or below would be linguistically incompetent to understand the Miranda warning and waiver even if it is presented in both languages: ASL and English.

Miranda

The Costs of…

Dirk Becker, a fan of ours on FaceBook, posted this on the timeline page.
The Costs of Incarceration- Canada

Correctional services expenditures totaled almost $3 billion in 2005/6, up 2% from the previous year.
Custodial services (prisons) accounted for the largest proportion (71%) of the expenditures, followed by community supervision services (14%), headquarters and central services (14%), and National Parole Board and provincial parole boards (2%).
This figure does not include policing or court costs which bring the total expenditures up to more than $10 billion for the year.
Cost of incarcerating a Federal prisoner (2004/5): $259.05 per prisoner/per day
Cost of incarcerating a Federal female prisoner (2004/5): $150,000-$250,000 per prisoner/per year
Cost of incarcerating a Federal male prisoner (2004/5): $87,665 per prisoner/per year
Cost of incarcerating a provincial prisoner (2004/5): $141.78: per prisoner/per day
The cost of alternatives such as probation, bail supervision and community supervision range from $5-$25/day.

 

Virginia plans changes in prisoner isolation process – The Washington Post

Virginia plans changes in prisoner isolation process – The Washington Post.

Arizona sheriff rejects court monitor; Justice Department threatens to sue – The Washington Post

Arizona sheriff rejects court monitor; Justice Department threatens to sue – The Washington Post. Not mentioned in this article, but known to us – the guy’s no friend to the Deaf, either.

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