Sunday, January 11, 2009

States reducing inmate numbers to save money: Should Texas?

AP reports that states are beginning to look at sacred budget cows because of the fiscal crisis and may actually reduce inmate populations to stave off rising costs. ("States look to prisons to save money, including letting some inmates go," Jan. 10):

"Prior to this fiscal crisis, legislators could tinker around the edges — but we're now well past the tinkering stage," said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, which advocates alternatives to incarceration.

"Many political leaders who weren't comfortable enough, politically, to do it before can now — under the guise of fiscal responsibility — implement programs and policies that would be win/win situations, saving money and improving corrections," Mauer said

In California, faced with a projected $42 billion deficit and prison overcrowding that has triggered a federal lawsuit, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to eliminate parole for all offenders not convicted of violent or sex-related crimes, reducing the parole population by about 70,000. He also wants to divert more petty criminals to county jails and grant early release to more inmates — steps that could trim the prison population by 15,000 over the next 18 months.

In Kentucky, where the inmate population had been soaring, even some murderers and other violent offenders are benefiting from a temporary cost-saving program that has granted early release to nearly 2,000 inmates.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine is proposing early release of about 1,000 inmates. New York Gov. David Paterson wants early release for 1,600 inmates as well as an overhaul of the so-called Rockefeller Drug Laws that impose lengthy mandatory sentences on many nonviolent drug offenders.

"These laws have neither curbed drug use nor enhanced public safety," said Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union. "Instead, they have ruined thousands of lives and annually wasted millions of tax dollars in prison costs."

Policy-makers in Michigan, one of four states that spend more money on prisons than higher education, are awaiting a report later this month from the Council of State Governments' Justice Center on ways to trim fast-rising corrections costs, likely including sentencing and parole modifications.

"There's a new openness to taking a look," said state Sen. Alan Cropsey, a Republican who in the past has questioned some prison-reform proposals. "What we'll see are changes being made that will have a positive impact four, five, six years down the road."

Even before the recent financial meltdown, policy-makers in most states were wrestling with ways to contain corrections costs. The Pew Center's Public Safety Performance Project has projected that state and federal prison populations — under current policies — will grow by more than 190,000 by 2011, to about 1.7 million, at a cost to the states of $27.5 billion.

"Prisons are becoming less and less of a sacred cow," said Adam Gelb, the Pew project's director. "The budget crisis is giving leaders on both sides of the aisle political cover they need to tackle issues that would be too tough to tackle when budgets are flush."

This development is long overdue. I think most people are unaware of how rapidly prison spending has grown in the last few years. (See good data on the subject from the Council on State Government's Justice Center.) Texas finds itself in a relatively unique position among states, both because our economic base has been hit less hard by the national financial crisis and because the state had already begun significant reforms to stem overcrowding.

Not long ago, Texas' Legislative Budget Board estimated Texas would need 17,000 adult prison beds and at least three new medium security prisons by 2012. But probation revocations declined in most large counties (Bexar is the notable exception, but their probation director has other worries) thanks in part to $237 million in new probation grants aimed at implementing intermediate sanctions regimens and reducing probation officer caseloads.

So in many ways, thanks to truly visionary work by Sen. John Whitmire and Rep. Jerry Madden, Texas is a lot better off than other states struggling with high prison costs. Even so, the Department of Criminal Justice will ask the Legislature for a more than $1 billion increase in its biennial budget, including for pay hikes designed to stem high turnover and deter corruption among prison staff. That's $1 billion extra just to manage the same number of prisoners. This in part is because Texas' prison costs historically have been artificially low and we've reached the point where it's time for our politicians to pay the piper, having already relished the dance.

One suggestion I've not heard publicly would be to follow the lead of these other states and at least debate whether to reduce TDCJ inmate populations instead of spending $1 billion more to house the same number. After all, roughly two-thirds of TDCJ inmates are already parole eligible.

How many fewer inmates would TDCJ need, one wonders, to give officers raises, spend what they need to in order to keep prisons secure, and still operate under its current budget?

TDCJ operates about 112 units statewide, but some are much more expensive to operate than others. Though I've not seen it, at a committee hearing last year the legislature was given a list of the 20 most expensive TDCJ units in terms of per-inmate cost, and the differences were quite staggering. How many inmates would we be talking about to close the most expensive ones? It's worth asking the question.

In Dallas and Sugar Land, local development interests want the agency to close existing units. Talk so far has been about finding another spot for those units, but what if we just closed them (along with the most expensive facilities) and managed more low-level offenders in the community?

How could that be done? Shortening probation and parole lengths is part of it, since that reduces revocations and focuses more supervision resources on the most likely offenders. Schwarzenegger's proposal to eliminate parole is too radical, but reducing its length and making it easier for offenders to earn their way off supervision makes lots of sense from both fiscal and safety perspectives. On the front end, Texas' ten-year probation terms are among the longest in the nation, while most people who re-offend do so in the first 2-3 years (if not the first six months).

Another idea comes from State Rep. Harold Dutton, who filed a bill that would significantly depopulate state jails (like the one in the way of Dallas' Trinity development) within a two year stretch: HB 287 would reduce the penalty for possession of less than a gram of illegal drugs from a state jail felony to a Class A misdemeanor.

There are lots of other ways to skin that cat.

In other states these decisions are being forced down officials' throats because reduced tax revenues are pitting prison expenses directly against schools, health care, and other societal priorities. It looks like Texas may be buttressed temporarily from the harshest of those economic winds, however with oil prices declining, it's likely the gale will be blowing full force by the time the 82nd Legislature meets in 2011.

I'd rather see legislators pick and choose their policies thoughtfully based on economic and public safety priorities than get backed into a corner as has happened in California and now many other states. Perhaps the debate should start now about what it would take for TDCJ to live within its budget instead of only debating how much more to spend every time the Legislature is in town?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this very well written, informative post. I hope our politicians go to work on reforming the system. It's long overdue! They need to "get comfortable" talking about it and actually do something about our failed prison system or get out of office.

Anonymous said...

Parole is probably the cheapest way of reducing the prison population/costs. If the BPP simply followed the rules and allowed those eligible for parole after serving the time stipulated by whatever Legislative code they fall under, who have completed the appropriate courses/classes/requirements to move to parole instead of routinely denying them because of 'nature of offence' or 'not enough time served' (which goes directly against the Legislature), TDCJ would have fewer inmates to watch over yet still enough to fund their TDCI enterprises.

Less inmates = less stressed staff = staff more willing to stay.

Anonymous said...

Non 3g offenders are eligible for parole after 25% of their sentence is served. District Attorneys make plea bargains with an eye to the actual time that will be served. Judges and Juries also pay attention to the actual punishment in terms of the law.

Then the Board of Pardons and Paroles arbitrarily refuses to release two thirds of eligible offenders when they are eligible.

The cost of keeping 100,000 prisoners is huge and the Texas Legislature has given complete power over all that cost to a few - very few - people.

I don't vote for BPP members yet they have complete power spend billions of dollars of tax money.

Texas should take a good hard look at this situation.

Anonymous said...

I agree compeletly. The BPP thinks that is God with all the power that it has. They don't look at anything else but the "nature of the crime" So where is the motivation to do right? An offender goes and does all that is required of them, school, work, programs, etc. then their paperwork goes before the BPP,(they don't phyically, 3 members vote on the folder,(members who have no buisness being on the BPP)then deny or set the offender off 3 to 5 years, so they don't have to deal with them for a while, where is the motivation for the offender to to right?????

Anonymous said...

first of all, thank you for the excellent reporting.

Sunny's post is right on as is annon 12:21.. my take is abolish mandatory minimums on offenses.
give 3g offenders the chance also to redeem themselves, rehab and get out with 25% time served. As it is now parole boards arbitrarily force them to serve 70-80 of their sentence, regardless of rehabilitation. sound's like pie in the sky but offenders need to REALLY be looked at as individuals. There are many redeemable men and women presently incarcerated

Anonymous said...

Why do some of you ask "what reason do they have to do all that is required if they don't get early release"?
All who get the punishment they deserved, should know beforehand that the "reason" to change is so that they can break the chains they have placed upon themselves, by committing the crime.
I was placed on probation for 7 years, then decided that I had to "earn respect" by educating my self. I attended and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice degree. I have worked Adult and Juvenile probtion for over 25 years. Very few individuals come to me and admit they actually did something wrong. It's always some excuse and someone elses fault. It is very refreshing to hear a probationer admit fault and willing to work and make the changes necessary to become a productive citizen. I've also been blessed by some coming back years later "off probation" and thanking me for helping them! I remind them that they DID the WORK. Respect is the by-product of hard work.....some never learn that

Anonymous said...

Do away with Mandatory Supervision would be a good way to reduce the load. No state has a Mandatory Supervision set-up like Texas. And they don't for a reason. Do away with it and cut a big load off the parole people.

Anonymous said...

What about lowering the case loads and getting probation officers to further reduce revocations. This was just the first step. If the officers is trained, helps the defendant and watches the defendant. Then you will have a better chance at changing the offenders behavior. The caseloads are still way to high in Texas to really keep non-violent offenders out of prison. To many are still slipping through the cracks. Also, on county probation also.

Read the Bexar Chief's problems and he needs to be fired.

FleaStiff said...

I could understand shipping geriatric prisoners to less-secure nursing homes. Similar monetary motivated transfers can be made down the line, so that non-violent offenders get out or shipped to community centers. The trouble is that no one wants to deal with the headlines of 'released prisoner comits heinous crime'. There is also a realization that releasing the druggies will just increase the number of crimes committed by junkies supporting an expensive habit.

Reduce inmate numbers to save money? Okay. Though reducing inmate luxuries would save money too. Most of those inmates are permitted to stand when they choose to, sit when they choose to, eat what they choose and in all other respects exercise some sort of control over their lives. So when they do get out... they simply stick with the same attitudes they've always had and so return to their violent ways.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, inmate population up--crime rate down. No correlation there.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Fleastiff, what inmate "luxuries" are you talking about? Be specific - I don't think you have a clue.

9:08 - What's your point? Are you saying you want your taxes raised to give TDCJ the extra $1.2 billion they're asking for?

Also, crime in the United States, particularly violent crime, is quite a bit higher than in the vast majority of western nations where incarceration rates are substantially lower. Snark aside, your point simply doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

American property crime rates have been lower than those in Britain, Canada, and France since the early 1990s, and violent crime rates throughout the E.U., Australia, and Canada have recently begun to equal and even surpass those in the United States. Even Sweden, once the epitome of cosmopolitan socialist prosperity, now has a crime victimization rate 20 percent higher than the United States.

Americans, on the other hand, have become much safer. Preliminary 2001 crime statistics from the FBI show America's tenth consecutive year of declines in crime. While our homicide rate is still substantially higher than most in Europe, it has sunk to levels unseen here since the early 1960s. And overall crime rates in this country are now 40 percent below the all-time highs of the early 1970s.

While crime in America has declined rather spectacularly, it still stands well above the level of civic peace our grandparents enjoyed. But America has moved in the right direction while Europe has moved in the wrong one. The combination of engaged, community-oriented police and ample investment in incarceration is turning the United States into the safest large Western country.

Anonymous said...

to fleastiff, UHH what luxuries are you refering to?? They are either in a cell,dorm,dayroom,working(withoutpay),going to school,working inthe field hoeing something,etc. So what luxuries are to talking about? oh you must mean commersary, Well let me clue you in. They can only spend 75.00 once every two weeks.That money is sent by loved ones to the inmate trust fund.That is a state law. They are TOLD when to go to bed, when to get up, when to eat, when to shower. Why don't you visit the TDCJ web site, click on the inmate trust fund, and see what they can get. Then try this, lock yourself in a 6x9 box,steel bunk, steel toliet, Tell someone to let you out once an hour, watch tv for some time, go rack up at 10:30 up at 3:30 for breakfast, ask to go take a shower,Spend 75.00 on everything you need, food, tolietries,writing material, extra underclothes for the really cold days and nights,and see if you can do what they HAVE to do every day. Then come back here and run your mouth. Oh, and one more thing to do, you can only see your immediate family for 2 hours on saturday OR Sunday, not both.

Anonymous said...

"Sunny's post is right on as is annon 12:21.. my take is abolish mandatory minimums on offenses.
give 3g offenders the chance also to redeem themselves, rehab and get out with 25% time served. As it is now parole boards arbitrarily force them to serve 70-80 of their sentence, regardless of rehabilitation. sound's like pie in the sky but offenders need to REALLY be looked at as individuals. There are many redeemable men and women presently incarcerated"

I agree the 3g issue needs to be looked at. Every situation is different and while most of the 3g inmates probably should be kept in prison for as long as possible that is not true of all of them.

Anonymous said...

Fleastiff said: "Though reducing inmate luxuries would save money too. Most of those inmates are permitted to stand when they choose to, sit when they choose to, eat what they choose and in all other respects exercise some sort of control over their lives. So when they do get out... they simply stick with the same attitudes they've always had and so return to their violent ways."

I know you wont respond, because cowards like you never do, but exactly what are you basing your assumptions on? Being IN prison is a punishment, but it is not the Officer's job to inflict any more punishment than that. It is the Officer's job to maintain order and safety - theirs, the inmates, the other staff, and the rest of the population.

Inmates can only "eat what they chose" within what is offered to them, I know this because my husband is one of the inmates that works (for no pay, no good time credits) serving meals in the chow hall.

There is very little left to take away from the inmates that actually costs TDCJ or Texas any money. Any of the "luxuries" bought at commisarry actually MAKE TDCJ money, because inmates can only use money put in their trust funds by family and friends to purchase them. So yeah, take the commisarry away, stop that source of income. In fact take away the visits, because they dont make TDCJ any money do they and of course those are "luxuries" especioally for the pre-school children who cant read or write yet in order to correspond with their family member. Oh wait, we could take away the mail priviledges too, that's obviously a luxury. You cant take the phone calls away because the phone contract hasnt even been officially signed yet, despite being awarded last year, and there arent any inmates phones to disconnect.

So come on Fleastiff, if you have the balls, tell us exactly what you think is a "luxury" and how you would run TDCJ.

{sorry Scott, but Fleastiff just pressed the wrong button today}

anon @ 11.40 ~ Absolutely! It is the CRIME that is 3G, not always the inmate. Give everyone the chance of parole at 1/3 time, let them prove in a constructive way that they are worth trusting in society again, and get them out into the free-world and working. If they screw up, then fine, send them back to prison. Other states make it work this way, Texas really has nothing to lose in trying it too.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 10.30 ~ can you supply references for your figures?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

10:35 - I don't know about your stats, they don't jibe with most other numbers I've seen and like Sunray's Wench, I'd like to see your source. But even if you're right, why do you find high US murder rates unimportant? Don't you think that if you asked most people whether they'd rather be a victim of a property crime or a murder, they'd say the former? How can you admit Americans are more likely to be murdered (or raped, or robbed) but still tout our system as working better than Europe?

Also, "the civic peace our grandparents enjoyed" involved RADICALLY lower levels of incarceration than we have now. Our granparents would have considered today's mass incarceration rates tantamount to Communist totalitarianism.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get it. We have all these headlines and news stories telling us that crime rates are down and yet incarceration rates are up. Why is that? Surely one doesn't have anything to do with the other.............or does it.

And, Americans are NOT more likely to be raped or robbed than in a host of European countries, or excuse me, western industrialized nations. Enland's robbery and burglary rates are soaring--as only one example.

Anonymous said...

And now for something completely different:

From 1991 to 1995, crimes against the person in England's inner cities increased 91 percent. And in the four years from 1997 to 2001, the rate of violent crime more than doubled. Your chances of being mugged in London are now six times greater than in New York. England's rates of assault, robbery, and burglary are far higher than America's, and 53 percent of English burglaries occur while occupants are at home, compared with 13 percent in the U.S. In a United Nations study of crime in 18 developed nations published in July, England and Wales led the Western world's crime league, with nearly 55 crimes per 100 people.

Anonymous said...

TDCJ is mismanaged. The wasteful spending and scandalous behavior taking place there is well known. Tax payer dollars payed for party houses, where mangement entertained women. Tax payers also pay for the many lawsuits that have been filed against the agency. I know what I'm talking about.
I have a serious problem with belief that higher salaries increase integrity. That's a bunch
of crap. Those guards are what they are. Some are good, some are bad. Pay increases based on nothing just make sorry people sorrier. I know a man that makes close to 3,000.00 a month and does nothing, by his own admission. he works nights and they all take turns napping and leaving the facility. They do the least the can. They are sorry. They get off on making the inmates go off and they do ugly things each other. My sister teaches there and loves working with the inmates but hates the rest. She says the guards rile up her classroom by picking on the women. The superintendent told her she needed to build more cases against the inmates and winked at her and said,"You know what that means don't you?" When you pay people more than they are worth they just become more entitled and complacent. There is no competition or desire to improve. Managers who make more are just as corrupt. Thats a good paying job for an uneducated person.
No, TDCJ needs work the budget it has and try to hire decent people. They need to spend money on literacy classes for their employees and stop giving them raises just because. I have a degree and don't make as much as those guys do. Shoot the PA's and parole oficers make less than some of the guards.
I'd like to see TDCJ and TYC change their hiring practices from the top down. There are people in upper management there that are just ignorant. They ca't compose e-mails, their english is poor, hey have no social skills and they are petty. Bot agencies end up firing alot of decent people. Before they do anything they need to take a serious look at former employees and find out why they really left. That's a start. As a tax payer I don't mind my money being spent on something worth while.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

To 5:07: Provide links to your sources please.

Meanwhile, according to these data the US murder rate is three times that in the United Kingdom. Similarly, we're far away the world leader in rape. The numbers are closer for assaults, though the United States still leads most European countries. Only two countries (one from Europe) have a higher robbery rate than the United States. So how do you get from these data to claiming high incarceration rates make the United States safer?

You're correct if we speak only about the property crime trends, but dead wrong about violent crime rates. That is, unless you'd like to provide actual sources for your claims instead of just stating the United States is safer without any evidence.

Anonymous said...

Dead wrong, eh???

Comparing robbery statistics in England to France, the report shows:

France has a slightly higher rate of robbery than England and has a similar rising trend -- the rate is lower and more stable in Germany, Canada and Australia.

France and England now have higher robbery rates than the United States, where rates have fallen by over a quarter in five years.
Source: Jonathan Smith, "The nature of personal robbery," Home Office, January 2003, British Crime Survey.

Do you really want to get into a statistics show and tell or do you just want the ones that conform to your world view??

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'm happy to have a statistics show and tell if you'll provide links to your your sources. So far you're just asking us all to take you're word for it and ignoring data provided that disagrees with your argument.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should be aware, the British Crime Survey (BCS) collects data on people's PERCEPTIONS of crime and of their experiences, not actual crime statistics. It asks responsents things like, 'How safe do you FEEL walking around your neighbourhood at night?'.

The Home Office states clearly that it uses both the BCS and police statistics to compile it's figures on crime.

I also think you should compare equal numbers of people. The UK has 3 times as many people living in 1/3 the space than Texas does, yet we incarcerate around 1/2 the number of people.

FleaStiff said...

>>"I know you wont respond, because cowards like you never do,..."
Okay... if you really want a further response, here it is:

>>Being IN prison is a punishment, but it is not the Officer's job to inflict any more punishment than that. ..."
Yes it is! It is the officer's job to see that a prison is not merely a hotel where someone is forcibly taken and forcibly kept for a certain period of time but that it is a place where inmates are subjugated to the will of the state and actively denied any opportunity to express any self will! The inmate must learn helplessness and should NEVER be permitted to exercise any choice because that is an act that enhances self-esteem and individuality. The ability to CHOOSE a snack from the commissary is wrong, irrespective of its cost. If the inmate is allowed to exercise ANY control over his life he will not get out of prison as meek and submissive but will instead maintain his assertive and violent ways. That is why prison food should be overly salted on one day and utterly without salt on the next day. So the prisoner knows that he will NEVER have something the way he wants and that he will NEVER have the ability to do anything about it. Allowing the prisoner to CHOOSE when to watch TV or what show to watch is simply wrong! The guards authority is over the PRISONER not just the prison walls! And that authority must be 100 percent. It is a prison, not a hotel!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Fleastiff, not only have you failed to name a single "luxury" in prison, none of what you're talking about has anything to do with saving money. You just want prisons to be irrationally (and unconstitutionally) vindictive toward prisoners. How would oversalting their food, etc., affect the budget at all?

Anonymous said...

I have to say I started to read this post and frown.... but then I realized that you were simply making light of the serious deficits in the criminal justice system. I have frequently read your posts and tried to figure out your angle, but this time was easy. No one is THAT ignorant. I applaud your efforts to get people talking by "stirring the pot", so to speak, but don't go overboard on the "dumbspeak" or people might not respond.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

To 6:23: Huh? Maybe I am "that ignorant," b/c I can't tell what you're talking about.

What are you referring to as "dumbspeak"?

FleaStiff said...

>How would oversalting their food affect the budget at all?
By ending recidivism and teaching the cons that everything will be done to subjugate them for every moment of their incarceration. Unpleasantly bland one day and unpleasantly oversalted the next day just to make certain that they never experience something that is to their liking. Its not the salt in the food that is the lesson. Its the fact that there is nothing they can ever do about it that is the important lesson for them to learn. Prisoners must learn utter passivity and hopelessness. No options, no choice, no sense of self worth or dignity or concern. Absolute control over what they do every moment of the day and night.
A hotel guest leaves a hotel with whatever personality he had when he entered; a prisoner leaves a prison as meek and unassertive. Its the hotel guest who has the luxury of a choice to use the weight room. Its the hotel guest who has the luxury of a choice of when to go to sleep and when to stand or when to sit and which foot to start off on when walking. Its the hotel guest who has the luxury of choosing to go to a snack bar and select an item. The prisoner should be denied any choice about anything. He does not even utilize the toilet when he wants to, but only on the schedule imposed upon him by authority.
Prisons have to stop being expensive hotels and return to be places where a prisoner must be silent, do only what he is told to do and do it only when he is told to do it. A commisary provides the prisoner with control over his life and with hope. These are the worst type of contraband ever found in a prison!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

OK, 7:19, I finally found a (documentable, online) source that says UK robbery rates are SLIGHTLY higher than the United States.

OTOH, the same source says our robbery rate is more than 20% higher than Australia, 70% higher than Canada, 113% higher than Italy, and 245% higher than in France. And as stated before, the United States leads Western industrialized nations in murders, rapes and assaults.

So you can claim all you want that higher incarceration rates in the United States make us "safer," but if "safer" means "free from violent crime," the data says Americans are MORE likely to be victims than in other western nations, not less.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Fleastiff, that's just silly. Inmates have no "luxuries" and you simply don't know what you're talking about. In fact, all that extra scheduling and supervision of prisoners you want to do would cost MORE money, not less, because the state doesn't have remotely enough guards to exercise that kind of control.

Your proposals have nothing to do with any budget discussion and wouldn't save the state a dime.

Anonymous said...

It would be a major, long overdue process if the board of pardons and parole would actually be required to ACCOUNT to someone- -as it stands now, they can do and say whatever they want and NO ONE has to account to anyone- -but MY TAX dollars pays them, in a round about way- -why? WHO and WHY can they have this "power" and not even be accountable to anyone? This is STUPID!
They wonder why officers leave? Because there is NO consistancy in tdcj, none! Every day rules change- -every single day- -why? Get rid of the "good ole boy" rank and get some in there that CARES, that has a brain, that KNOWS how to be a leader- -not just related to the upper rank. Get rank that WANTS to be a leader, not just there for the retirement. Treat people with respect, not just because they are pretty, related to someone else or they can scared the officer will retaliate- -pay them what they are worth, not just because they happen to show up.
TDCJ NEEDS a toal make over- -starting at the TOP- not bottom. TDCJ is the biggest hypocritical company there is in Texas, says one thinga and turns right around and does the opposite- -with ALL officers that aren't in the "click"- -pure fact.
Inmates are not released because the "system" doesn't give a flip- -it's all a money game, keep them in, they get more money. BBP is the biggest joke Texas has, they never follow their own guidelines, it's all in who you know that is connnected. Hire people for BBP that has brains, not connections. Ironically, it is required to have a degree to be a parole officer- -why? They never use their educ ation, it's all in who you know.
This "board" should HAVE to answer to the public, by not answering, they can sit there all day long and denie parole to people that are WAY pass due, just to get the paper work done and let them go home early- -it's a complete mebarrassing joke.The way it is now, can't get worst- -account to someone, give the inmates a reason to try- -right now, why the hell should inmates try when it is so political? A reason of- -because of crime committed- -what are they supposed to do? It's over with, they have paid the price? Dumbest reason and a cop out for BBP.
Tdcj and BBP need a wake up call- -about twenty years over due!

Anonymous said...

Fleastiff said: "Prisoners must learn utter passivity and hopelessness."

and also: "It is the officer's job to see that a prison is not merely a hotel where someone is forcibly taken and forcibly kept for a certain period of time but that it is a place where inmates are subjugated to the will of the state and actively denied any opportunity to express any self will! The inmate must learn helplessness and should NEVER be permitted to exercise any choice because that is an act that enhances self-esteem and individuality."

Has it not occurred to you that many of the inmates had already reached that point of hopelessness and helplessness BEFORE they were incarcerated?

And why should one sector of society be so utterly compliant and unable to think for themselves as you would want inmates to emerge from prison - or would you rather they just never got out at all?

Finally, can you tell me exactly where it states in the statutes that prison officers should be inflicting punishment on inmates? All I can find is successful law suits against TDCJ where Officers have tried.....

Anonymous said...

Fleastiff - You are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Fleastiff: Scott,sunrayswench, and the rest are correct: you are an idiot, and you have absolutly no idea what it means to be in prison, or have a family member in prison. Well, I do have a family member in prison. 3 1/2 hour drive for a 2 hour visit. What you need to do is get some understanding about the prison life. Ya know they tried all that punshiment back in the 80's, want to know where it got them? It got them a huge lawsuit that TDCJ LOST. It got the Federal government involved. It got a lot more prisons built because of over-crowding. It got better treatment for the offenders, which by the way,were being treated worse than what the pow's were being treated.

So, Mr. fleasiff, you need to do some research in to the history of TDCJ and see just how bad the conditions were. Then you need to think before you speak.

All you have done is shown the world that you are a careless person with no regard for the next person. Offenders are human also. They are not animals. Yes, they are paying for their mistakes, but they also have the right to be treated fairly and humanely. Who do you think pays for their room and board???? the Texas taxpayers do. They have NO luxuries. They sleep on a thin matteris, which is placed on a STEEL bunk, they have no a/c or heater, so they burn up in the summer and freeze during the winter. A luxury to them would be to be able to spend a little more time with their family.

I apologize scott, but he is really gettin on my nerves, and has really no idea what is going on in side the walls.

Anonymous said...

Outlaw princess: It sounds like you are proud of your code/name. Are you the reason your family member is in prison? Did you offer/provide any guidance to keep your members out of prison? Are you on welfdare? What/who caused your members to be jailed? Think about it. We/the taxpayers are tired of providing for you knind.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"We/the taxpayers are tired of providing for you knind."

And I'm tired of illiterate imbeciles spouting foolishness on my blog, but we can't always get what we want.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 2.42 ~ and for all the inmates who were tax payers before they were incarcerated, or thier families who are still tax payers, your response would be?

Anonymous said...

Learn some responsibility!

Anonymous said...

to anon 2:42- I don't really have to explain my name, but i will, the first part is his nickname,the second part is what he calls me. I could also go by redneckprincess, but outlawprincess sounds so much better. I walked in to this situation, but i had my eyes wide open. I am a responsible person. I make no excuses for my man. He is grown. All i can do is be there for him. I can't "make" him mind and be responsible. Only he can do that. No matter how long it takes. He has to make up his mind to do right. My taxes pay for his room and board, just like yours do. Am i proud of him yes. am i proud of what he did-no. But that was a choice HE made. I did not make the choice for him. Like i said before, all I can do is STAND beside him and support him while he does his time. I try to educate the others(people who don't have a loved one incarcerated),in what exactly is goin on in there, how
they are treated, etc. Before you judge on who is responsibe and who is not, walk in their shoes for awhile. It takes a special kind of person to do what we do. Not all can handle the stress of being alone for a long period of time. Could you? Could you stand by your loved one while they are in prison? or would you bail on them, like alot of them do. Men and women. Every day, offenders of both gender are recieving "dear john" letters,because the one on the out side, isn't strong enough to hang in there and make it work.

Sorry, i got carried away.

Anonymous said...

Good answer, you are dedicated and admirable; too bad your boyfriend is a criminal jerk.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 7.57 ~ as are 1 in every 100 Americans. That's really something to be proud of, eh?

Yes the inmates need to apply some responsibility, but their families who are not on welfare and who are working do not deserve to be ridiculed or punished for their loved ones actions. Even those who ARE on welfare do not need the ridicule or punishment you would seem happy to hand out.

Anonymous said...

I know some families that insure their far spread family gets on and stay on welfare. You must be ignorant to not know many are on welfare by vocusing on how to decieve the system. Do you stay in the house all day? Get out and see the real world and how your taxes are misused to support families of crooks.

Anonymous said...

You may be right, however I also know some nice criminals that just need to make a living. Misusing the system because it is so open, is not wrong. You need to learn how to manipulate the system also, and take back what is yours. Go America,...screw the rightful and come on criminals...we will rule the world.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 9.56 said: "Get out and see the real world and how your taxes are misused to support families of crooks."

Without meeting you in person, there is nothing I can do to prove to you that I pay my own taxes, work full time and support not only my but also my husband's family.

However, if you have a problem with where YOUR tax money goes, then you should address it with the out-going Republican leader you have in America, who has had 8 years to change things and has done very little. If the system says a group of people can have X amount of money, then they would be silly to turn it down.

Anonymous said...

to anon 7:57- He is not my boyfriend. He is my HUSBAND.I have been married to him for 8 years and still counting. I make no excuses for him, but for you to judge him and call him names just shows what kind of person you really are.Only God can judge him when he goes before the Lord. What kind of an answer are you going to give the Lord, when he asks you what kind of person you were on earth. Are you an employer? If you are, have you hired an ex-offender? Or have you just written them off?

Why don't all the employers who read Scott's blog, try something new, why don't ya'll hire an ex-offender so they can provide for their family, give them a sense of belonging to sociality,give them some pride about them selves, and you as the employer get a tax break and you just might get one of the best employees you have ever had.

Anonymous said...

A young prisoner at Mineral Wells was beaten so badly by a gang this past week that he is hospitalized and due for surgery tomorrow. I cried for hours today for that man. He did not have the luxury of being kept safe, he did not have the luxury of just doing his time without permanent scarring, he does not have the luxury of legal recourse against the one who hurt him so badly and he will not receive justice for this crime.

Anonymous said...

Where were the officers???? That is part of their job. They say they are over worked and underpaid. They are. but where were they while this youngster wasa gettin his brains beat out of him???????

Anonymous said...

This is in regard to Outlawprincess and the " luxuries " that offenders have in prison.
Inmates don't have to go to work to earn money to support you and your family. You have to do that. They eat 3 meals a day. Some families of inmates don't have that luxury because they send most of their hard earned money to the inmates trust fund. Inmates get clean clothes and sheets provided to them every other day. They get free or reduced ($3.00) medical and dental care. They get to spend your hard earned $75.00 every 2 weeks so they can eat all the sweet stuff they can buy. They have sex, either with a young, weak Officer they sweet talked, or with another inmate they threatened. They commit rule violations and then lie and cry when disciplined for it.
My heart goes out to you Miss Princess ( I will not call you Outlaw). To stand by your husband is commendable. But he is serving time for violating the law. And it more than likely it wasn't his first time. If he were serving his country I would support you wholeheartedly. And our military personnel live a lot harder then your husband.
My husband is in Iraq. He is still supporting me and our children. We have medical insurance ,that comes out of his check, I make sure the bills get paid. I wish I could take a 3 1/2 hour drive to see him every week.
Your husband failed you and your family. He deserves what he gets. Basically he left you. he chose crime instead of you and your loved ones. Its like he left you for another woman would you still stand by him?
I work for Tdcj Miss Princess, for almost 15 yeas now. A lot of what you say is true but its not that bad. Inmates laugh, cry, play all ignoring how their family is doing. I know I talk to them. Your husband tells you what he wants you to hear.
As far as that little man getting beat down, it happens. It happens in every single prison and jail in the United States. My job is not to get hurt breaking up a fight with grown men. They are ordered to stopfighting, a supervisor, additional staff and video camera are called. When sufficient staff are present then they enter the dorm to stop the fight. Thats the way policy states it and thats the way it gets done.
Maybe its time to let him go. There are decent men in this world and they waiting for a good woman, just like you.
My husband will be home in February and he will retire in June. After that he's all mine.

juliaroberts said...
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