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Oklahoma General Prison Talk, News, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to Prison & the Criminal Justice System in Oklahoma that do not fit into any other Oklahoma sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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  #1  
Old 04-29-2007, 07:59 PM
prettyeyes72769 prettyeyes72769 is offline
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Default Oklahoma overcrowding

I visited my husband today and he said it was on the news all day yesterday that they are so crowed that they have closed A and R and can not accept anymore prisoners until some are released. He said they talked about releasing hundreds of inmates who are non violent and close to release. I was checking online and I cant find anything on it. Has anyone heard about this?
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2007, 10:55 AM
dragonflydmp dragonflydmp is offline
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www.tulsaworld.com

DOC dusting off 'No Vacancy' sign

by: ANGEL RIGGS World Capitol Bureau
4/28/2007

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Department of Corrections will have to stop accepting inmates in roughly two weeks, Director Justin Jones told the Board of Corrections on Friday.

"I'm not aware that it's ever been done before," Jones said. "I certainly don't see any other options."

The agency has long grappled with severe crowding in the state's prisons but usually has found extra room by putting beds in "nontraditional" space, such as dayrooms or renovated buildings.

But the department is now running out of even nontraditional areas to convert to bed space. Only 53 beds remain available in the prison system, the fewest since the early 1980s, Jones said.

Within about 14 working days, the agency no longer will have room for new prisoners, he said. Jones added that the department possibly could continue to take some female inmates.

The announcement brought calls from the Oklahoma Public Employees Association for the Legislature to assess sentencing practices and fund the DOC's capital and personnel needs.

Sterling Zearley, the OPEA's executive director, said in a prepared statement that the group repeatedly has expressed concern about the state's dependence on private prisons and has said for more than a decade that Oklahoma should add more public prison beds.

The DOC's crowding has been compounded in recent months as the agency has had to find space to house more than 1,000 offenders, in addition to the weekly 200 or so new arrivals.

About 800 inmates had been evicted from the privately run Great Plains Correctional Facility in Hinton, while a court order required the agency to transfer roughly 300 state inmates from the Oklahoma County Jail to state prisons.

Jones said his agency has asked the Pardon and Parole Board to consider a special commutation docket for nonvio lent offenders who will be turned over to federal immigration authorities upon their release. That would include about 160 offenders, he said.

But corrections officials said 200 empty beds would be filled within 18 days.

Using nontraditional space increases safety concerns for corrections workers and inmates. If an emergency rises, inmates in cells can be locked down, said Jerry Massie, a DOC spokesman.

"In a dormitory, if you have 100 people on the floor, it's more problematic if something does happen," he said.

Also at the meeting, Jim Harris, the DOC's chief financial officer, announced that Gov. Brad Henry had signed two bills providing more than $30 million in supplemental funding for the agency.

The funds should be enough to allow the agency to meet all of its obligations through the end of the fiscal year in June, he said.



Angel Riggs (405) 528-2465
angel.riggs@tulsaworld.com
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  #3  
Old 04-30-2007, 11:13 AM
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Hi all,

I just cannot help but be a little suspicious over this, because Oklahoma is currently taking in prisoners from Colorado (where my husband was), Wyoming, Vermont....and now they're going to start taking in prisoners from Maine. In fact, the prison my husband is in (North Fork in Sayre, Oklahoma) doesn't have ANY Oklahoma prisoners in it anymore, and it has 1,440 beds.

Colorado told the same story about all their overcrowding, so they started shipping inmates out-of-state, away from their families.

When the overcrowding first became an issue they (Colorado) also talked like they would start releasing prisoners early, but instead they shipped them out.

Get involved in this as much as you can, because if Oklahoma falls in line with Colorado, they'll start shipping their inmates out of state as well.

There's money in it somewhere, I just know it! Maybe if they talk about the safety risks of using non-traditional space and start shipping inmates out, it gives them a better chance of getting more prisons built. That's all fine and good unless they're taking in inmates from out-of-state.

Colorado is doing the same thing. They have inmates from Wyoming and Nebraska, etc., but ship their "own" elsewhere.

God bless,
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  #4  
Old 04-30-2007, 11:17 AM
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Yes, the private prisons in Oklahoma are taking inmates from other states. There is nothing our DOC can do about that without the funds to outbid those other states for the private prison beds. I don't know what they'll do. Private prison space is at a premium and if we can't afford those beds in our own state, I'm not sure we could outbid anyone else in other states either.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:51 PM
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I just spoke wih Angel Riggs--the reporter of this article and she is very aware of what is going on with the private prisons in Oklahoma. She is also aware of this web site. So maybe if you folks start talking with her--maybe things can happen. She told me that she has written numerous articles about women going to prison in Ok. Since I live in Arkansas, ofcourse, I don't read Ok. newspapers. I did tell her however, that a grave responsibility laid on the shoulders of the newpapers and reporters to tell the public the TRUTH about the corruption of the prison systems.

I wonder if the Colorado citizens know that they are paying the private prison systems a HIGHER rate than other states for the privledge of warehousing their human cargo?? This is why there are no Ok. natives in the Ok. private prison system--they won't pay that high price to them. So--they ship them to states willing to house them for less money.

"Oh Lord Jesus, COME and save us from the corruption of this world"!
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Old 04-30-2007, 01:04 PM
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Oklahoma does have inmates in private prisons in the state. LCF is one that houses Oklahoma inmates. Hinton is the one that recently closed and ended it's contract with Oklahoma to house their inmates because Oklahoma could not pay the higher rate. I think they are currently negotiating with other states and the federal government for the rates they want for those beds, however for now the prison is closed. Oklahoma just needs to come to terms with the situation and make decisions on what kind of offenders they want to keep behind bars. Public attention is needed and I am very happy to see it when our news venues cover the situation.
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Old 04-30-2007, 01:06 PM
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There are Oklahoma people in private prisons, my man is one of I'm sure hundreds of Oklahoma inmates in private prisons. What I wonder is when the remainder of the private prisons will begin to kick out the Oklahoma inmates like Hinton did to take inmates from other states that pay higher per diem rates.

What they need to do here is take the governor out of the parole process, or he needs to start following the recommendations of the parole board for releasing both violent and non-violent offenders. It never ceases to amaze me that they look at only non-violent offenders. There are many many violent offenders that would never re-offend if given the chance. After all I'm sure if you look at the records of many of the violent offenders that a vast majority of them began their trek thru the DOC as non-violent offenders.
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Old 04-30-2007, 01:07 PM
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In the 90's Oklahoma shipped inmates out of state to Texas. That is why all the private prison were built here. Oklahoma has over 4000 inmates in private prisons in Okla.

Oklahoma will not be releasing any inmates to make room for new inmates. They do have a plan B that would call for beds being open up inother places around the state or out of state for that matter
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:34 PM
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So, are you saying that even if the parole board recommends inmates that they aren't going to release them? Or, are you saying they aren't going to release any just because of the overcrowding situation?
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:10 PM
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If the Governor signs the parole then yes will be released but DOC can not release anyone just because they are full. If you had been at the BOC meeting Friday you would have heard them say that they would stop receiving inmates in possibly 2 weeks. they will not release anyone that hasn't made parole or discharged their sentence.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:21 PM
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So would this be a good time to file an early parole packet?
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2travel
So would this be a good time to file an early parole packet?
Good question! I would like to know the answer too.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T&O
Hi all,

I just cannot help but be a little suspicious over this, because Oklahoma is currently taking in prisoners from Colorado (where my husband was), Wyoming, Vermont....and now they're going to start taking in prisoners from Maine. In fact, the prison my husband is in (North Fork in Sayre, Oklahoma) doesn't have ANY Oklahoma prisoners in it anymore, and it has 1,440 beds.

Colorado told the same story about all their overcrowding, so they started shipping inmates out-of-state, away from their families.

When the overcrowding first became an issue they (Colorado) also talked like they would start releasing prisoners early, but instead they shipped them out.

Get involved in this as much as you can, because if Oklahoma falls in line with Colorado, they'll start shipping their inmates out of state as well.

There's money in it somewhere, I just know it! Maybe if they talk about the safety risks of using non-traditional space and start shipping inmates out, it gives them a better chance of getting more prisons built. That's all fine and good unless they're taking in inmates from out-of-state.

Colorado is doing the same thing. They have inmates from Wyoming and Nebraska, etc., but ship their "own" elsewhere.

God bless,
~Lainie
Hi All
I live in Maine, and my husband is an inmate in Maine. He has been "asked" if he would like to transfer to North Fork Facility in Oklahoma. He said "no", his family is in NH and I am here in Maine 5 miles from him.
Can you tell me what it is like at North Fork? What is visiting like? Anything I can tell him would help alliviate some of his anxiety in case they do transfer him to there. Thanks for your help.
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2007, 09:35 AM
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Just FYI DOC has been in the process of reviewing hundreds if not thousands of case files for Non-violent offenders who received write-ups and lost good time on certain offenses, such as getting caught smoking.
In some cases, the good time is being restored if it brings the inmate up to discharge sooner.
Oklahoma has inmates housed in these facilities
Davis Correctional Center
Cimarron Correctional Center
Diamondback Correctional Center
Lawton Correctional Center

Here is a link for weekly counts for DOC

http://www.doc.state.ok.us/offenders/count/04_30_07.pdf


more stats for you

http://www.doc.state.ok.us/newsroom/...0Feb07.doc.pdf

Rest assured that DOC will always do whatever is most profitable for them.
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:04 PM
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OK- CURE sent out this story this morning.

Henry rejects early release idea

by: BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
5/2/2007

He wants other options to solve the issue of crowding in the state's prisons.



OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gov. Brad Henry said Tuesday that he does not support using the state Pardon and Parole Board to solve the Oklahoma Department of Corrections' crowding problems.

Henry said it would be an inappropriate use of the board to have it commute the sentences of offenders.

The Corrections Department said last week that it soon will have to stop accepting inmates because of a shortage of bed space.

At that time, agency Director Justin Jones said the Corrections Department had asked the Pardon and Parole Board to consider a special commutation docket for nonviolent offenders who will be turned over to federal immigration authorities upon their release.

Henry said he is working with Jones behind the scenes to solve the space problem.

He would not discuss what alternatives are under consideration. He said the options do not include the early release of offenders.
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:02 PM
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JMO but if the Governor would get off his lazy butt and sign the parole for those inmates who made parole months ago that would free up a whole lot of bedspace.
I have a friend who made parole in early spring of this year and is still being held until the governor decides to sign off on it.

I have known inmates who made it through the parole process but were held for years longer because DOC didn't have room for them to complete necessary programs in order to meet the parole boards recommendations.

The Governor is not going to put his political career at stake by letting the public know that DOC has and still are releasing inmates early by restoring lost time credits.
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Old 05-03-2007, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onry
JMO but if the Governor would get off his lazy butt and sign the parole for those inmates who made parole months ago that would free up a whole lot of bedspace.
I have a friend who made parole in early spring of this year and is still being held until the governor decides to sign off on it.

I have known inmates who made it through the parole process but were held for years longer because DOC didn't have room for them to complete necessary programs in order to meet the parole boards recommendations.

The Governor is not going to put his political career at stake by letting the public know that DOC has and still are releasing inmates early by restoring lost time credits.
Couldn't of said your post any better if I had wrote it myself.

It really makes you question just "why in the hell they have the pardon & parole board if the governor does not accept the judgement of ALL THE BOARD MEMBERS!!!!!!!! Very Frustrating
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Old 05-03-2007, 05:07 PM
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Thumbs up Oklahoma overcrowding

I would like to say I do appreciate all CURE does to help inmates and families.
Sincerely
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  #19  
Old 05-04-2007, 04:57 AM
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Very good post Onry. I have to agree. My husband was approved last month and we know it will be mid to late summer before he actually comes home. I understand the wait to process his file, the home visit and all, but then to know we have to sit months to wait on the governor to sign it is very frustrating.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:59 AM
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Again, this is my humble opinion.. If the drug laws where changed, the prisons would be half empty.. Leave the prisons for violent offenders.. Legalize drugs, make it a every adult's responsibility. Tax it since that seems to be part of the issue and make it for over 21 as it is with alcohol. Now, I am not a drug user and frankly find addicts a pain in the rear, my husband is not in for drugs but I can see by changing the law, the over crowding problem would cease. Why sentence someone - 10 to 20 years for pot, for god's sakes when rapists, childmolesters and murderers often get a slap on the hand and a ham sandwhich for being good.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:01 PM
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Well I would have to disagree, I think we would have many more problems in this country if drugs were legalized. I agree they are giving them too much time behind bars, they need to come up with some better rehabilitation stratagies. Sitting behind the cement walls is only a temporary fix. We need to get to the root of these prisoners addictions and help them realize there is life after drugs. We need to offer better worker training and education programs. And finally we need to work with these inmates from the day they enter the facility, not wait until they are 2 years from release to finally pay some attention to their issues. I think if we worked on these issues our reoffender population would go down.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:31 AM
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I agree with you , loves to travel, on the fact that we need to get to the root of the problem .. People have addictions because there is a problem. The system seems bent on punishing not giving help.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
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I agree with you , loves to travel, on the fact that we need to get to the root of the problem .. People have addictions because there is a problem. The system seems bent on punishing not giving help.
Because that is what the American people began screaming for some years ago...and when taxpayers scream, politicians listen. In most states, the head of your DOC is the Governor of your state. Oh sure, he has a Superintendent or Director of the DOC under him who does the work, but the governor is still the head. He appoints the Superintendent of DOC's spot, so it's someone who will do as he/she is told.

I worked in corrections, and I know how it works. I was on the job when the pendulum swung from rehabilitation all the way back to punishment. People everywhere were screaming about how we were too lax on the inmates, that they had it "too good" on the inside...after all, they had medical and dental care, three square meals a day, sports like basketball, and oh my, we can't forget CABLE. I don't know WHERE they got this "picture" of the inside, maybe it was from a 60 minutes special on FEDERAL PRISONS, in which some ARE more like resorts than prison, but state facilities are NO club feds.

For instance the general public has no idea that in a lot of states, the doctors that service these prisons are often times on probation..one step away from losing their right to practice medicine on the general public, yet they can practice on inmates. Dental????? That's a laugh. Yes, there is a dentist on contract, but it's not something the inmates have daily or even weekly access to. MAYBE monthly. I saw inmates with teeth so infected, so abscessed that the puss was running out into their mouths, and they had been waiting for weeks THEN for an appointment with the dentist being given generic tylenol for their pain.

Three squares? I hardly call the muck these guys are fed, "square meals". My animals eat better.

As for cable? Yes, a lot of facilities have it. But these are situations where either there is ONE television per tier, per dayroom/activity room and the CO's "control" the controller. They choose what is watched and what isn't. They also control the volume. In some prisons, inmates can earn the right to have their own television in their cell. Many of them can't afford such a luxury item, nor can their family members afford to provide it for them.

In short, the general public has absolutely NO idea what it is actually like inside of a state facility. Unless they have a loved one or close friend incarcerated, they don't even know what it looks like in a visiting area, they have no idea what it looks like beyond the first door you enter. They do NOT know what they are talking about.

Yet...because they are taxpayers, they dictate how our prisons are run in this country.

All one has to do is look at the numbers of people incarcerated in our country today, over 2,000,000!!!, to see that it's NOT working. Their HARSH PUNISHMENT/LONGER SENTENCES is NOT working. Yet they just keep adding on longer and longer sentences. Which is the wrong thing to have been doing from the get go. Now, putting murderers and other violent offenders to the side for a moment, anyone else who has broken the law...drug user, theif, etc., shouldn't serve over one year on the inside on their first bid. If prison is going to work as the deterrent that we want it to, then no more than 12 months for first timers. You might be asking why. Because the shock wears off after that and they simply adapt to their surroundings. Human beings are adaptable creatures. We can adapt to things that may seem unbelievable, but remember that our first and foremost concern is staying alive. Not HOW we live. So we adapt. Once they adapt, any deterrent prison was ever going to be on them, has passed. You're wearhousing them and wasting money hand over fist.

Quote:
Why sentence someone - 10 to 20 years for pot, for god's sakes when rapists, childmolesters and murderers often get a slap on the hand and a ham sandwhich for being good.
This is an extremely untrue statement. Rapists, child molesters are not getting "slapped on the wrist". If anyone is watching the news you would know that they are getting exorbitant sentences, and for those types of violent crimes, they SHOULD be. The biggest problem with that is that not all sex offenders have even touched a child, let alone hurt one, but they are being treated by the court system as if they have.

I can't speak for murderers, because I have no personal knowledge there.

But I do know that sex offenders, especially with the new legislation under the Adam Walsh Act, are being punished severely, whether they hurt a child, or even forcibly raped someone or not. Many of them are incarcerated for statutory rape.

They are also the ONLY felon who, upon the government's whim, can have more punishment added on to them for the ONE crime they committed, were convicted of, and served their punishment for, YEARS after that punishment was served.

So, please, don't talk to me about "slaps on the wrist" for sex offenders. It's more like an anvil on their heads (picture a Roadrunner cartoon with Wile E. Coyote looking up at the rock that's going to fall on his head...SPLAAAT). Not to even mention what happens to their family members, simply because they choose to continue to love them. The general public can't seem to understand that it's possible to love the person, and abhor the act they committed. I'm sure it's the same for anyone who loves the perpetrator of ANY crime.

People who commit crimes weren't "hatched". That simply means that ALL OF THEM, and I don't care what crime they were convicted of, they ALL have mothers, fathers, possibly siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents...well, you get the picture. A felon doesn't stop being your son, simply because he committed a felony.

It's been more than proven that inmates who have familial love and support have a MUCH better chance of making it when they get released and not coming back. That's how important that love connection is.

It does not one ounce of positive good to discuss who's crime was worse than another's and who's crime deserves the most time.

The positive good that I've seen in this thread is the references to REHABILITATION. It worked. Not on everyone, no, but it did work for A LOT of people. In my opinion, it was better to have rehabilitated and had a positive affect that kept 10 inmates from returning to a life of crime, than to have all of them come back.

Contrary to popular belief, due to the lies perpetrated by the media and vote prostituting politicians, sex offenders can be rehabilitated too. There are some really good sex offender treatment programs out there, and they are working. Are they working on every single offender? Of course, I cannot say that. There are NO absolutes. But are we to not even try? Are we to throw away those that it WILL work for because of the ones that it won't?

That's where American's minds seem to be today. Human beings are disposable.

God Help us all.
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:40 PM
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In response to Onry's 5-12-07 post regarding the release of inmates who had days taken and then were granted some if not all days back to kick them out of the system.

I do not think that a person who has recieved a misconduct and had days taken should be given those days back if it will release him for the most part. There are plenty of people in prison who are on level 4, have never received a misconduct, are exemplary inmates who receive high job evaluations and excellents on their quarterly adjustment reviews who I would release over someone who STILL CANNOT abide by the rules of their society (A prison is like a mini-me of our regular society, so if they can't behave themselves there, then they are DEFINITELY not ready to go back out on the streets.). I say, let the ones out who have earned it, even if they have not completed their sentence. Those who continue to get misconducts just prove that they are not ready to be a productive member of society and need more time to "think about what they did wrong and make positive behavioral changes" before being granted release.
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:06 PM
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Odoc, I agree with you in part, but not completely. My husband is a level 4 and has had one misconduct on his first day at LCF and has so far knocked 4 1/2 years off his sentence through programs and other earned credits. Absolutely I think he's earned his way out, but I'm biased of course.

However, I do know that at times it has been very hard for him to not get caught up in things. His one misconduct was on his first day in prison, never in prison before, and they put him in a cell with someone not of his race. Apparently this is something the guards will purposely do sometimes to see what happens. He was told this could happen while he was at Lexington and he was prepared for it. He refused housing. Basically, he was "coached" at Lexington by those who had been in the system before that the gang lines are drawn and even if he did not want to become affiliated, he had to make that housing choice if faced with it. He has never joined a gang and has been very careful not to associate much in those circles, but he did lose credit for county time served and was kept at a lower level for a while because he refused that housing on his first day. We have never lived like that. We don't know "gangs" where we are from. Lines aren't drawn in our everyday life. This was new to him, but he was well aware of what would happen if he did not refuse that housing. That earned him some protection from those of his same race in prison. Let's be honest about prison. It is not anything like our life out here. Survival is completely different. There are those that will do anything to keep someone from leaving on parole. There are those that will fight just because it's what they do in there. Guys who never ever thought of joining a gang in "real life" will join or associate with them in there for protection and then have their parole denied because of those associations. I had no idea it was like that in there until my husband went in. He had never been in prison before and we are from a small town where those things don't go on in our county jail either. There are some things that can keep an inmate in prison by taking away earned credits just because he's trying to survive. It's sad.
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