10/03/2011

Prison Reform: People vs. Profit?


40 Years after launching the War on Drugs, 46 years since passing the Voting Rights Act, and 63 years since ratifying the UN Declaration of Human Rights, America is a nation of unparalleled incarceration.  The economic and legal culture has allowed for-profit prisons to turn over $3 Billion in profits last year.  Furthermore, for-profit corporations operate over 50% of detention facilities for children.
For-Profit prisons, prior to the Citizens United ruling (allowing unfettered campaign contributions), have given over $7 million dollars towards elections in the past five cycles.  These corporations are drafting anti-immigrant legislation to drive up the amount of people spending a single day or an entire year in their facilities. One message from CEO to shareholders (inciting whatever individual influence they wield) is that there cannot be any decriminalization of drug or immigration policies.
The organizations, advocates, lawyers, researchers, convicted people, and service providers who generally stand at the front lines represent so many people fighting the power of prison profits.  Non-Profits vs. For-Profits.  In 2008, philanthropic giving to the Criminal Justice sector (of all varieties) totaled just over $200 million.
A burgeoning network is in development to facilitate better cooperation and innovation on the side of People.  Join the network by clicking THIS LINK.  CJFAN is currently in structural development with the Advisory Committee and Network Building Team; networkers (including web 2.0 developers) are encouraged to get involved.
For more information on the growing overt influence of profits upon criminal justice policies, read the Justice Policy Institute report,

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

Torey Adamcik



Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

The Strange Tale of the Prison Witch Who Drugged and Sexed a Male Inmate


 You might want to take an extra swig or two of brew for this next one — it's a doozy. Let's start with the basics: Jamyi J. Witch is a 52-year-old Wiccan minister, who, in 2001, was hired by Wisconsin's Oshkosh Correctional Institution to be their first ever Wiccan prison chaplain. It was indeed a controversial hiring, and perhaps a byproduct of the Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone mania that was sweeping the nation at the time. Got all that? Good. Now hop onto your broomsticks and flash-forward to Aug. 10, 2011.
On that day, a supposed hostage taking had occurred which lasted about one hour and caused the prison to go into lockdown. According to Ms. Witch's version of events, a male inmate had forced himself inside, barricaded the door, and held her hostage, during which time he sexually assaulted her. After an hour of this nightmarish scenario, guards were finally able to lure the prisoner out by telling him "he would get breakfast."
But on Aug. 22, the prison called the Oshkosh Police Department to inform them they'd intercepted a letter written by the inmate, who had been transferred to Green Bay Correctional Institution, to his mother. The letter told a much different version of what happened inside the chaplain's office twelve days prior.
In a written statement, the prisoner admitted to having known Witch for several years, and said he ran into her semi-regularly. He had been jumped by three men in his cell just a few days prior, and was fed up with Oshkosh. He wanted a way out, and mentioned that to Witch. Witch confided that she, too, wanted a transfer out of Oshkosh, as she had been regularly threatened and ostracized by other staff members. So she concocted a plot to get both of them what they wanted. (Be warned, we begin to tumble down the rabbit hole from this point forward.)
Here is how it would go:
Witch told the inmate the plan, which involved him coming into her office, blocking the door and acting like Witch was his mother. She also discussed giving him pills to make him sleepy and allow the guards to enter her office.
Why did he have to pretend she was his mother? Or take pills? I do not know! But this was the scenario, as she devised it. And the prisoner pretty much went along with it, to a T. He barricaded the door with a bookshelf and Witch's wheelchair (she's wheelchair-bound, apparently), and began a mother-son role play scenario. Then the two "performed oral sex on each other." Then Witch gave the prison 15 hydromorphone pills (aka Dilaudid — not exactly Tylenol PM) and "sang him lullabies." All the while, prison officials were on the other side of the office door, thinking their staff Wiccan priestess was being held against her will and raped.
And, well, that's it! Witch was charged in Winnebago County Circuit Court on Sept. 2 with second-degree sexual assault by correctional staff, delivery of schedule I or II narcotics and delivering illegal articles to an inmate. She faces 58 years-plus-six months imprisonment and $160,000 in fines.
The End. Goodnight everyone!

Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents - Our Mission is to do better!

If I Get Out Alive - Children Sentenced to Adult Prison - Press Play to Listen

Broken on all sides

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