The Beat Within, a San Francisco prison writers’ workshop, asked inmates to reflect on the upcoming Donald Trump presidency. Some responded with angry poetry and rap. One pleaded for Americans to “give him a chance,” pointing out that as “wards of the state, if no one gives us a chance to change, how can we?”
A Washington State inmate recounts his uphill struggles to expose misconduct behind bars. The biggest obstacle, he says, is a policy ironically intended to stop prisoners from “abusing” open government laws.
Smart policies on reducing recidivism and developing non-punitive strategies for drug abusers make fiscal sense. President-elect Donald Trump should be the first to recognize that criminal justice reform is a sound investment –and it might even appeal to his “outsider” instincts.
The national inmate total fell in 2015–the largest single year drop since the incarcerated population began declining in 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, which also reported the lowest rate of U.S. adults (1 in 37) under correctional supervision since the high-crime era of 1994.
Anne Precythe, community supervision director in North Carolina, is chosen by Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens to head “broken” corrections department. George Lombardi resigned after harassment accusations.
For gays and other LBGTI inmates, prison authorities are the most important allies. In one Washington State facility, zero-tolerance policies towards harassment are making significant inroads against the culture of “hyper-masculinity” behind bars.