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Old 05-01-2017, 10:14 PM
Spacheco11 Spacheco11 is offline
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Default Doing research on prison conditions...

I don't know much about online prison forums, but I'm really hoping to find some help from this.

I'm looking do some serious research on the poor, inhumane treatment in the American prison system. I'm hoping for any help in the right direction. Perhaps any recommendations on how to find prisoners who would talk to me. Preferably ones who have endured terrible treatment. Everything will stay anonymous.

Back story:
I'm a current law student, and I've done professional research in the past.
I'm the child of two felons, and their stories have been my extreme motivation. I live in New England.
My aim is to publish the stories, secondary research, analysis of prison financial reports (I'm also an MBA), and hopefully also create statistics based on data from research to actually make a case for change.
I know I can't make the change, and perhaps no one will ever read it... But I'm hoping it'll add to the case.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:37 PM
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miamac miamac is online now
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Advisory for PTO Members Regarding Requests from Journalists & Members of the Media, and Students/Researchers:

PTO welcomes journalists and/or members of the media to learn and educate themselves about prisons, prisoners, and their loved ones, as well as students and researchers doing research on these subjects.

We will, occasionally, allow the media or students/researchers to request information and personal stories from our members. However, PTO does not endorse any journalist, member of the media, story/report, media outlet, student/researcher, or educational/research institution.

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Old 05-01-2017, 11:13 PM
Spacheco11 Spacheco11 is offline
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I totally agree with the risks associated with talking to someone like me (like the moderator posted about) so I want to add on that I am willing to verify my degrees, my current student status, explain (and show) past research that I have done professionally, explain my motivation in detail, etc.
Before hearing one word from anyone.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:40 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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You might coordinate efforts with Voice of Witness, who put out the searing book "Inside This Place, Not Of It". https://www.amazon.com/Inside-This-P...lace+not+of+it

If you're going MBA on them, I'd suggest looking at prison industries programs for abuses.
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:03 AM
Spacheco11 Spacheco11 is offline
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Thank you for the suggestion, definitely something I'm going to do. I have professional research experience in business and costs&revenues, so I might as well make this more comprehensive.
I'm welcoming to all suggestions 🙂
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:34 AM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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Something else that comes to mind, don't know how well it would work, would be advertising in Prison Legal News. They have a large circulation on the inside.
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:23 PM
GaReform GaReform is offline
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You should reach out to Monalisa Johnson. She is an activist who has a daughter who is incarcerated. She also was on the show, 60 Days In. She went "undercover" to see what it's like inside the correctional system. There are several interviews with her online & she has started a support group called PWIC. I think you would find her comments helpful & she may can steer you to others that are willing to share their stories. Be prepared to prove you're "real" because we've been burned by people in the past.

I hope you can make a difference. Reform & educating the public is long overdue.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:14 PM
onparoleinTO onparoleinTO is offline
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Spachecho - good that you are wanting to make a difference. I don't know if you are aware of just how much information on and stories about the US prison system are already out there.... There is lots. Many, many websites that do analysis of prison conditions, tell stories, work for reform, etc. My suggestion would be to spend a few hours looking at what's already there, and then pick one of the organizations that appeals to you and see if you can do something for them. That will likely yield more from your efforts than going it alone.
Some examples - Vera Institute, The Sentencing Project, Open Society Institute,
Penal Reform International, American Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform, Center for Prison Reform. There are also many compelling accounts in print of prisoners' experience, both written by and about prisoners, some of them in the top magazines in the country but many, many more on the web.
Good luck, and thanks again for putting your energy into this important issue.
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