Sharanda Jones

October 30th, 2016

This week we will talk about female prison inmates. Mostly we will watch a documentary on a group of maximum security female inmates in NY State. However, this week’s blog post focuses on a woman who had her life sentence commuted by President Obama. Far from a violent offender, Sharanda Jones was convicted of felony drug charges and sentenced to life in prison. Watch this VIDEO that tells the story of the clemency.

Then watch the VIDEO that tells the story of her family that she left behind when she was incarcerated.

There are a lot of things we could talk about in this story. One thing that always interests me is to think of what it might be like to be locked up for 17 years. Check out this SITE that gives the reader a good sense of what was happening the year (1999) Jones was incarcerated. I think it gives one a good sense of how the world changes and moves on and in many cases leaves the incarcerated behind. I can only imagine how hard it will be for Jones to “catch up” to all the changes from 1999-present.


WI inmate dies from dehydration

October 23rd, 2016

This week’s post focuses on an recent and close-to-home ARTICLE/VIDEO focusing a man who died while incarcerated in the Milwaukee County Jail. There’s ALOT to unpack here.

The man was arrested for firing a weapon into a public crowd, which resulted in one person being hit by a stray bullet. So, let’s not forget that the allegations were pretty serious.

Still, no one died due to his behavior…except him. The man was found dead in his solitary confinement cell and the September 2016 coroner’s report indicates the cause of death as “homicide.” The report stipulates that the man died from severe dehydration. So whatever one feels about the allegations that landed him in jail, the punishment (ultimately his own death) isn’t proportional to the crime committed.

Interestingly,  it seems that this man apparently had past mental health issues, which makes one wonder why he wasn’t placed into a medical facility (not jail).

Of course all of this will come out sooner or later. Thoughts?


Can I get a little air?

October 16th, 2016

This week we will be talking about prisoners’ rights while incarcerated. Whether you like it or not, society has the responsibility to care for inmates once they are incarcerated by the state. That said this “care” is subjective and comes in various forms. Inmates don’t get cellphones, cable TV, and such. The state is required to feed, cloth and preserve the safety of each and every inmate.

But how far does this care go? There are numerous inmate lawsuit challenges to the quality of care provided to incarcerated inmates. One such suit challenges the conditions under which a group of inmates are being subjected. Check out this VIDEO/ARTICLE and let me know you thoughts on the subject. Agree/disagree and why.

Inmate Firefighters

October 9th, 2016


There’s a great deal of negative press out there about prison inmates. However, here’s an ARTICLE that gives an example of some inmates that are making a positive impact on society. Should we have more inmates doing these kinds of things? What are some positives/negatives?

Ole Miss Blues

October 2nd, 2016

This week in class we’ll be talking about incapacitation so I thought we’d take a look at one fairly new facet of the American Prison System: the privatization of prisons. There are some benefits to private prisons that we’ll talk about later on in the semester, but this week’s ARTICLE will address some of the more negative aspects. What are some things that stand out to you?