Escaping from “The Rock?”

January 28th, 2018

My first post for the semester involves a decades-long mystery surrounding “The Rock” or Alcatraz as most Americans know it. A new wrinkle has emerged in one of the most talked about escapes in US prison history. This one, as have all the other stories about these 3 escapees, is rather interesting. Watch the VIDEO and read the STORY and give me your thoughts. Think it’s real or another round of fiction?

A New Year

January 21st, 2018

Social Chat is the place where I sporadically post things that pertain to criminology, criminal justice, treatment, etc. I will post an article and/or video link every Sunday evening (beginning 1/28/18) and hope you’ll check it out and comment. Of course be sure to be respectful with your comments or I’ll simply block you:)


No Room in the Inn…

April 23rd, 2017

This week’s post will be our last. Hope you’ve enjoyed the news posted here. This week’s ARTICLE focuses on the Kentucky Department of Corrections overcrowding problems. Since we’ll be talking about parole later this week I thought it appropriate. Apparently the State of Kentucky is pretty much over capacity for most of its jails and prison prompting a move by the DOC to fast track the early release of some 500+ inmates.

These are some of the issues we’ll talk about on Wed. The state of TX was in a similar predicament in the 1990’s (their answer was to build a ton of new prisons). Which is better?  Building more prisons, releasing inmates earlier than planned…or maybe you have your own suggestion…

A Concern about the cocktail…

April 16th, 2017

Last week’s post focused on the State of Arkansas’s challenge to recruit around 50 citizens to monitor its upcoming 8 executions. Well, “Hold the phone! Houston, we have a problem.”

This week’s article reports on an injunction that was filed by 9 Arkansas death row inmates and signed by a Federal Judge. Basically this brings all the scheduled executions to a temporary halt.

The injunction was ordered as a result of one of the drugs used in the 3-drug cocktail for executions. The drug, midazolam, has been at the forefront of several judicial challenges. The argument is pretty interesting. Thoughts?

Calling all “respectable citizens…”

April 9th, 2017

This week’s article (and video) is quite interesting. The State of Arkansas is attempting to compete with my home state (Texas)  by excuting 8 death row inmates within a very short time-span. They’ve run into a problem, however, as state law requires that 6 “upstanding individuals” witness the execution process. Interesting. I wonder how many of you would attend this affair. Thoughts?



Arts and Cons

April 2nd, 2017

In the next couple of weeks we will begin looking at prison programming. There tends to be a lot of variety found within prisons here in the US (some prisons have little, if any, while others have been creative). This week’s ARTICLE focuses on one such program that brings art to convicted criminals. Pretty interesting article. Thoughts?

Spring Breakers, it’s not your fault!

March 26th, 2017

WFerrellHope everyone had a restful break this past week and didn’t forget to use sunscreen:)

And hopefully no one was arrested at the beach…but if you were, hey, the Sheriff of Panama City Beach, Florida (otherwise known as “PCB”) says “It’s not your fault.” Check out this recent VIDEO from a local news station in the Panama City, Florida area.

So during the spring break “window” arrests have more than doubled over the past year for this area, but it’s not a “student problem?” It seemed like the sheriff has a “beef” regarding his recent budget request, as he mainly talks about the student to police officer ratio (1000 to 1). Interestingly we never really hear who the real culprits are filling the jails in Panama City. Hmmm…thoughts?

More on the Delaware Dept of Corrections

March 5th, 2017

A couple of interesting articles emerged focusing on the Delaware Department of Corrections. The first ARTICLE addresses some major issues (overcrowding and lack of correctional officer staff) that were reaching a tipping point prior to the riot and hostage situation that left one seasoned correctional officer dead. There are some pretty chilling foreshadowing comments made prior to the hostage-taking events. The second ARTICLE focuses on the recent decision to place the Warden of that prison on paid leave.


So was the uprising a result of one warden’s negligence, the negligence of the State of Delaware, or an unruly crowd of convicts? Hopefully we will find out prior to the end of class.


The intricate details surrounding a very sad story.

February 26th, 2017

On February 21st, Michael Mejia shot and killed a Whittier Police Department officer during a traffic stop. Mejia also wounded another Whittier police officer in the shooting and has allegedly been linked to a shooting in the city of Los Angeles. You can read the story by clicking HERE.

This case is interesting because initial reports (by CNN click HERE) proposed that Mejia had just been released from CA State parole a week earlier. However, a local TV station (KTLA 5) has reported that Mejia was not released early, but completed his State ordered time and was no longer on parole. This is where is gets a bit convoluted.

Upon release, Mejia was still on Los Angeles County Probation and had reported to the probation department. The KTLA-5 article reports that he had been jail a couple of times due to probation violations, serving several 10-day jail sentences as sanctions. So while the State of CA Parole Division seems to be “off the hook,” one wonders why Mejia was still on the street, especially since he’d been in an out of trouble since his release.

Of course numerous reasons exist as to why Mejia was not jailed longer (rules of county probation, jail overcrowding, legal issues, etc.).  One thing that seems evident is that a grievous error of judgement occurred from someone in the LA County Probation Department. And this error cost the City of Whittier dearly. I’ll be watching closely over the next weeks to see what comes of this story.


Hard times continue for the Maryland DOC

February 19th, 2017

This week’s blog is an update on the aftermath of the recent Maryland Department of Corrections Prison uprising, hostage ordeal and death of a corrections officer.  Lots of back-n-forth about what or who was at fault. Horrid conditions, lack of officers, you name it. Significant increases in overtime leading to overworked employees, etc. Check out the ARTICLE write down your thoughts.