Voices from Solitary: A Sentence Worse Than Death

by | March 11, 2013

The following essay is by William Blake. In 1987, Blake, then 23 and in county court on a drug charge, grabbed a gun from a sheriff’s deputy in a failed escape attempt, murdering one deputy and wounding another. He was sentenced to 77 years to life. The New York State prison system, classifying him as a threat to “safety and security,” has placed him in virtually permanent solitary confinement. At the time he wrote this essay, he had been held in isolation for nearly 26 years; as of 2019, that number had grown to 32 years. 

Since it was published for the first time on Solitary Watch, this essay has received more than half a million hits on this site alone, and has been reprinted and translated into several languages. It is also the lead essay in the 2016 book Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. 

Reading and writing are what sustain Billy Blake after three decades in “the box.” He welcomes letters at: William Blake #87-A-5771, Attica Correctional Facility, 639 Exchange Street, Attica, NY 14011-0149.

To help us continue publishing powerful voices from the darkest corners of the U.S. criminal justice system, please consider making a donation to support our work today: https://solitarywatch.org/donations/donate/.

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“You deserve an eternity in hell,” Onondaga County Supreme Court judge Kevin Mulroy told me from his bench as I stood before him for sentencing on July 10, 1987. Apparently he had the idea that God was not the only one qualified to make such judgment calls.

Judge Mulroy wanted to “pump six buck’s worth of electricity into [my] body,” he also said, though I suggest that it wouldn’t have taken six cent’s worth to get me good and dead. He must have wanted to reduce me and The Chair to a pile of ashes. My “friend” Governor Mario Cuomo wouldn’t allow him to do that, though, the judge went on, bemoaning New York State’s lack of a death statute due to the then-Governor’s repeated vetoes of death penalty bills that had been approved by the state legislature. Governor Cuomo’s publicly expressed dudgeon over being called a friend of mine by Judge Mulroy was understandable, given the crimes that I had just been convicted of committing. I didn’t care much for him either, truth be told. He built too many new prisons in my opinion, and cut academic and vocational programs in the prisons already standing.

I know that Judge Mulroy was not nearly alone in wanting to see me executed for the crime I committed when I shot two Onondaga County sheriff’s deputies inside the Town of Dewitt courtroom during a failed escape attempt, killing one and critically wounding the other. There were many people in the Syracuse area who shared his sentiments, to be sure. I read the hateful letters to the editor printed in the local newspapers; I could even feel the anger of the people when I’d go to court, so palpable was it. Even by the standards of my own belief system, such as it was back then, I deserved to die for what I had done. I took the life of a man without just cause, committing an act so monumentally wrong that I could not have argued that it was unfair had I been required to pay with my own life.

What nobody knew or suspected back then, not even I, on that very day I would begin suffering a punishment that I am convinced beyond all doubt is far worse than any death sentence could possibly have been. On July 10, 2012, I finished my 25th consecutive year in solitary confinement, where at the time of this writing I remain. Though it is true that I’ve never died and so don’t know exactly what the experience would entail, for the life of me I cannot fathom how dying any death could be harder or more terrible than living through all that I have been forced to endure for the last quarter-century.

Prisoners call it The Box. Prison authorities have euphemistically dubbed it the Special Housing Unit, or SHU (pronounced “shoe”) for short. In society it is known as solitary confinement. It is 23-hour a day lockdown in a cell smaller than some closets I’ve seen, with one hour allotted to “recreation” consisting of placement in a concrete enclosed yard by oneself or, in some prisons, a cage made of steel bars. There is nothing in a SHU yard but air: no TV, no balls to bounce, no games to play, no other inmates, nothing. There is very little allowed in a SHU cell, also. Three sets of plain white underwear, one pair of green pants, one green short-sleeved button-up shirt, one green sweatshirt, ten books or magazines total, twenty pictures of the people you love, writing supplies, a bar of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, one deodorant stick but no shampoo, and that’s about it. No clothes of your own, only prison-made. No food from commissary or packages, only three unappetizing meals a day handed to you through a narrow slot in your cell door. No phone calls, no TV, no luxury items at all. You get a set of cheap headphones to use, and you can pick between the two or three (depending on which prison you’re in) jacks in the cell wall to plug into. You can listen to a TV station in one jack, and use your imagination while trying to figure out what is going on when the music indicates drama but the dialogue doesn’t suffice to tell you anything. Or you can listen to some music, but you’re out of luck if you’re a rock-n-roll fan and find only rap is playing.

Your options in what to do to occupy your time in SHU are scant, but there will be boredom aplenty. You probably think that you understand boredom, know its feel, but really you don’t. What you call boredom would seem a whirlwind of activity to me, choices so many that I’d likely be befuddled in trying to pick one over all the others. You could turn on a TV and watch a movie or some other show; I haven’t seen a TV since the 1980s. You could go for a walk in the neighborhood; I can’t walk more than a few feet in any direction before I run into a concrete wall or steel bars. You could pick up your phone and call a friend; I don’t know if I’d be able to remember how to make a collect call or even if the process is still the same, so many years it’s been since I’ve used a telephone. Play with your dog or cat and experience their love, or watch your fish in their aquarium; the only creatures I see daily are the mice and cockroaches that infest the unit, and they’re not very lovable and nothing much to look at. There is a pretty good list of options available to you, if you think about it, many things that you could do even when you believe you are so bored. You take them for granted because they are there all the time, but if it were all taken away you’d find yourself missing even the things that right now seem so small and insignificant. Even the smallest stuff can become as large as life when you have had nearly nothing for far too long.

I haven’t been outside in one of the SHU yards in this prison for about four years now. I haven’t seen a tree or blade of grass in all that time, and wouldn’t see these things were I to go to the yard. In Elmira Correctional Facility, where I am presently imprisoned, the SHU yards are about three or four times as big as my cell. There are twelve SHU yards total, each surrounded by concrete walls, one or two of the walls lined with windows. If you look in the windows you’ll see the same SHU company that you live on, and maybe you’ll get a look at a guy who was locked next to you for months that you’ve talked to every day but had never before gotten a look at. If you look up you’ll find bars and a screen covering the yard, and if you’re lucky maybe you can see a bit of blue sky through the mesh, otherwise it’ll be hard to believe that you’re even outside. If it’s a good day you can walk around the SHU yard in small circles staring ahead with your mind on nothingness, like the nothing you’ve got in that lacuna with you. If it’s a bad day, though, maybe your mind will be filled with remembrances of all you used to have that you haven’t seen now for many years, and you’ll be missing it, feeling the loss, feeling it bad.

Life in the box is about an austere sameness that makes it difficult to tell one day from a thousand others. Nothing much and nothing new ever happen to tell you if it’s a Monday or a Friday, March or September, 1987 or 2012. The world turns, technology advances, and things in the streets change and keep changing all the time. Not so in a solitary confinement unit, however. I’ve never seen a cell phone except in pictures in magazines. I’ve never touched a computer in my life, never been on the Internet and wouldn’t know how to get there if you sat me in front of a computer, turned it on for me, and gave me directions. SHU is a timeless place, and I can honestly say that there is not a single thing I’d see looking around right now that is different from what I saw in Shawangunk Correctional Facility’s box when I first arrived there from Syracuse’s county jail in 1987. Indeed, there is probably nothing different in SHU now than in SHU a hundred years ago, save the headphones. Then and now there were a few books, a few prison-made clothing articles, walls and bars and human beings locked in cages… and misery.

There is always the misery. If you manage to escape it yourself for a time, there will ever be plenty around in others for you to sense; and though you’ll be unable to look into their eyes and see it, you might hear it in the nighttime when tough guys cry not-so-tough tears that are forced out of them by the unrelenting stress and strain that life in SHU is an exercise in.

I’ve read of the studies done regarding the effects of long-term isolation in solitary confinement on inmates, seen how researchers say it can ruin a man’s mind, and I’ve watched with my own eyes the slow descent of sane men into madness—sometimes not so slow. What I’ve never seen the experts write about, though, is what year after year of abject isolation can do to that immaterial part in our middle where hopes survive or die and the spirit resides. So please allow me to speak to you of what I’ve seen and felt during some of the harder times of my twenty-five-year SHU odyssey.

I’ve experienced times so difficult and felt boredom and loneliness to such a degree that it seemed to be a physical thing inside so thick it felt like it was choking me, trying to squeeze the sanity from my mind, the spirit from my soul, and the life from my body. I’ve seen and felt hope becoming like a foggy ephemeral thing, hard to get ahold of, even harder to keep ahold of as the years and then decades disappeared while I stayed trapped in the emptiness of the SHU world. I’ve seen minds slipping down the slope of sanity, descending into insanity, and I’ve been terrified that I would end up like the guys around me that have cracked and become nuts. It’s a sad thing to watch a human being go insane before your eyes because he can’t handle the pressure that the box exerts on the mind, but it is sadder still to see the spirit shaken from a soul. And it is more disastrous. Sometimes the prison guards find them hanging and blue; sometimes their necks get broken when they jump from their bed, the sheet tied around the neck that’s also wrapped around the grate covering the light in the ceiling snapping taut with a pop. I’ve seen the spirit leaving men in SHU and have witnessed the results.

The box is a place like no other place on planet Earth. It’s a place where men full of rage can stand at their cell gates fulminating on their neighbor or neighbors, yelling and screaming and speaking some of the filthiest words that could ever come from a human mouth, do it for hours on end, and despite it all never suffer the loss of a single tooth, never get his head knocked clean off his shoulders. You will never hear words more despicable or see mouth wars more insane than what occurs all the time in SHU, not anywhere else in the world, because there would be serious violence before any person could speak so much foulness for so long. In the box the heavy steel bars allow mouths to run with impunity when they could not otherwise do so, while the ambient is one that is sorely conducive to an exceedingly hot sort of anger that seems to press the lips on to ridiculous extremes. Day and night I have been awakened to the sound of the rage being loosed loudly on SHU gates, and I’d be a liar if I said I haven’t at times been one of the madmen doing the yelling.

I have lived for months where the first thing I became aware of upon waking in the morning is the malodorous funk of human feces, tinged with the acrid stench of days-old urine, where I eat my breakfast, lunch, and dinner with that same stink assaulting my senses, and where the last thought I had before falling into unconscious sleep was: “Damn, it smells like shit in here.” I have felt like I was on an island surrounded by vicious sharks, flanked on both sides by mentally ill inmates who would splash their excrement all over their cells, all over the company outside their cells, and even all over themselves. I have went days into weeks that seemed like they’d never end without being able to sleep more than short snatches before I was shocked out of my dreams, and thrown back into a living nightmare, by the screams of sick men who have lost all ability to control themselves, or by the banging of cell bars and walls of these same madmen. I have been so tired when sleep inside was impossible that I went outside into a snowstorm to get some sleep.

The wind blew hard and snowflakes swirled around and around in the small SHU yard at Shawangunk, and I had but one cheap prison-produced coat on and a single set of state clothes beneath. To escape the biting cold I dug into the seven- or eight-foot high mountain of snow that was piled in the center of the yard, the accumulation from inmates shoveling a narrow path to walk along the perimeter. With bare hands gone numb, I dug out a small room in that pile of snow, making myself a sort of igloo. When it was done I crawled inside, rolled onto my back on the snow-covered concrete ground, and almost instantly fell asleep, my bare head pillowed in the snow. I didn’t even have a hat to wear.

An hour or so later I was awakened by the guards come to take me back to the stink and insanity inside: “Blake, rec’s over…” I had gotten an hour’s straight sleep, minus the few minutes it had taken me to dig my igloo. That was more than I had gotten in weeks without being shocked awake by the CA-RACK! of a sneaker being slapped into a plexiglass shield covering the cell of an inmate who had thrown things nasty; or the THUD-THUD-THUD! of an inmate pounding his cell wall, or bars being banged, gates being kicked and rattled, or men screaming like they’re dying and maybe wishing that they were; or to the tirade of an inmate letting loose his pent-up rage on a guard or fellow inmate, sounding every bit the lunatic that too long a time in the mind-breaking confines of the box had caused him to be.

I have been so exhausted physically, mental strength being tested to limits that can cause strong folks to snap, that I have begged God, tough guy I fancy myself, “Please, Lord, make them stop. Please let me get some peace.” As the prayers went ungranted and the insanity around me persisted, I felt my own rage rising above the exhaustion and misery, no longer in a begging mood: “Lord, kill those motherfuckers, why don’t you!” I yelled at the Almighty, my own sanity so close to being gone that it seemed as if I were walking along a precipice and could see down to where I’d be falling, seeing myself shot, sanity a dead thing killed by the fall. I’d be afraid later on, terrified, when I reflected back on how close I had seemed to come to losing my mind, but at that moment all I could do was feel anger of a fiery kind: anger at the maniacs creating the noise and the stink and the madness; anger at my keepers and the real creators of this hell; anger at society for turning a blind eye to the torment and torture going on here that its tax dollars are financing; and perhaps most of all, anger at myself for doing all that I did that never should have been done that put me into the clutches of this beastly prison system to begin with. I would be angry at the world; enraged, actually, so burning hot was what I would be feeling.

I had wet toilet paper stuffed hard into both ears, socks folded up and pressed into my ears, a pillow wrapped around the sides and back of my head covering my ears, and a blanket tied around all that to hold everything in place, lying in bed praying for sleep. But still the noise was incredible, a thunderous cacophony of insanity, sleep impossible. Inmates lost in the throes of lavalike rage firing philippics at one another for even reasons they didn’t know, threatening to kill one another’s mommas, daddies, even the children, too. Nothing is sacred in SHU. It is an environment that is so grossly abnormal, so antithetical to normal human interactions, that it twists the innerds of men all around who for too long dwell there. Their minds, their morals, and their mannerisms get bent badly, ending far off-center. Right becomes whatever and wrong no longer exists. Restraint becomes a burden and is unnecessary with concrete and steel separating everyone, so inmates let it go. Day after day, perhaps year after year, the anger grows, fueled by the pain caused by the conditions till rage is born and burning so hot that it too hurts.

Trying to put into words what is so unlike anything else I know or have ever experienced seems an impossible endeavor, because there is nothing even remotely like it any place else to compare it to, and nothing that will do to you on the inside what so many years in SHU has done to me. All that I am able to articulate about the world of Special Housing Unit and what it is and what it does may seem terrible to you indeed, but the reality of living in this place for a full quarter of a century is yet even more terrible, still. You would have to live it, experience it in all its aspects with the fullness of its days and struggles added up, to really appreciate and understand just how truly terrible this plight of mine has been, and how truly ugly life in the box can be at times, even for just a single day. I spent nine years in Shawangunk’s box, six years in Sullivan’s, six years in Great Meadow’s, and I’ve been here in Elmira’s SHU for four years now, and through all of this time I have never spent a single day in a Mental Health Unit cell because I attempted or threatened suicide, or for any other reason. I have thought about suicide in times past when the days had become exceedingly difficult to handle, but I’m still here. I’ve had some of my SHU neighbors succumb to the suicidal thoughts, though, choosing death over another day of life in the box. I have never bugged out myself, but I’ve known times that I had come too close. I’ve had neighbors who came to SHU normal men, and I’ve seen them leave broken and not anything resembling normal anymore. I’ve seen guys give up on their dreams and lose all hope in the box, but my own hopes and dreams are still alive and well inside me. The insidious workings of the SHU program have yet to get me stuck on that meandering path to internal destruction that I have seen so many of my neighbors end up on, and perhaps this is a miracle; I’d rather be dead than to lose control of my mind.

Had I known in 1987 that I would spend the next quarter-century in solitary confinement, I would have certainly killed myself. If I took a month to die and spent every minute of it in severe pain, it seems to me that on a balance that fate would still be far easier to endure than the last twenty-five years have been. If I try to imagine what kind of death, even a slow one, would be worse than twenty-five years in the box—and I have tried to imagine it—I can come up with nothing. Set me afire, pummel and bludgeon me, cut me to bits, stab me, shoot me, do what you will in the worst of ways, but none of it could come close to making me feel things as cumulatively horrifying as what I’ve experienced through my years in solitary. Dying couldn’t take but a short time if you or the State were to kill me; in SHU I have died a thousand internal deaths. The sum of my quarter-century’s worth of suffering has been that bad.

To some judges sitting on high who’ve never done a day in the box, maybe twenty-five years of this isn’t cruel and unusual. To folks who have an insatiable appetite for vengeance against prisoners who have committed terrible crimes, perhaps it doesn’t even matter how cruel or unusual my plight is or isn’t. For people who cannot let go of hate and know not how to forgive, no amount of remorse would matter, no level of contrition would be quite enough, only endless retribution would be right in their eyes. Like Judge Milroy, only an eternity in hell would satisfy them. Given even that in retribution, though, the unforgiving haters wouldn’t be satisfied that hell was hot enough; they’d want the heat turned up. Thankfully these folks are the few, that in the minds of the many, at a point, enough is enough.

No matter what the world would think about things that they cannot imagine in even their worst nightmares, I know that twenty-five years in solitary confinement is utterly and certainly cruel, moreso than death in or by an electric chair, gas chamber, lethal injection, bullet in the head, or even immolation could possibly be. The sum of the suffering caused by any of these quick deaths would be a small thing next to the sum of the suffering that this quarter-century in SHU has brought to bear on me. Solitary confinement for the length of time that I have endured it, even apart from the inhuman conditions that I have too often been made to endure it in, is torture of a terrible kind; and anyone who doesn’t think so surely knows not what to think.

I have served a sentence worse than death.


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  • michael paduano

    I was serving 6 months at Jamesville Correctional Facility in Jamesville NY, a minimum security jail with no bars for people doing a year or under. Billy Blake was being held there for his case because The Public Safety Building in Syracuse where he was first held, he was always beaten by the sheriffs deputies. So for his own safety he was moved to Jamesville.I only saw him once from a distance because he was separated from everyone else. Never would I have imagined that he would be in solitary confinement forever! I watched the film Birdman of Alcatraz with Burt Lancaster. Based on a true story that man did 43 years in solitary before he was released to a minimum security place. Billy essay is I believe is truthful because he was behaving like a scumbag while being walked to the court room he would yell profanities to the media outside the court room covering his case! Seems like a changed man if released I think he would make a model citizen. But in the US even if he is considered for parole the police would make it impossible.

  • Maryam

    Upon examination of the responses, I see no offer of a clear path to what amends and rehabilitation should look like. We don’t seem to know how to respond to our fellow human beings in their worst moments of their lives. There’s a sense we’re all still scratching our heads about this in some way and while in this state of mystery we keep accepting the current system of incarceration, based on this gentleman’s account of solitary supported by our tax dollars, our current default is torture.

  • I doubt anyone who has commented could survive a month.

    “That’s because we’re not killers!”, they’ll invariably shout.

    But what if you were?

    Could you then?

  • Joseph H. Tower

    As an former inmate of the New York State Department of Correctional Services,currently partial deaf since birth,and I have served over approximately altogether almost two years in the Special Housing Unit at Coxsackie Correctional Facility,Eastern Correctional Facility,and Elmira Correctional Facility back in the 1980s. I forgive the the Correction Officer for fabricated and planting the weapon on me. Mr. Blake,thank you for sharing your story but life cannot be reversed for your action nor your pain of injustice is not acceptable. We all have to take responsible for own actions…Innocent or not. That’s life.

  • Edgar Aethelred

    lol you are one angry camper dude

  • Edgar Aethelred

    Well, there’s rape and then there’s rape. I mean just saying…there’s a lot of men going down for rape out there who are innocent of that charge.

  • Chris U

    I wouldn’t judge you, I’d simply allow anyone in the family of those you killed to do the same to you. And the 25 years “alone” (with a radio and books)? Yes, I’d agree that you deserved it. The consequences of your actions, you should have thought of those before killing.

  • Joe Ledux

    I did a cumulative total of about six months in “Admin Seg” and then later some months on Extended Lockdown “on the rock” (for the uninitiated, doing rock-time means that you’re on disciplinary lockdown, and they take your mattress away from you for all but five or six hours in every 24, leaving you only the concrete and cinderblock platform your mattress normally rests on–the rock–or the concrete floor to site or lie on.) Essentially, lockdown is the equivalent of being in prison, and in the prison’s jail at the same time. Most of my time in the hole was because of my status–I was a police officer for about seven years and had to wait in line on the backlog for a bunk in the protective unit–but those lockdown months were in the disciplinary lockdown unit, where generally the worst of the worst inmates are kept. And it doesn’t matter why you’re in that unit, everyone is subject to the same draconian rules. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to tolerate for an extended time in my life. Even my final disciplinary vacation on the rock, which came some three years into my sentence, before I finally understood that no matter how logical your argument, you can’t win an argument with a person who has the ability to lock you in a cage, caused me to become physically sick once I began the sentence of ten days.

    The best line I ever heard about lockdown was in the movie that most inmates I’ve known consider the funniest and most accurate movie about prison ever made–“Let’s Go to Prison.” In that movie there is a scene where one of the two protagonists gets sent to lockdown. The other protagonist, an experienced convict, says “The worst thing about lockdown is that you can’t tell the difference between five minutes and forever.” Anyone who’s done lockdown time will say, when they see that scene, “Yeah!” All I can say is whoever wrote the screenplay for that movie had to have done time.

    Every minute I spent on lockdown was tough. I couldn’t imagine spending years in a cage with no respite. The convict who wrote this essay has my sympathies, and I hope he can find his way out of that hole sometime soon. Unfortunately, once an inmate has done either of two things, the courts will allow the prison officials to do whatever they want to the inmate. Those two things are: 1) escape or attempt thereof, and/or 2) any attack upon the prison staff that results in serious injury to them, or death. The courts have generally held that provided the prison feeds you, puts a roof over your head, provides some semblance of medical care, and doesn’t beat the shit out of you all the time (without provocation) then they aren’t subjecting you to unreasonable punishment. The courts don’t give a rat’s ass how rough lockdown is on the inmate. All they care about is why the inmate has been put in lockdown. And if prison staff can articulate a reasonable justification, they can lock you up forever if they want.

    An inmate I knew actually managed to escape, temporarily, from the maximum-security prison we were in at the time. It was Christmas day of 2000. He was recaptured after a few hours on the run. He was immediately moved to “supermax” lockdown at the biggest prison in the state. So far as I know, he’s been there in lockdown ever since. But regardless of his desire for freedom, he knew what the cost of escape was. He bought and paid for that ticket to Camp J. Another inmate I knew was a trusty. He got into a physical altercation with a lowlife chickenshit guard who had been picking on him because the inmate would be extremely reluctant to defend himself from a guard. One day the guard pushed the trusty a bit too far and the trusty administered the ass-beating the guard had earned after months of abuse against the inmate. The guard was a classic bully–willing only to pick on those who were afraid of or unable to fight back. When the trusty got sick of being bullied and took it to him on the express train, the bitch ass guard turtled up in a corner and cried. Unfortunately, the inmate–who had been a trusty for the better part of 15 years without a single disciplinary writeup–knew that his next step was going to be lockdown, probably forever, regardless of the abuse the guard had inflicted upon him over days and weeks. So he tried to escape. He hadn’t driven a car in something like 25 years and he crashed into another vehicle before he even got off prison grounds (prisons in my state tend to be huge plantations in rural areas, with the actual prison only covering a small fraction of its total yardage). He knew his time as a trusted inmate and trusty who was utterly reliable and dependable and neither an escape or a violence risk was over. He was headed for a cage. So what did he do? He cut his own throat with a broken bottle and died on the spot. Or the guards who found him killed him. Either is as likely as the other (he was cremated by order of the warden less than 24 hours after his death). Ultimately, he died because he had done everything he was supposed to do, worked honestly and hard, was obedient and behaved, yet still was facing an eternity in a cage because of the petty machinations of one coward and bully who would not leave him be. So he punched out, in a manner I don’t think I could manage even if I were on the verge of being burned to death.

    I know inmates who are so big and strong that they could probably murder any two or three prison guards with their bare hands. But they will bow down and take an ass beating administered for any unjust reason by the shitbird coward guards who seem to turn up in

    the staff of most prisons. They know what the cost is of resisting even the most unjust abuse dished out by guards. That’s being handcuffed and beaten by yet more guards, and additional time added to their sentence via loss of good time or new charges/sentences. The worst of those punishments is spending entire decades on lockdown for the offense of raising their hands instead of dropping them and accepting physical abuse.

    I had two fellow inmates at the place I spent the most time, one of whom was someone I’d call a good friend Both were soldiers of the Colombian Medellin cartel who came to the US to kill an American who was set to testify against the Ochoas and Escobar and their organization. They were not able to get out of the country after the killing before the police caught them (see the Netflix series Narcos for additional information on that if you’re interested). Because they were seen as an extreme escape risk, as well as a threat to prison staff due to their connections, they were kept on lockdown for over a decade before finally being allowed a transfer to the unit I was in. They told me that going from (extremely) extended lockdown to a unit where they could go outside and look at the clouds was almost as good as going from prison to freedom for anyone else. The unit they were on lockdown in at Angola was not a disciplinary lockdown, but rather a security lockdown, so they were allowed things the disciplinary lockdown inmates were prohibited from possessing, like paints and paintbrushes and colored pencils and the like (not the first budding artists who discovered the solace of the brush and canvas in prison). Still, they told me that they eventually lost the will to live and quit eating, because they simply did not want to be alive and in a cage any longer. It’s irrefutable that inmates on lockdown pay a heavy price.

    Myself, after my longest and worst stint on lockdown, when they finally released me into population, the first thing I did was go outside, drop to my knees, and run my fingers through the grass; something I’d imagined doing almost every day of being confined to a six-by-ten (or smaller) for months.

    I know only a single person who is on death row, and I can assure you that he would be overjoyed to give back his death sentence and get life in exchange. Knowing more or less the day and time of your impending death, and watching the hours and days tick by to that day is its own special variety of torture. So I’m told, the very worst part of it is knowing what day your loved ones are going to spend hoping for a miracle, or intervention by a court, down to the last minute, only to have someone come out of the prison and tell them you have been exterminated. Cue grief and tears and hugs which do nothing to reduce the pain your loved ones are suffering.

    I had a friend serving a life sentence who had a severe medical condition which, untreated, would certainly kill him within a year or two. He refused treatment, saying he had nothing to live for. The only argument I could come up with that had any traction with him was this: Just by being alive, regardless if he was in prison for his natural life, he still had a role to play in the lives of his children and grandchildren. Just by being alive he prevented the infliction of pain and grief upon those he loved, even if he did only see and talk to them every couple of weeks. I told him if he truly loved his family and friends, he owed it to them to inflict as little pain and suffering upon them as he could manage. It worked. He recently passed away, painlessly, from natural causes, at an age nobody would think of as too young. That makes about nineteen years he put off that inevitable suffering his family would endure after that conversation we had about his illness. And ultimately, I believe, due to his advanced age, his death was easier for his loved ones to accept than it would have been when we had that discussion.

    I fully admit that my half-year or so spent on solitary doesn’t qualify me to argue against the premise of this inmate’s essay, that some incarceration is worse than death. But I will say that, based upon my own observations and experience, that any life is better than a certain death. I know dozens of men who have copped out to a life sentence to avoid a death sentence and consider themselves lucky. I would do the same, because I just wouldn’t want some asshole redneck in a cheap suit or prison uniform to have to tell my family that clemency was denied, the courts refused to intervene. And that I was now dead by state-sanctioned murder, before I even had a chance to digest my last meal. I too would beg and cry and debase myself and cop out to a life sentence, whatever it took to put off my family from having to bury me, as long as I could.

    I hope the writer of this essay still has some people in his life, in the free world, who love him and want him to be around regardless of the conditions. I’ve always said that suicide is a crime of violence you inflict upon those who love you. If you have nobody in the world then yeah, I’d say your life is your own to live or escape, whether via a death sentence or through suicide. But if there is even one person out there who means anything to you, who would suffer when you die, then you have a duty to inflict as little grief and suffering upon them as you can manage. Haven’t we already made our loved ones suffer enough? Pursue that life sentence and avoid that death sentence; man up and suffer that prison sentence no matter how bad it hurts. It might not matter to you, but I promise it matters to those who love you.

  • Terra Dactyl

    I don’t believe that he is “fully remorseful”. All I hear is him talking about how hard he’s had it after he was convicted of killing one, critically injuring another. Is his anger at himself because of remorse, or is it because of where he ended up? If he had not ended up in the SHU, would he still feel the same way? Somehow I doubt that. I think this is nothing more than “poor me”. He took a life, and almost took another. If he had done his time on this initial charges, he’d be out by now without a murder conviction over his head placing him in solitary. A deputy is dead because Mr. Blake here didn’t want to serve his time for a drug charge. He should have taken the damn drug charge and served his time.

    A damn shame that someone who writes so well is wasting away in the SHU. Someone who writes that well shows signs of high intelligence, and where the hell is he? In some little box for almost 30 years now. What a GD waste! People would give just about anything for that kind of writing skill…and instead of making something with his life with his talent, he threw it all away on stupidity. His stupidity cost a life and wasted his own. He may still be alive, but he killed what he could have done in this world with that talent. idiot. Fricken IDIOT.

    Regardless, solitary is torture. And while some may think that torture is what he and other inmates deserve, the fact is, we don’t want to go back to those times. Part of a civilized society is to realize that torture is not an acceptable way to treat people. We treat terrorists better than we treat our inmates in this country. The death penalty is not there because we are blood thirsty savages who revel in the idea of seeing the scum wiped off of the face of the earth, but because if a man has no chance of getting out, especially if they will spend their life in solitary, then let them go. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars, a waste of space, and totally inhumane. There is no excuse to keep a person caged for decades with no hope at all of ever being released. We are not barbarians. Put them out of their misery. Society is protected, they do pay for their crime, but they are not tortured for decades to appease those who are either too stupid to know what it’s like to live in a cage, or too hateful to realize just how evil it is to make a human, no matter how vile that human may be, suffer in such a manner.

  • josh smith

    Let’s face a few indisputable facts:
    This mans punishment is cruel and unusual.
    No person could conjure up in their minds a more evil way to treat someone.
    This mans punishment makes anyone who is aware of it and has the power to do something about it an accomplice to a crime against humanity.
    It doesn’t matter if this man killed every persons family in front of them. Nobody has the natural right to purposely destroy another’s mind.
    This man has endured an atrocity skin to something one would expect from Germany’s Third Reich.
    The Warden of the prisons that this man has spent his time in the Shu are going to hell if there exists such a place.
    The fact that something like this could actually happen proves that nobody really knows anybody and that we are all going to die alone. I say this because enough people in our community have been implicit in allowing this form of torture that it is quite obvious that groupthink is at play here and that not a single individual has the charisma to do anything about it, It is akin to a thousand strangers walking by a vicious rape happening and doing nothing about it, Because we, as a race, as a whole, ,do not care about one another….we only care about ourselves in these modern times…cut off from one another by the powers that be…that power based in big corporations having become the government for which we ourselves are supposed to be in and not be corrupted and not allow cruelness to go unnoticed.
    This mans punishment is unnatural and we are the first generation of people inhabiting this planet that would lock someone in a broomcloset and then use tax dollars to ensure he stays there.
    I graduated from law school but didn’t take the bar exam. But if I do, I am going to become this mans lawyer and sue so many people and parties so that this will never ever happen again.
    The government cannot be allowed to control people’s minds. Its really quite simple. His punishment is to stay in Ungodly quarters, cut off from any hope, until his mind is gone. Who among us would condone 25 years of torture rather than capital punishment? The person who’s uncle was murdered with an axe is obviously a young fellow. It does not take a whole lot of wisdom to understand that nobody has the right to force someone to live in a torture chamber,

  • CaptKent

    Prison terms, in my opinion, are far too long and solitary confinement IS cruel and unusual punishment especially for non violent crimes. To the people who set these terms I would say just spend six months on a hospital mental ward. It’s an eye opener. I spent four months on one and paced like a caged big cat the whole time. I would choose death over even a six month prison sentence. I’m amazed that most folks think the death penalty is worse than life in prison.

  • Tore Lynne

    I’m torn between whether solitary is unjust or whether these inmates are getting what they deserve. To think of trying to escape on a drug charge and then killing a deputy is and will always be unacceptable. I’m also a person who has a man in the system and he does his time as if it’s a vacation because to him it is. There is clearly something wrong with our country when we have more people in our prison system than any where in the world and most of those incarcerated are for non-violent offenses. Clearly there is something wrong when prison is a revolving door so where is the justice? It boggles my mind that the justice system doesn’t try to get to the root of the revolving door and why do some people feel that prison is home. Yeah I know all about the corrupt judicial system in this country. I visit my son’s father and always ask is he getting therapy or do the AA or NA groups go up and try to reach out he tells me their a no show more than a show so what the fuck how does one get help when he or she has led a life of street crimes since his or her teenage years and been in more than out? I’m working on a degree in the hopes that I myself will someday work with women who are incarcerated and try to offer them hope and spirituality that they so desperately need. Jail is not the place for non-violent offenses and wake-up and realize that these people need help. It just makes me angry that they don’t receive the proper treatment that should be required. Solitary well if you are a pedophile or serial killer then yes you should do your time in solitary because you stole a life away from an innocent victim so in those circumstances justice is served. Someday I will make a change and make sure that prison no longer becomes a revolving door for women because that’s where my heart is and more importantly my goal.

  • Rosemary Mullagh

    I wonder how many people in this conversation consider themselves actual Christians. I’m not talking about someone who goes to church, sucks up to their pastor and can quote the bible. I’m talking about someone who genuinely tries to be a good person. Someone who genuinely tries to do good and someone who chooses not to judge others for their past mistakes. God does not call us to condemn the acts of another. He calls us instead to love and to show compassion for others and to forgive. There doesn’t seem like there is love, compassion or forgiveness being shown here. I also wonder how many of these unforgiving comments would change if it was the loved one of any of you. Why must you all possess so much hate in your hearts? Is this the kind of example you all wanna set for younger generations? If so this is very sad and I would suggest you all think about that.

  • Brigitte Matthias

    I am confused by this article. Two things. 1) Most people are not in the SHU for 25 years. Most prisoners are not moved this much. I wonder if there were either behavioral issues or protective custody issues. Most LWOP prisoners are able to get some privileges with good behavior. And what of his family and friends? 2) He mentions the crime in passing. He doesn’t explain his motive, or remorse, or an anwareness of what he did. Solitary is a very terrible existence, and maybe that pushed him into a malignant narcissism, but I suspect his impulsiveness, lack of empathy and narcissism predated his crime by years. He embodies all the classic symptoms of a true sociopath. Studies have shown the one overriding desire of sociopaths is for pity. They thrive on it. This essay is a pity fest.

  • Andrea Keane

    Wow just wow.. this man expresses and shares a truly horrifying punishment that is far beyond what we give most anyone these days for killing someone even a cop. Look at what you “sheeple” are writing here… that he deserves it. … really…REALLY? I’m with dolan on this i am horrified at the lack of humanity in all of you. I feel terrible for the family of the man who he killed but doing this to his killer won’t bring him back and i am sure does little to ease the pain and loss that family feels. Better he be allowed to be productive and maybe earn some money while he is prison for all these years. Let him contribute that to that family to make up for their bread winner being gone. Why does some judge have the right to sentence someone to anything other than life in prison it should not be for him to decide that it has to be solitary. why should he be sentenced to solitary when there are other cop killers out there and they are not in solitary – cops do a job that is hazardous and they know it when they sign up like mining or deep sea diving etc it is a high risk job. Why is that cops life worth more than an office worker or chef or nurse? are their lives worth less than the cop this guy killed.
    OOO look who i am asking the rabble rousing mob that would have stoned jesus if it was fashionable and a popular current attitude. I am ashamed to admit i am human, that i am of the same species as you rabid self-righteous pathetic sheep You disgust me and i only hope in your life times you fall prey to the same laws you now bang your pasty soft white hands together in praise of. Cockroaches all of you

    • ephewe

      I know this thread is super old. Someone recently upvoted one of my posts and I ended up reading down the line again. Anyway, I just had to chime in on this:

      Being a police officer is most certainly NOT NOT NOT a particularly “hazardous” job. Look at the actual statistics. It’s not even in the top ten. In fact, police officers (statistically speaking) are *almost never killed in the line of duty*; it is incredibly rare. It *seems* hazardous because of the way the media howls every time one of them *is* killed but one needs to consider the incredible fuck-ton of police officers roaming our streets. If you knew how many police officers there were in NYC alone (just as an example) you’d be disgusted. In fact, I’m actually gonna find out the number & post it here. One sec…

      OK, this is straight from wikipedia:

      “The NYPD’s current authorized uniformed strength is 34,450.[6] There are also approximately 4,500 Auxiliary Police Officers, 5,000 School Safety Agents, 2,300 Traffic Enforcement Agents, and 370 Traffic Enforcement Supervisors currently employed by the department. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYC PBA), the largest municipal police union in the United States, represents over 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.”

      Let’s do the math… 34,450 + 4,500 + 5,000 + 2,300 + 370 = 46620

      Note that these figures are clearly estimates. That means there are so many god damn cops that they have to resort to fuzzy estimates for their statistics. *They don’t even know exactly how many there are*.

      The “Officer Down Memorial” page states that 1,577 officers have been killed in the line of duty in NYC. What year you ask? That’s total. Ever. Garbage collection is more dangerous. As is being a roofer or electrician or being a farmer. The idea of the “dangerous cop job” is a complete fucking myth and it needs to stop. That false conception is how police get extra consideration when they get caught doing evil and end up walking. People cut them extra slack “because their job is so dangerous”.

      Furthermore, and this is something of a tangent here, but the reason for this number of cops? To consistently raise money for NYC municipality by fleecing its citizens along with the many tourists and other travelers/commuters. Make no mistake: Their job’s goal is certainly not protecting people. In fact, the Supreme Court already ruled that cops are under no obligation whatsoever to place themselves at risk in order to protect a citizen (look it up). Their job is to extract fines from the populace (along with the many many other creative ways they transform not-their-money into their-money). The concept of “police” as now exists was actually created for one reason: To protect the property of the wealthy from the poor. This is not rhetoric or hyperbole. This is simple fact. Do your own research.

      Anyway, I totally agree with most everything else you said. Obviously the so-called “justice system” in this country is a complete fucking farce from top to bottom. It’s a cancerous ball of shame with almost real redeeming qualities whatsoever.

      People who are saying that the prisoner who is the subject of this thread should have just been promptly executed are also wrong. Knowing what you know about the justice system as a whole… Its malicious incompetence at all levels… Do you *really* believe it should ever be empowered to execute *anyone*? Really..? Because I don’t. As far as what *should* have happened to the prisoner… Well he obviously should have received a lengthy prison term to be served in a civilized environment where his basic human needs are met within a reasonable degree (and most certainly not fucking solitary for 25 years). Being as he was young at the time of the crime. he should be afforded the means to rehabilitate himself and maybe get out eventually so he can contribute to society and undo a little of the damage he did (obviously not to the victims directly, but by doing positive things for society as a whole to balance out the negative). Murder is horrible thing, but imprisoning someone for 25 years is a lot worse than people (*who seriously have no fucking idea at all about what prison experience actually is*) like to make it out to be. Believe me. 25 years is a fair sentence for his crimes. And that’s 25 years NOT in fucking solitary. This man has been punished way beyond what a civilized justice system should have inflicted and frankly, he deserves not only to get out of solitary but also to get out of prison. He has also demonstrated that he feels constant remorse for his crime and feels no ill will towards his jailers. These are signs of a man who understands what he’s done and accepts responsibility. This man could be affecting the world in a positive way right now but the “justice system” would rather annihilate his mind and make sure he becomes (and stays) a fucking animal.

      I could seriously go on and on about this but I know this is already beyond wall-of-text-level length here; so I’m going to stop.

      Thank you for reading.

  • Dreadedfist

    Wow, I can’t imagine…it is a fate worse than death.

  • Zxen

    It’s very difficult to figure out how punishment should work. I’m a vegetarian, and even though I know all meat eaters are accomplices to mass-murder (you will disagree with this if you are a human supremacist), I know I’m probably exaggerating when I tell people they deserve to be kept in a cage and then torn to pieces at an abattoir. This would be equal vengeance. Vengeance feels good to me, especially in movies. But then again there’s a tipping point when I feel that someone has suffered enough. This is because I have empathy. Also, the legal system both here in Australia and other countries does not allow the victims to have a say in the type of punishment. In one way, this is a good way of preventing too lenient a sentence based on fear of reprisal or too much forgiveness, or too severe a sentence based on anger and hatred. But it is obvious to note that the same hatred and anger that victims feel might have been precisely the same as the perpetrator felt. Once again, this empathy allows us to understand wanting to murder or steal or bash someone’s skull or in the case of the writer, torture them every moment of every day for weeks. Or months. Or years. Or decades. One second of torture hurts bad enough. I do not agree with forgiveness even though I was raised as a follower of Jesus in my youth. Even Jesus got angry in the Bible. His dad certainly did and committed severe atrocities including ordering people to kill their own children, drowning people, genocide, supremacist activity resulting in mass murder including extinction of entire species, etc. By default, chaos would clearly reign. Entropy is the default state of matter in the Universe. But then again the laws of physics make matter clump. And here we all are, knowing nothing about reasons for existence except through ridiculous old books, simply wanting to eat, sleep, defecate and have sex until we die. Hopefully we’ll be popular enough to have a statue made in our honour, but erosion will take care of that either before or after everyone we know and all of their descendants are dead. Punishment from the government is both a deterrent and vengeance to sait our hatred and anger. Its useful. If the government didn’t control it, we’d return to the dark times of survival of the fittest which simply equates to constant rape, theft and murder continuously everywhere. Morals don’t need to be taught – we would behave nicely when we wanted something out of pure selfishness to get what we wanted naturally like chimps grooming one another. The feeling of being trusted and even loved is worth the effort. But if you are disrespected at every turn by too many people, violence is the most sensible option. You will then get at least some of what you wanted, and just like the satisfaction of the Judge who proudly buried this guy in a torture chamber for so long, you would feel a burst of happiness from satisfying your hatred through extreme violence. So what do we do? Genetically modify future generations not to feel anger? Reduce the testosterone in angry young teens by cutting their balls off before they can do any real damage? We can hold our anger inside, and suffer silently so those without empathy do not need to be bothered by their fellow humans’ suffering. Or maybe we can give people something like an exploding punching bag to break, or a forum of accusation, or demerit points to take away societal privileges when a person insensitively annoys someone who is already sad or angry. But these are mere preventions. If someone commits power abuse to the degree that they profit from mass murder, say a butcher who sells animal corpses for supremacist consumption, then my immediate reaction is to say, torture them until they are insane from the effects of violence from the victim’s perspective. Then let them go. Torture has played a huge role in human society for thousands of years. I’m ashamed of myself for not being able to figure out a cleaner solution so that everybody wins. It can’t be that hard. Nature already knows the answer: Death to all, innocent or guilty.

    • Ta Rene'

      “…So what do we do? Genetically modify future generations not to feel anger?”
      Anger, maybe is a reaction, lacking the sophistication of an emotion?? What if it is a reaction to, lets say, punishment?
      Does this mean that Tolstoy’s Crime and Punishment should actually be: Punishment and Crime??
      Well, Adam and Eve are punished and thrown out of Heaven before any crime is committed, ( eating an apple does not count as a criminal act, it’s God’s personal conviction). Subsequently, Eve and Adam take out their anger on their kids, and the rest is history or I should say :”Biblical History”.
      So my friend, I think we just found the answer to your question: In order to eliminate crime, the history of punishment has to be erased from human genetics. Maybe then we can all enjoy a beautiful life. >>


      • Zxen

        No punishment = A better world?

        What kind of blanket is keeping reality from your eyes?

        Nature is completely cruel, and humans are no exception.

        If there was no punishment then we would need to rely on human kindness, rather than both kindness and fear of consequences. If that ever happens, tell me quickly so I can build my bunker and hide. The whole world would become a slaughterhouse.

        Imagine the kind of world you’re talking about:
        A man who wants your mother’s purse stabs her in the face thirty times and blinds her. Her teeth can be seen through her cheeks like a dog, her tongue is hanging from sinew in 40 pieces, blood gushes from her throat, her spinal cord is severed making her a quadriplegic, and though she can feel her pain acutely as you feed her through a straw every day for the rest of her life, you still find the time to thank the person who slashed your mother up because he bought you all dinner tonight with the money he found in your mother’s purse. She can hear him and feels anger, but you smile at him because you are kind hearted and would never tell any authorities about his actions. Not because you are scared about what he would do to you, but rather because punishment is wrong.

        I don’t believe that you agree with what you wrote. There needs to be revenge, and its probably better that governments handle it rather than friends of victims. Many people in usually poor areas are given a great amount of respect for their violence rather than intelligence, and the absence of retribution/punishment/revenge would be a literal ‘get out of jail free’ card.

        We can’t have no punishment at all. That would be anarchy – constant unstoppable rape and murder everywhere.

        I agree that the punishment system worldwide is still extremely primitive.

        • Ta Rene'

          I did not mean for ” A World without punishment is a better World” to be interpreted as: “Starting today, there will be no punishment for any crime”.
          My idealist’s thought process, does not move alongside the linear progression of time. I don’t claim to have an immediate solution to the problem, I’m saying maybe we forgot which triggered the reaction. At the source of humanity, (Adam and Eve) did crime come first or second as a response to Punishment ( being thrown out of heaven), subsequently punishing their kids, finally brother kills brother, the first criminal act of humans.
          I am suggesting that punishment gave birth to crime, that’s all.
          Just like Future , gave birth to Hope. These concepts are now embedded in out genes, however not in the order they were received.

          • Zxen

            If the Bible is true, then God is either a bumbling idiot or a psychotic. It’s not true, of course. Writers throughout history have been little more than cavemen who were able to turn their grunts into squiggly lines. I wouldn’t say humans are the cruelest species to have ever lived on this planet, but it seems we are the best organised. During these primitive days of our history we are still having teething problems, trying to balance freedom and equality. We all want to be free, but things would be neater if we were all equal. Absolute freedom can only ever happen if humans do not take away the freedom of others, either by accident or through power abuse. If a human does take away the freedom of others, then there needs to be compensation, either by way of an apology, by paying money, or by suffering. Torture or murder is the only way we know to deliver that last one, usually by having men with guns take the offender by force and locking her or him in a cage, like the author of the article. I wish there was another way to handle things, but if someone causes me pain, I want them to feel pain in return, or at least give me great pleasure as compensation. But if they have killed someone, like Betsy the cow who was completely innocent (RIP), simply because the offender liked the taste of meat, then the offender can never repay Betsy. Should we then say that the victim is not suffering anymore so let the butcher walk free? No. The butcher cannot fix anything, and should be made to suffer torture as revenge. Hopefully others will see this as a deterrent and not kill animals for their own luxury. If there was no punishment at all, billions of animals would continue to be murdered every year. There is not, and they are. How do compassionates fight such human supremacism? If I walked into an abattoir and killed all the evil human workers to save the lives of hundreds of innocent screaming animals right now, I would not be considered a hero. I would be punished. The world still has teething problems, and yes punishments are misplaced depending on the morals of the society, but power abuse cannot go unpunished.

  • Robinanna neibauer

    It’s bad enough when you did something serious, it’s even too harsh for them, but no, spying for an ally does NOT deserve life without parole, it ALSO doesn’t deserve 7 years of Solitary Confinement! I think Pollard has paid his dues!

  • gregory latimer

    William blake is a forerunner to thugs we have n o w in streets, he should have given more brutal treatment. He does not. care about his victims
    At all. He should have been used. As spare parts for decent people that would reduce crime in america very quickly men like him are animals they should be destroyed. quickly

  • lookatthisdamncomment

    Imagine you’re 18. You’re a kid, but think you’re a man. Nobody can tell you nothing. You’re a big boy.
    Then, you do something stupid. You get life without parole.
    You’re in the box before you’re 19. You die in there when you’re 80.

    Can you imagine it? Just try. Don’t think of who deserves what for doing what to who. Just think of it; a mistake, a bad decision, one made when society told you that you’re now a man, a big boy, and you can wear big boys pants.

    On the day you turn 18 you see yourself a man, but on the day you turn 19 you know you’re still a kid.

    And you’re in the box. For life. LIFE.

    To all who’s out on free street, think of all you’ve done since you were 18. You can’t even remember all of it.

    Now imagine you’ve been in the box since shortly after you left school.

    Can you?

    • Robinanna neibauer

      Imagine that you did something to help an ally, it’s illegal but you did it, while everybody else who did this gets 2-16 years, you get life without parole, and you agreed to a plea bargain, they break it, your lawyer didn’t tell you that you had a right to appeal, so you have been disproportionately sentenced for 30 years, Pollard should of been out of jail for 26 years by now!

  • da troof

    bet he won’t kill anybody else, smh. the judge took care of that. I’m sure the victims families are happy to read about your plight. he has the option to end it all, anytime he’d like, with the materials he’s been given

  • eduardkhil

    Good glad hes not having a nice time in prison, glad hes not watching tv and enjoying luxuries. Fuck him

  • Krystal Hampton

    The victims should decide the perpetrator’s fate. I don’t know how hard it is to follow such a rule. Justice isn’t ‘one size fits all’. We have convicted people punished too harshly for small crimes and those who committed horrible crimes not being punished at all.
    As far as this person is concerned, I don’t get why they are so upset at their situation. That’s what happens when you commit a crime and you don’t have rights anymore. Other people tell you what rights you have and can order you to accept things you don’t want to accept…if you get what I’m saying.
    All convicted people suffer this fate, be it for a small offense or big offense.

    • Robinanna neibauer

      I don’t know about that, since sometimes, like when you’re spying to help an ally, the “victim” is actually 2, America and Israel. Israel could of died if it weren’t for that spy, and America did an embargo, I think that sentence, life without parole is too harsh! I think Pollard should of been out of jail 26 years ago!

  • Joe Z

    I agree that solitary would produce the kind of madness he described – but no way did he write this article. Look at how elegantly this was written – certainly not the type of prose that someone with presumably little education with no access to the real world could have possibly produced. In fact, most educated americans could not write like this (I’m a trained journalist so I know professional writing when I see it).

    Regardless – it speaks to a good point and raises a lot of questions. People in solitary cannot be rehabilitated – but for some, like this author, his prison term is so long that rehabilitation and introducing him to society is not even an option. Many of these criminals are mentally ill, or downright insane, even before going into solitary. I feel bad for them, but worse for the families of the people who’s lives they took. A part of me wishes things were better for them, but a part of me feel that they deserve this – and more.

    • Junie

      He was allowed to read books and magazine his 25 yrs in solitary confinement. That was plenty time to educate himself in reading and writing especially reading articles written by trained professional journalists.

      • Robinanna neibauer

        so he’s one of the “lucky” ones, he’s not very lucky, but it’s a sad day when somebody who done a less serious crime got solitary confinement for 7 years, and while he was waiting for a court case in washington, he was in solitary too, but he didn’t even get those things. I’m angry too, at how harsh our government is! I am angry at the mistreatment of Pollard too!

    • Andrea Keane

      who said that he was uneducated? you assume because he went to prison or did this crime that he is less educated than someone else say yourself? lot and lots of educated criminals out there wake up .

    • Dan Sword

      You don’t think 25+ years alone in a cell with nothing to do but read and write might make you a decent writer?

  • anna

    can’t do the time? don’t do the crime

    • how utterly puerile, how pathetically predicable, how pathological common…..

    • Dolan Duk

      To fucks like who say “oh well, he killed people, he deserves it”, fuck you, just fuck you… Nobody deserves this kind of shit. If we punished all crimes to the same proportion that we punish people like this guy with life in solitary we would be decapitating people for petty theft.

      If you’re found guilty to the of degree of murder that this man was you should be taken out back and have two put in the back of your head. End of story. But no, since we live in a “civilized” society and executing people is such a fucking barbaric thing to do we, sorry gotta correct myself here, THE STATE has decided that the “humane” thing to do is to lock these people away in solitary for the remainder of their lives where they are not only forced to live a literal mundane hell that is a thousand times worse than being put to death but WE as taxpayers get to be the ones footing the bill to keep dicks like this alive.

      And also, for assholes out there like you who think that the punishment fits the crime. Just wait. Just fucking wait. This piece of shit government of ours passes so many god damn laws under the table that sooner or later its going to be illegal to walk down the fucking block without the proper permits and you’re going to end up just like this guy. You think the US has the highest prison population in the world because our general population is just full of BAD people? No, its because this system has passed so much bullshit legislature that pretty soon you won’t be able to wake up in the morning without breaking three laws. This country now has more privatized prisons than all the other countries in the world combined. We have an entire industry devoted to this shit! There are people making money off other people going to prison. Think about that the next time you want to pat yourself on the back for being nice obedient law abiding tax paying citizen you smug fuck.

      • bgaarsoe

        fuck you, actually.

        What could be more devastating than having someone you love dearly, like your
        father, brother or husband, put into their grave from which there is no chance
        of ever returning–unlike prison, or even solitary confinement–as a result of
        a senseless act of pure selfishness?

        And for what? An almost non-existent chance to maybe get a bit a freedom for a
        very brief moment of time (a moment of freedom that clearly would not have been
        deserved, even if it could be achieved).

        And yet folks like you, being both full of yourselves and your own personal political
        views, manage to muster a Victorian level of self-righteousness indignation for
        the suffering of a murderous convict.
        But when it comes to the tragic suffering of this same convict’s
        victims, you shrug your shoulders and manage to say absolutely nothing.

        painful as solitary confinement may be (and I have no doubt that it is), I
        wonder if it actually rivals the metal anguish associated with knowing that
        someone dear to you was put into their grave and is gone forever for something
        as stupid as a one-in-a-billion chance at temporary freedom. (Again, for
        someone who doesn’t actually deserve it.)

        Seriously, how long could any rational person expect to remain free after
        murdering a law-enforcement officer in front of countless witnesses in open
        court? How stupid and selfish would you have to be to pull that trigger under
        these circumstances and against these odds–and wantonly take the life of
        another person in the process?

        And yet, this author was willing to inflict immeasurable mental torment on
        entire families for something so stupid and so nearly certain to fail–not to
        mention the fact that he willfully and knowingly put his own future and
        well-being at risk: He knew what was at stake and pulled the trigger

        all know how the prison system works in this country, and no one can reasonably
        claim to be surprised to find himself languishing in prison, even is solitary
        confinement, for murdering a law-enforcement officer: Just like clockwork, this author suffered the
        well-known consequences of this type of crime.

        And where was the author’s sympathy for the unimaginable, life-long emotional
        and psychological torment that he was certain to cause countless other human
        beings by such a selfish act?

        I am actually a libertarian and wholeheartedly agree with the notion that we
        have way too many laws, incarcerate way too many people and are way too anxious
        as a society to rip people from their families and confine them in prisons,
        even in cases where the accused poses no real threat to society.

        But this is clearly not the case here: Some people, like this author, actually
        deserve to be in prison and need to be in prison. And regardless of your
        position on solitary confinement, no one here deserves to be called an asshole
        (let alone a fucking asshole) for not being sympathetic towards this

        as a libertarian, it’s hard for me to stomach someone like you saying,
        “fuck you,” and calling people assholes (over and over again) for not
        sharing your sympathetic view of this author’s situation.

        Even though I personally don’t like the fact that our prison system seems to
        make extensive use of extended solitary confinement, and maybe extended solitary
        confinement is so inhumane that no one should ever be subjected to it, I
        certainly can’t fault anyone for not having sympathy for this author.

        Although you are fully justified for not supporting the notion of solitary
        confinement, you would have to be a complete asshole to launch into a
        politically self-righteous tirade like this and say fuck you to everyone who
        doesn’t share both your political sentiments or your sense of sympathy for a
        person who is so unworthy of both our sympathy and our respect.

      • bgaarsoe

        No, fuck you, actually.

        What could be more devastating than having someone you love dearly, like your father, brother or husband, put into their grave from which there is no chance of ever returning–unlike prison, or even solitary confinement–as a result of a senseless act of pure selfishness?

        And for what? An almost non-existent chance to maybe get a bit a freedom for a very brief moment of time (a moment of freedom that clearly would not have been deserved, even if it could actually be achieved).

        And yet folks like you, being both full of yourselves and your own personal political views, manage to muster a Victorian level of self-righteousness indignation for the suffering of a murderous convict. But when it comes to the tragic suffering of this same convict’s victims, you shrug your shoulders and manage to say absolutely nothing.

        As painful as solitary confinement may be (and I have no doubt that it is), I wonder if it actually rivals the metal anguish associated with knowing that someone dear to you was put into their grave and is gone forever for something as stupid as a one-in-a-billion chance at temporary freedom for a convicted criminal who doesn’t deserve to be free.

        Seriously, how long could any rational person expect to remain free after murdering a law-enforcement officer in front of countless witnesses in open court? How stupid and selfish would you have to be to pull that trigger under these circumstances and against these odds–and wantonly take the life of another person in the process?

        And yet, this author was willing to inflict immeasurable mental torment on entire families for something so stupid and so nearly certain to fail–not to mention the fact that he willfully and knowingly put his own future and well-being at risk: He knew what was at stake and pulled the trigger anyway.

        We all know how the prison system works in this country, and no one can reasonably claim to be surprised to find himself languishing in prison, even is solitary confinement, for murdering a law-enforcement officer in open court: Just like clockwork, this author suffered the well-known consequences of this type of crime.

        And where was the author’s sympathy for the unimaginable, life-long emotional and psychological torment that he was certain to cause countless other human beings by such a selfish act?

        I am actually a libertarian and wholeheartedly agree with the notion that we have way too many laws, incarcerate way too many people and are way too anxious as a society to rip people from their families and confine them in prisons, even in cases where the accused poses no real threat to society.

        But this is clearly not the case here: Some people, like this author, actually deserve to be in prison and need to be in prison. And regardless of your position on solitary confinement, no one here deserves to be called an asshole
        (let alone a fucking asshole) for not being sympathetic towards this author.

        Even as a libertarian, it’s hard for me to stomach someone like you saying, “fuck you,” and calling people assholes (over and over again) for not sharing your sympathetic view of this author’s situation.

        Even though I personally don’t like the fact that our prison system likes to make extensive use of extended solitary confinement, and maybe extended solitary confinement is so inhumane that no one should ever be subjected to it, I certainly can’t fault anyone for not having sympathy for this author.

        Although you are fully justified for not supporting the notion of solitary confinement, you would have to be an arrogant (and yes, smug) asshole yourself to launch into a politically self-righteous tirade like this and say “fuck you” to everyone who
        doesn’t share both your political sentiments or your sense of sympathy for a person who is so unworthy of both our sympathy and our respect.

      • bgaarsoe

        No, fuck you, actually.

        What could be more devastating than having someone you love dearly, like your father, brother or husband, put into their grave from which there is no chance of ever returning–unlike prison, or even solitary confinement–as a result of a senseless act of pure selfishness?

        And for what? An almost non-existent chance to maybe get a bit a freedom for a very brief moment of time (a moment of freedom that clearly would not have been deserved, even if it could actually be achieved).

        And yet folks like you, being both full of yourselves and your own personal political views, manage to muster a Victorian level of self-righteous indignation for the suffering of a murderous convict. But when it comes to the tragic suffering of this same convict’s victims, you shrug your shoulders and manage to say absolutely nothing.

        As painful as solitary confinement may be (and I have no doubt that it is), I wonder if it actually rivals the metal anguish associated with knowing that someone dear to you was put into their grave and is gone forever for something as stupid as a one-in-a-billion chance at temporary freedom for a convicted criminal who doesn’t deserve to be free.

        Seriously, how long could any rational person expect to remain free after murdering a law-enforcement officer in front of countless witnesses in open court? How stupid and selfish would you have to be to pull that trigger under these circumstances and against these odds–and wantonly take the life of another person in the process?

        And yet, this author was willing to inflict immeasurable mental torment on entire families for something so stupid and so nearly certain to fail–not to mention the fact that he willfully and knowingly put his own future and well-being at risk: He knew what was at stake and pulled the trigger anyway.

        We all know how the prison system works in this country, and no one can reasonably claim to be surprised to find himself languishing in prison, even in solitary confinement, for murdering a law-enforcement officer in open court: Just like clockwork, this author suffered the well-known consequences of this type of crime.

        And where was the author’s sympathy for the unimaginable, life-long emotional and psychological torment that he was certain to cause countless other human beings by such a selfish act?

        I am actually a libertarian and wholeheartedly agree with the notion that we have way too many laws, incarcerate way too many people and are way too anxious as a society to rip people from their families and confine them in prisons, even in cases where the accused poses no real threat to society.

        But this is clearly not the case here: Some people, like this author, actually deserve to be in prison and need to be in prison. And regardless of your position on solitary confinement, no one here deserves to be called an asshole (let alone a fucking asshole) for not being sympathetic towards this author.

        Even as a libertarian, it’s hard for me to stomach someone like you saying, “fuck you,” and calling people assholes for not sharing your sympathetic view of this author’s situation.

        Even though I personally don’t like the fact that our prison system likes to make extensive use of extended solitary confinement, and maybe extended solitary confinement is so inhumane that no one should ever be subjected to it, I certainly can’t fault anyone for not having sympathy for this author.

        Although you are fully justified for not supporting the notion of solitary confinement, you would have to be an arrogant (and yes, smug) asshole yourself to launch into such a politically self-righteous tirade like this and say “fuck you” to everyone who doesn’t share both your political sentiments or your sense of sympathy for a person who is so unworthy of both our sympathy and our respect.

      • bgaarsoe

        To fucks like who say “oh well, he killed people, he deserves it”, fuck you, just fuck you… Nobody deserves this kind of shit. If we punished all crimes to the same proportion that we punish people like this guy with life in solitary we would be decapitating people for petty theft.

        If you’re found guilty to the of degree of murder that this man was you should be taken out back and have two put in the back of your head. End of story. But no, since we live in a “civilized” society and executing people is such a fucking barbaric thing to do we, sorry gotta correct myself here, THE STATE has decided that the “humane” thing to do is to lock these people away in solitary for the remainder of their lives where they are not only forced to live a literal mundane hell that is a thousand times worse than being put to death but WE as taxpayers get to be the ones footing the bill to keep dicks like this alive.

        And also, for assholes out there like you who think that the punishment fits the crime. Just wait. Just fucking wait. This piece of shit government of ours passes so many god damn laws under the table that sooner or later its going to be illegal to walk down the fucking block without the proper permits and you’re going to end up just like this guy. You think the US has the highest prison population in the world because our general population is just full of BAD people? No, its because this system has passed so much bullshit legislature that pretty soon you won’t be able to wake up in the morning without breaking three laws. This country now has more privatized prisons than all the other countries in the world combined. We have an entire industry devoted to this shit! There are people making money off other people going to prison. Think about that the next time you want to pat yourself on the back for being nice obedient law abiding tax paying citizen you smug fuck.


        No, fuck you, actually.

        What could be more devastating than having someone you love dearly, like your father, brother or husband, put into their grave from which there is no chance of ever returning–unlike prison, or even solitary confinement–as a result of a senseless act of pure selfishness?

        And for what? An almost non-existent chance to maybe get a bit a freedom for a very brief moment of time (a moment of freedom that clearly would not have been deserved, even if it could actually be achieved).

        And yet folks like you, being both full of yourselves and your own personal political views, manage to muster a Victorian level of self-righteous indignation for the suffering of a murderous convict. But when it comes to the tragic suffering of this same convict’s victims, you shrug your shoulders and manage to say absolutely nothing.

        As painful as solitary confinement may be (and I have no doubt that it is), I wonder if it actually rivals the metal anguish associated with knowing that someone dear to you was put into their grave and is gone forever for something as stupid as a one-in-a-billion chance at temporary freedom for a convicted criminal who doesn’t deserve to be free.

        Seriously, how long could any rational person expect to remain free after murdering a law-enforcement officer in front of countless witnesses in open court? How stupid and selfish would you have to be to pull that trigger under these circumstances and against these odds–and wantonly take the life of another person in the process?

        And yet, this author was willing to inflict immeasurable mental torment on entire families for something so stupid and so nearly certain to fail–not to mention the fact that he willfully and knowingly put his own future and well-being at risk: He knew what was at stake and pulled the trigger anyway.

        We all know how the prison system works in this country, and no one can reasonably claim to be surprised to find himself languishing in prison, even in solitary confinement, for murdering a law-enforcement officer in open court: Just like clockwork, this author suffered the well-known consequences of this type of crime.

        And where was the author’s sympathy for the unimaginable, life-long emotional and psychological torment that he was certain to cause countless other human beings by such a selfish act?

        I am actually a libertarian and wholeheartedly agree with the notion that we have way too many laws, incarcerate way too many people and are way too anxious as a society to rip people from their families and confine them in prisons, even in cases where the accused poses no real threat to society.

        But this is clearly not the case here: Some people, like this author, actually deserve to be in prison and need to be in prison. And regardless of your position on solitary confinement, no one here deserves to be called an asshole (let alone a fucking asshole) for not being sympathetic towards this author.

        Even as a libertarian, it’s hard for me to stomach someone like you saying, “fuck you,” and calling people assholes for not sharing your sympathetic view of this author’s situation.

        Even though I personally don’t like the fact that our prison system likes to make extensive use of extended solitary confinement, and maybe extended solitary confinement is so inhumane that no one should ever be subjected to it, I certainly can’t fault anyone for not having sympathy for this author.

        Although you are fully justified for not supporting the notion of solitary confinement, you would have to be an arrogant (and yes, smug) asshole yourself to launch into such a politically self-righteous tirade like this and say “fuck you” to everyone who doesn’t share both your political sentiments and your sense of sympathy for a person who is so unworthy of both our sympathy and our respect.

        • Zxen

          You keep saying ‘this country’. Are you assuming everyone on the internet is in YOUR country? Which country are you in?

          • bgaarsoe

            No, I’m actually assuming that no one could possibly be so dim witted that they could’t easily figure out that since we are talking about solitary confinement policies in the US that I am talking about the US when I say “this” country.
            I doubt that anyone else besides you has struggled to figure this out, Zxen.

            And what do semantics have to do with this topic anyway?

            • Zxen
              • bgaarsoe

                I’m not even sure what that means, Zxen.

                • Zxen

                  Apologies for this tangent about American supremacism, but it relates to the article. Americans need to be very careful not to sound elitist on the internet. You have always prayed to your flag and worshipped yourselves – we all know that. But now all of a sudden you people get to see how the rest of the world feels about it. You are not number one. You are equal. Americans should walk on eggshells everywhere they go to prevent displaying an air of superiority or exclusivity. Power abuse is the only immoral act and should be considered the only crime. Now you know, bgaarsoe. Perhaps you were unaware of this for some reason so you had the excuse of ignorance. But now you’ve been told. Include us all, or specify your country as one of many. Never make it seem that your country is the main country.

                  • bgaarsoe

                    The only thing you have communicated here, Zxen, is that you are one of the ever growing list of people who has a big chip on their shoulder regarding American elitism, which causes you to see American elitism at every corner–and this is a big a problem these days as “American elitism” itself.
                    Zxen, all you are doing is reading way too much into this by projecting your own biases onto the simple use of the word “this” to refer to the country the commenter happens to live in.
                    If this were a similar story from China and some commenter used the term “this county,” all that that would mean is the commenter is from China, nothing more.

                  • ephewe

                    The fuck are you talking about? This is an essay about an American prisoner followed by a discussion of the American “justice system”. All you’ve done is outed yourself as a foreign weirdo that has a big I-hate-the-United-States hard-on. Nobody is gonna legitimize your completely out-of-place and irrelevant rant. You should probably just go fuck yourself. The only person here who said anything about “worshipping” America is you. Fucking nut-bag.

                  • Terra Dactyl

                    You sound like a jealous younger brother, Zxen. Concentrate on the shit your own country does and get off your high horse about America. We don’t care what you think.

        • ephewe

          “What could be more devastating than having someone you love dearly, like your father, brother or husband, put into their grave from which there is no chance of ever returning”

          What the author described in his essay, for one thing. That would be a lot more devastating.

          • Tanvi Mongia

            i think more devastating than dying is to be damned to eternal hell by being put in solitary confinement for the rest of your life. dying is mercy compared to what this man is going through.

          • bgaarsoe

            Really, and you know this how, Ephewe? Have you ever had a member of your immediate family murdered and have you also spent time in solitary confinement to know which is worse.
            And here is another fact that folks like you are conveniently ignore and something that was also conveniently ignored in this story: How this person ended up in solitary confinement: Even criminals who have committed the worst offenses imaginable to not automatically end up in solitary confinement. You can be a murder and even a serial killer and still live in general population. You generally have to continue to cause problems, including engaging in violence within prison, to be consigned to solitary confinement. And even when it comes to solitary confinement, that is usually temporary. Only an elite few end up there permanently. And when they do, it is because they have proven that they are a continued danger to both prison staff and other inmates.
            And I think anyone who automatically buys the notion that this guy has been treated unfairly and is MORE deserving of sympathy than someone who has lost a close family member is either willfully ignorant because of their own political or personal biases or simply incredibly naïve.

            • Dan Sword

              Actually genius, my father was murdered. And I’ve also spent time alone in a cell. So yeah. I do have a pretty good idea what is worse.

              Simply assuming that everyone on prison *deserves to be there* (or even everyone specifically in solitary) is pretty ridiculous when you realize that the prison system is mind-blowingly brutal and corrupt from the ground up. It victimizes hundreds of new people every day. And by “victimize”, I am referring to people who get something worse than they actually deserve in prison.

              Additionally, revenge for the victim is not the intended purpose of prison and never was. The intent is protection of society and the idea that the criminal might be rehabilitated. However, we all know that this is not how US prisons work, in practice.

              • bgaarsoe

                You were actually able to deal with the murder of your father more easily than spending time alone in a cell? That’s interesting, but that doesn’t let you off the hook for all of the other points that have been discussed: First of all, we are not talking about spending time alone in a “cell.” Lot’s of people have done that. We are talking about being put in solitary confinement for an extended period of time–and the fact that that doesn’t happen in a vacuum independent of any behavioral decisions on the part of the person in confinement.

                I’m curious, Dan. How much time did you end up spending in solitary confinement, and why are you not still there? (My guess is you made better personal choices than this guy did.)

                • Dan Sword

                  Spending days alone in a cell and then extrapolating that experience into the some 25 years that the prisoner describes is a simple matter if one has any quanta of imagination at all. Don’t pretend it isn’t.

                  • bgaarsoe

                    It’s actually tragic that any person’s path in life leads to prison. And I’m sure that it’s about the closest thing to hell on earth that exists. But this guy, and no one else here besides you, is talking about how horrible life is in prison. (I don’t think anyone here disputes that.)

                    Again, that is not the topic of this thread, despite the fact that you are “pretending” that it is. (This is a very good example of what is called a straw man, argument, by the way.)

                    • Dan Sword

                      How do you figure? This entire discussion is about solitary being horrible. Solitary is a component of the prison system. When referencing solitary, the unfairness and hellishness of the prison system, at a systemic level, is decidedly relevant. Nice attempt at deflection though.

                • Dan Sword

                  Yes. Yes I was. My father was murdered when I was 11 years old (and not in a pretty way either). And I’d take that over 25 years of solitary and no hope of it ever ending.

                  By the way: what crime exactly do you think will typically get someone landed in solitary for 25 years? You say that murder isn’t enough, etc.

                  I know of many people guilty of less than “murder” who have spent decades or more in solitary. For example, there’s a guy who accidentally shook his baby to death who is in solitary for life. He’s a generally passive, nerdy, comic artist. His accidental baby-killing is his only instance of violent offending. Point is, you can’t just write off solitary like, “well that must mean he’s the worst of the worst – worse than the most murdery murderer or rapey rapist”.

                  • bgaarsoe

                    I am glad to see that you are least now talking about solitary confinement and not conflating it with general prison life. And that’s a nice anecdotal story that would probably be hard for anyone here to verify (and feel free to post the link to his story if you can), but you are still missing the mark if you think this discussion is simply about how horrible both prison and solitary confinement are and how “mean” and “unfair” prisons tend to be. (No one doubts this!)
                    And I have been using the term “generally” for a reason: In just about every aspect of life, you can always find anecdotal exceptions to every situation. But it invariably turns out to be pretty tough to build any type of serious argument based on these anecdotal examples. It’s even harder to persuade people they are representative of the larger (or general) picture, because these arguments are rarely capable of standing up to the larger historical and factual reality.
                    Nor am I convinced that this guy is one of those exceptions. It would be difficult to know for sure based on the story above, because he did not include any of those details, but I would be really surprised if he were actually a hapless victim in all of this who is beyond reproach when it comes to the situation that he has found himself in.
                    And the reason you are still kind of missing the mark with regard to this topic is because all this stuff about how horrible prison is and how horrible solitary confinement must be (which none of us actually doubt) are really nothing more than personal sentiments and do not even begin to address the question of what should be done with people who somehow end up qualifying for long-term solitary confinement. (Nor does your personal anecdote really begin to answer the question of why people end up in these situations.)
                    Dan, I’m sure that every aspect of prison is horrible–solitary confinement probably being the worst aspect of it. But again, that’s still not the topic here.

                  • Dana Leigh

                    “If a guard doesn’t like you, it’s a simple matter for that guard to become “concerned” for your safety”…right on, and they would have the right to decide where you belong, even if those concerns were greatly exaggerated. ….I agree with you, I believe every person in the state, court, or prison system gets a unequal outcome due to the different mindsets of judges, political chairs, and legislative branches they are among. It can even go as far, as you said Dan, a prison guard simply not liking you and saying things to create a certain outcome. It really depends on the people your around and what their own thought patterns and rationalities are….even if wrong.

          • Edgar Aethelred

            True. Death naturally comes to all–even unjust deaths. But torture…

      • Robinanna neibauer

        Thank you, and what about disproportionate sentencing, imagine this, you oh say took marijuana, you get life, then another guy who took marijuana gets 6 months. That’s not fair right?! Well it’s ALSO not fair that Jonathan Pollard gets life without parole,a complete VIOLATION of his plea bargain, then somebody else who spied, and for the same country, Israel, got 13 years,and to add insult to injury, Michael Swartz just gets discharged from the navy, a guy who spied for al quida got 10 years, they’re now free, and even Andrich Alms got treated better. Solatary confinment is an outrage, it is wrong, after all, even MURDERERS have loved ones!

        • Nil_Darps

          I have noticed that you used this most commented on article to raise the unrelated subject of Pollard’s release.

          I’ll quote Hersh in the New Yorker,

          ” According to senior members of the American intelligence community, Pollard’s argument that he
          acted solely from idealistic motives and provided Israel only with those documents which were needed for its defense was a sham designed to mask the
          fact that he was driven to spy by his chronic need for money.

          A number of officials Hersh spoke with believed that the intelligence Pollard provided was repackaged
          and given to the Soviet Union Officials say that there was reason to believe that secret information was exchanged for Jews working in highly sensitive
          positions in the Soviet Union. A significant percentage of Pollard’s documents, including some that described the techniques the American Navy used to track Soviet submarines around the world, were of practical importance to the Soviet Union.”

          If this is true, given our current tensions with Russia,
          the end result was unforgivable.


      • ephewe

        Consider this: Would his punishment have been anywhere even remotely as harsh if he had killed say… a mail carrier or a teacher..? I think not. This sort of thing (aside from being monstrously-inhumanly-repulsively cruel) does much to support the idea that government employees’ lives are somehow more valuable than anyone else’s. That in itself is a grave error. I’m sure some psychopath will see my posts here and flame the shit out of me because this guy “totally deserves it”, etc. To those people I say: Fuck you. You inhuman sociopath. *You* are the true evil.

      • Tanvi Mongia

        sir you are 100% correct. you hit it right in the head. going to jail nowdays doesn’t mean you are a bad person and we have way too many people in prison. end mass incarceration. it would be way more merciful to just shoot this guy in the head and save us millions of dollars. whats the point of him suffering and us losing money. oh right, cause we’re a “civilized” society and we don’t execute people. we just bury them alive and let them suffer eternal hell. so civilized we are.

        • ephewe

          It’s not just burning alive. Don’t forget the constant dehumanization & psychological torture.

          That’s what happens when wealthy pampered-ass politicians who have *no fucking concept* of what prison is actually like are making the decisions. It also doesn’t help when you have an *absolutely disgusting* hedonistic & utterly-amoral moneyed upper-class who actually believe that US prisoners “have it too good”. These are the very same pieces of *filth* who get out of prison sentences themselves by virtue of being able to hire a real lawyer (aka playing the game just as it was always meant to be played). As we all know: For the most part, it’s only poor people or non-whites that actually see the inside of a prison cell. (I am white btw)

      • Joe Ledux

        Dolan Duk
        Just fuck you too, dipshit. I’d like to see how you’d feel about it if it was your brother or father or son this guy murdered in his futile attempt to escape. The people speaking against the convict who wrote the essay have a valid premise. He did murder someone. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, at least not wounds like that, and you’d be the first one standing in line to take an ax to his skull if it were someone you loved that he killed. So quit the tough-guy act. You’re not convincing at all. I did ten years behind bars so I speak here with at least a little bit of authority. If you went to every single inmate doing a life sentence and asked them, what would they do to a man who raped or murdered their parents, their siblings, their lovers, their children…I guarantee you to a one (if they answered honestly) would gladly take a ditch-bank blade and split the perpetrator from crown to chin. They would show no mercy whatsoever to the the killer, just like most people in the free world. As I said in another post on this topic, the vast majority of inmates serving life sentences are doing so because they copped out to avoid execution, and considered it a good deal. Nobody wants to have prison personnel lying in wait with IV bags and poison to stick into their arms. I spent the better part of a year on lockdown for various reasons and I can tell you, probably 90% of people in the hole are there because they simply couldn’t get with the program and continued to do things that posed a threat to or inflicted harm on other inmates or staff. Or, like me, they continued belligerence and disobedience long past the point that any rational person would shut his fucking mouth and move along. Most of the people on long-term lockdown are there because they presented either an escape risk (e.g. actually attempted an escape) or a continuing threat to the safety of either staff or other inmates. One of the people at Angola who has served decades on lockdown has been there because every time they let him go and placed him into population he either raped another inmate, or tried, or physically attacked and tried to kill another inmate, and this was a big, strong, brutal and primitive man your average fellow simply couldn’t withstand an attack from. What else are you supposed to do with someone like that? Every single convict knows full well the life that awaits him if the authorities decide he’s too much of and too incorrigible a threat to others, or too much a threat of escape. When he crosses the line he does so with full knowledge of the fate that awaits him. As many inmates I have known (some of them serving life sentences for murder) would say, fuck ’em. He knew what would happen. I’m not one to apologize for any chickenshit bullies who work as prison guards. I’ve known several I would love to anonymously stomp the teeth out of their heads for the chickenshit bully cowards they were. Yet there were many others who were decent, and it’s dishonest and a bit cowardly to not give them credit where credit is due. Regardless, a prison guard has one responsibility that comes before all others: and that’s to segregate the convict away from the world at large so he can’t inflict harm upon any more innocent citizens like he has done in the past. Seen in that light, being draconian with the long-term confinement makes perfect sense. And you know what? When inmates get sent to do rock-time in the hole, you know what the most common reason is? Because the offender either threatened or harmed some of his fellow inmates. I got put on the rock several times because I had absolutely no respect for some of the guards and I wasn’t bashful about letting them know it. Stupid. But most of the guys doing rock-time were doing it because they had either threatened or attacked a fellow inmate. Long story short–every inmate with more than a couple weeks incarcerated under his belt knows full well what the consequences are if they threaten or cause harm to other inmates or staff. And people like the inmate who wrote this essay bought and paid for their consequences many times over. He claims his incarceration is worse than death? I know one guy on death row who would gladly trade places with him. If his lot is so terrible now, would he elect to be executed if the option was offered to him? Well, that option awaits. He presumably has sheets and blanket from which a rope can be braided (I knew someone who did it and used it so I know it can be done). So why is he still alive? Oh yeah, because like 99% of his fellow humans he doesn’t want to die. Cry me a fucking river. Feel however you like about an inmate killing law enforcement or custodial jail personnel. But know that the man killed had loved ones, parents or mate or kids who sobbed at the funeral. I’m an old ex-con. But if this dude had killed one of my loved ones I’d take his head for a trophy if it were the last thing I did in life, and no pouting woe-is-me whining would slow me down even a little bit. I’d bet that if you asked him, and he was totally honest, he’d do the same to anyone who hurt one of his. You know what the old timers at Angola Prison, one of the oldest, largest, and most brutal and primitive max-security pens in the country, say to new lifers who arrive on the bus? Many of them arrive with life sentences, and in this state “life means life.” You only get out when you die. The old convicts say to new lifers when they arrive: Any man who can’t live with a life sentence is a weak punk. I’d amend that to say that any man who willfully takes the life of another for any self-serving reason short of defending himself from murder, and who afterward complains about the severity or conditions of his sentence, is a weak punk who should have thought twice before he committed the brutal and self-serving harm he did. I say all this, but can also say that some of the best friends I’ve ever had in this life were convicted murderers. To a one I’d trust any of the with my back or my life. And not a single one of them ever whimpered about the severity or conditions of his sentence. One of them spent the better part of two decades on lockdown. Did he whine or complain? Not a bit. He took it like a man. He knew he earned it and he took it without crying about it. I have a great deal of sympathy and commiseration with my fellow convicts. But not much respect for one that whimpers about his sentence or conditions thereof. I learned really fast, as a new convict, that nobody wanted to hear anyone bellyaching about his sentence or conditions. Self-pity earns you nothing in the joint except scorn. And for Dolan Long Duk Dong I say again, fuck you, shut your dicksucker before someone shuts it for you. Or puts something in it for you to nurse on. You whinging punk. You know nothing about doing time or about people who have to live with the consequences of brutal acts committed by others, like the inmate who wrote this essay. If I were classification personnel or a warden or assistant warden at his facility, barring some recent and fairly egregious dangerous behavior on his part, I would set him loose in general population. At this point, so many decades into his extended lockdown stay, he probably has established a track record that shows he is probably a threat to neither fellow inmates nor prison staff. And that should be the sole issue considered in whether or not to place him in general population. Without doubt the reason he has been in a cage for so long is likely the fact that he harmed prison personnel in his escape attempt. Since inmates are sent to prison *as* punishment and not *for* punishment–meaning it’s not the job of prison staff to inflict punishment upon the inmate–they have no legit role in punishing an inmate for wrongs committed by him in the past. So, yeah, I’d at least give him a probationary run at living in population. It simply isn’t the fucking job of prison staff to decide to inflict such punishment upon him, and then inflict that punishment. There’s even a convincing fiscal argument against keeping him in solitary. It costs something like 2.5 to 3 times more to keep someone on lockdown than it costs to keep him in a dorm in general population. If the guy hasn’t done anything in his recent security history to threaten or cause harm to staff or other inmates, the staff owes him a shot at general population. Drop him into a slot where he costs less to house and where he might actually contribute toward earning his keep. Guys coming off of long-term stays in lockdown–provided they aren’t one of the numerous inmates with psychiatric problems–typically present far less of a disciplinary problem than new inmates or those who go straight into gen pop after being sentenced.

        But don’t tell me he deserves less stressful circumstances. If that was one of my loved ones he harmed or killed, I’d go to prison on purpose if I thought I could get a crack at the guy, and I would knock the brains right out of his fucking skull.

      • Dana Leigh

        Good Dolan to realize it is the STATE that is implementing this bullshit for “safety” reasons, etc etc etc. What a bloody joke.

  • So when will despotic ‘government’ apply the same despicable standards of torture against those many many cops who murder unarmed and compliant citizens?

    And all the bloodthirsty critics commending the torture of this felon fall silent….

  • Bill S.

    You haven’t lived till you have done 21 months in solitary. . . Yes, some spend a great deal more time than I did. . . What I don’t understand is how people crack under that kind of pressure. . . After all, it’s quiet, none of the constant yelling, screaming, fighting you get in general population. . . I spent all that time reading, reading and reading. . . That was more than 20 years ago for me. . . Today, I own my own business, happy and have a nice life. . . I look back on that time and learned one thing. . . I had 21 months to work on “me” and my problems. . . I was forced to see myself for who I am and do something to change it, something MOST persons can’t survive. . . I’m glad I went through that.

    • Rocky

      You are a fucking dummy. I hope you’re not this stupid a year later.

    • Tanvi Mongia

      that makes me really happy to hear. the fact that 80,000 people spend time in solitary confinement really hurts me to my core but to know that a strong person can make the best out of a situation it makes me feel pretty positive. i think long term solitary confinement should be banned however. but for short periods of time i guess it can’t be that bad.

      • ephewe

        The crucial differences are:

        The guy above wasn’t in solitary for 25 years.

        The guy above also knew he’d eventually get out – he had light at the end of the tunnel.

        • Tanvi Mongia

          I agree with you. It is totally different when there is light at the end of the tunnel. The people that lock them away day after day for years know what type of fucking sick torture it is and don’t really give a fuck at all. This guy deserves to be free already. I do think about him too. To know that he is stuck in the same cell everyday. It’s painful and it’s painful to know that this happens to thousands of other americans. It is sick. It is absolutely sick. I can’t think of a worse form of torture honestly.

        • tsp1der

          Are you stupid. Take a few guards out. Those people get above barely minimum wage and in your hyperbole you took your hatred on a system and narrowed it down to the only people that actually have a physical interaction with you. New story “solitary convinment inmate escaped and kills 2 guards” instant crack down and more harsh shu conditions, also a person trying to support another by getting the only job available in a prison town is dead when all they were trying to do was find some happiness in the lesser version of hell than the inmates that they themselves are in

        • Chris U

          So you feel the guys he killed were worthless and you’d want to kill more, you’re the sicko. You’re the one needing to be killed.

        • Dana Leigh

          Good point, hope is everything and will cause you to survive….even in the worst circumstances……

        • SM Kovalinsky

          This is a case where the punishment becomes far more evil than the crime. Those who inflicted it will face their own box after death.

    • anne ashely

      Given that the record that i have showing up whenever my background check is carried out is from a time i was really young and stupid,but that was over 19 years ago,i sort for all types of help to prove am a different person entirely,including changing my name,didn’t help,till i met a top dog of a human resource firm who informed me of a ground of ethical elite hackers who were able to help remove my records from the jurisdiction they originate to everywhere they ever existed was totally removed from my records,it was like a dream come reality,i was able to get a job a qualify for without my past hurting me ,if your case is in anyway related to this,i suggest you contact hackhemp(AT)gmail(DOT)com ,they are professional and dependable,you can thank me later,am sure we all make mistakes and for that we deserve a second chance to get over our past.

    • Dana Leigh

      I am glad that you had a positive experience. Every person is unique, and every person is subjective, as how the original author described regarding himself and the fellow prison inmates he heard and knew. There is nothing more greater of an error than predicting or expecting an outcome of a person, no matter how close in intra and inter variables they may be to you and your experiences. You were forced to see yourself for who you are, that in your perception, it was a positive experience and were able to survive that. Most normalized people, if forced to do anything abnormally, would not take such a appreciative and gracious approach to such a experience as yours. Some people simply don’t heal, some people do not choose to heal nor change, and some people may not even desire to learn about themselves and choose, willingly, to change. This is their choice. It is the beauty of something referred to as “free will”….under the amendment of free speech, etc etc. It is our own subjective journey, and ours alone, to decide what we want to learn and what we want to experience and/or become. I believe that realistically. most normalized people would not be glad to have gone through such a inhumane and undignified experience as you have gone through that would affect any normal person’s mental health adversely. Any type of inappropriate isolation or forced seclusion for a long amount of time is abnormal, as to why we label it as a atrocity to a human right. I hope your crime truly did fit the time you were forced to spend in confinement.

  • Noel

    Lisa – Thank you for sharing Mr. Blake’s great work. It is difficult to convey how much his words seared my mind and touched my heart. I don’t know if he knows what an positive impact he has had on those of us who have been given the opportunity to read his story. I believe he has become the man he was destined to be; in that, he has transcended the hellish and unforgiving milieu of solitary confinement and survived. I, for one, wish him well.

  • (MusKens) You are joking of course? The name is “Carmichael” Highland Scot on one side of the family; do you want to tell me of your human treatment in view of my family name and you are in England? Or are you just stupid? What view European or other wise that condonse the killing and dismembering of others is human? I live in the area where we have no deth penalty and I fought for the no death penelty when I realized that is the last thing a killer desires is long term life.. My decission has nothing to do with being human.. Nor when it comes to killing a life for a life… You are one of these that have no idea what it is like to live with animal killers. I do been there done that. I survived because I was bader and more dangerious than most of them.. Not and easy way to live for the avergae prisoner.. Oh and by the way you better take a good lok around Europ before you keep spotting off. Engalnd with no guns is a dangerious place to live, they beat up the weak all the time.. Been there pal.. Tell the truth. About were you live..

    • Muskens

      If you compare human behaviour of that of animals and this “human behaviour is worse than that of animals, then these humans are less than animals. ,

  • Muskens

    It is just cruel. This is indeed worse than death.
    A society which allows this, isn’t worth to be called human. Even animals are not doing this to eachother, so mankind is worse and lower than nature

    • I guess I want to understand your opinion (Muskens) if you think this is bad; what do you think about what Blake did? Was that as “inhuman”? O was that just a boo boo? Animals kill each other every day? Fish have feeding freenzy’s? What animal does not feed off another? Except a Blake, he just kills of course because he just felt like it…

      • Muskens

        You can permit yourself this opinion because you are not in this situation. Although I am against the dead penalty and life long imprisonment, I could understand life long if people like Blake would be allowed to take part at normal prisonlife.
        I know that you as US citizen has nothing to do with European opinions in this matter, I would like to draw your attention at the opinion of the European Court of Human Rights in which a prohibition on torture is written. This lifelong solitary imprisoment is plain torture.


        In my opinion we in Europe have a much more humane opinion, much better and healthier understanding of human rights.
        That;s the main reason I never visited the US and I will never do.

        I think you consider the pain of the ancestors of the murdered people aswell. Well, this pain isn’t comparable with Blake’s.

        Convicting people to this punishment is inhuman and plain torture. Thanks God I don’t live in the US.
        If you compare animal behaviour with that of humans and you try to explain or to excuse ddispacable human behaviour in pointing to animals, than the people who commit this are no better than animals. In fact they are worse. There is no animal who locks up it’s pray in solitary confinement. So these people are lower than animals and shoudl be treated likewise.

        • You see, the bottom line it this: I may or may not be different from any of the other monkeys? However, if you, or anyone else, deliberately killed one of my monkey offspring; you would never have to worry about the court process. For, I will, or my associates and family members will, find you and kill you; and that will be the end of the story no matter where you are or whatever you try to do. The killer of a family member of mine might as well kill themselves. That is how I feel about the subject. If I killed someone, in one of my robberies, than I would have deserved to die.. If you locked me up, I’d say thank you, as I try daily to get out and be free, one-way or the other. That is the type of Monkey I am.. I would not be a cry baby monkey over past bad deeds…

      • Robinanna neibauer

        and he also can have no justice, no mercy! Mad world!

  • Mark

    Ok, don’t kill cops and you won’t go to jail.

    • Adrian Masters

      OK, killing a cop (even a deputy) brings you rightfully in jail (provided that justice is done and the cop or deputy did not do anything causing to be shot!), BUT being put 26 years in solitary confinement?????????

      We’re no longer in the Middle Ages were people were thrown in dungeons and they never saw daylight again, we live in the 21st century for crying out loud!
      We are supposed to be enlightened, and we are supposed to be treating our prisoners, whatever crime they did commit, as human beings, and not as animals!

      Killing a cop…. yes, that might bring you in jail, as said provided the cop didn’t do anything that made the other defend him- or her-self against the cop’s actions, but what justifies being put in solitary confinement for 26 years?

      If the man is mentally sick, then he does not belong in prison but in a mental institution, if the man is being a hazard to his fellow inmates then put him in another section were there is better supervision, and if he is considered so guilty that he deserves the death penalty, then sentence him to such a penalty, not 26 years in isolation! That is inhumane!

      A country that supports a system that is unable to treat its people in a humane way and manner is unworthy to be considered civilized, and is lower then the lowest!
      And people who practice such inhumane ways and manners are to be in jail themselves, for crimes against humanity!

  • Margaret

    I can’t imagine what solitary is like for that long. I’m sure it’s maddening. To not touch the grass, hear a loved one’s voice, see a familiar face, have a normal conversation…terrible.

    Of course, the man he killed can’t do any of those things either. He can’t hear his wife say she loves him. He can’t see his children grow and have families of their own. He can’t walk in the sun and swim/run/bike/play with his kids and friends and wife.

    I can’t say that my heart bleeds for this man. I’m sure he’s sorry for what he did. I think being locked up like that would make anyone sorry. Who’s to say if he would feel this same level of remorse if he were in amongst the general prison population?

    Maybe it is a miscarriage of justice to leave him in solitary for that long, but maybe you shouldn’t kill someone either. He says it’s worse than death. I challenge him to say that to the wife of the man he killed. Or his kids. Or the parents’ of that man who had to bury their son.

    • Rob P

      I have to pretty much echo what Margaret said here. I’m sure solitary totally sucks. I’m sure that this man probably is genuinely remorseful by now. But the man is still dead. His family still grieves. He already killed someone as a member of general pop. Can that chance be taken again? Unfortunately in life, sometimes we make our own beds, only to find out later what a bytch it is to have to lie in those beds…

      • Andrew Josiah Stewart

        The continuing torture of a fully repented individual who has served far more than equal pain and punishment than that which the dead cop and his family experienced, is a truly unnecessary act. all creatures deserve the right to be put to death, as an eye for an eye suggests… Not by them self, but by those who they have wronged. An eye for an eye does not mean that when a man stabs your eye, it is just to make him slowly gouge his own eye out over a time frame of 25+ years. It means you take his eye, or his life. Torture is never justified means, even if it effectively deters others from committing his crime.
        That would be like sawing off a babies fingers because the baby stole candy, to deter others from stealing… Just because the baby didn’t realize the punishment for stealing was to lose its fingers.

        • ephewe

          “more than equal” is a ridiculous understatement too. After all, it’s very very easy to die. Don’t get me wrong, I am not downplaying the seriousness of murder. That said, I wouldn’t want *my own* murderer to suffer this kind of treatment. I also don’t believe The State should have the “authority” to do something so utterly monstrous & heinous. It’s torture. Anyone who says this is *not* torture is either completely ignorant of the human condition and has no empathy (aka is a sociopath themselves) or is not being honest with his (or her) self. There is simply no way to argue that what this man described isn’t inhuman torture of the absolute highest order. Just knowing that a fraction of my taxes – even if only a fraction of a penny – is put towards paying for this sends chills down my spine.

        • Tracy Powers

          An eye for an eye is Old Testament. Christians go by the New Testament.

          • Tracy Powers

            No, actually, they don’t. You clearly know nothing about Christianity. Anyone claiming to be a Christian AND calling for revenge is NOT following Christ’s command to forgive. Calling someone an idiot when they are right AND you are wrong isn’t the way to communicate.

    • Andrew Josiah Stewart

      All who further condemn this man are wrong. Why?
      People get over the death of lost ones. There are stages of grief, and acceptance is the last part. Grief of a lost one exponentially decreases with time, while the pain of a life sentence in solitary only increases.
      All of you lack of empathy. Solitary for murder isn’t equality. If the murdered cops family met this man and heard his whole hearted testimony in person after coping with the grief of their deceased, they would break… And so would the system of Solitary Confinement. This Judge Milroy swears by the bible, but surely knows nothing of the pain point to The Ghospel of Christ… Forgiveness.

      The murderer had a family and friends who miss him too, but unlike the cop who is dead and in a better place, the family of this prisoner is forced to live day by day knowing he is alive and being tortured. To take away a mans ability to sleep is the worst agony, and the worst psychological torture that no creature can endure forever without eventually killing itself.
      You are all the cancer that plagues humanity, and you claim to understand the concept of God and Hell, Justice or Revenge… but have no empathy, forgiveness or mercy.
      Imagine what will happen if the Hindu Brahmans were right, and that when you die, you’ll experience life from the eyes of ALL creatures that ever lived, starting with this man… The one you’ve most wronged?
      Dante once said “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who had the chance to do something, but chose to do nothing”, essentially on account of their own viewpoint.

      • Tracy Powers

        “People get over the death of lost ones. There are stages of grief, and acceptance is the last part. Grief of a lost one exponentially decreases with time, while the pain of a life sentence in solitary only increases.
        All of you lack of empathy.”

        Aren’t you just the voice of judgment? “All of you?” Really?

        BTW, YOU DO NOT speak for ANYONE else but yourself when you talk about how a person feels after they have lost a loved one or their grief!! You OBVIOUSLY have never lost a child of your own!! Perhaps YOUR pain decreases over time, but when you LOVE your child Llike a mother should, out absolutely does not decrease!!

      • Tracy Powers

        “People get over the death of lost ones. There are stages of grief, and acceptance is the last part. Grief of a lost one exponentially decreases with time, while the pain of a life sentence in solitary only increases.
        All of you lack of empathy.”

        Aren’t you just the voice of judgment? “All of you?” Really?

        BTW, YOU DO NOT speak for ANYONE else but yourself when you talk about how a person feels after they have lost a loved one or how long they grieve!! You OBVIOUSLY have never lost a child of your own!! Perhaps YOUR pain decreases over time, but when you LOVE your child like a mother should, it absolutely does not decrease!!

        • tsp1der

          Adults can make more children, that is there entire purpose in life. Back in the day they had like 14-18 kids in their lifetimes and maybe 8-9 died from various things. Maybe god doesn’t exist anymore because enough peoples feelings forced god into a eternal hell of torture. Oh wait, they got over it and made more. Entitled assholes that try to put an equivalent exchange on someone’s elses life with time. He has been in there for 25 years. You paid for that in taxes . You pay for a permanent monthly sub to prison weekly instead of seeking rehab to cut prison costs to zero and maybe they will help you pay for your Medicare when you are dying at age 85. You are the reason prison is for profit and not the betterment of society, because you feel and judge them fit for whatever without accepting that without rehab everyone will pay for them forever and they will never contribute something back. Your blind ignorance to a solution is what will make prisons a corporation completely and you will spend months in jail for jay walking because the corporation will profit from it

    • Andrew Josiah Stewart

      It is sad how wrong he was when he states that “thankfully folks like Judge Milroy are of the few, that in the eyes of the many, at a point, enough is enough.”
      Clearly within the majority of comments of this post, he was wrong. The majority don’t understand the unnecessary pain of torture, because they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Clearly the majority truly Hold a todler-like fury of eternal damnation as equal punishment for a crime.
      Grow up. Not even the most barbaric tribes have the time, effort or resources to be so sadistic as to deprive a man of sleep and freedom with fear of men throwing their own shit at him every time he shuts his eyes, for 25+ years. Grow up. How old are you?

      • ephewe

        Yeah. There are a great many people in this country who are so far removed from the horrors of the so-called “justice system” that they actually think that inmates such as this man are treated *too well*; bloodthirsty souls with no concept of empathy for his fellow man. It’s actually scary when you think about it. You could be standing next to someone right now who has absolutely no moral qualms with subjecting a human being to this sort of thing. I would be more comfortable standing next to a bank robber or a rapist, to be quite honest.

    • ephewe

      I would say it to the wife of the man he killed. No problem. The kids too. What The State has done (and is doing) to this man is completely unconscionable.

  • dahszil

    This solitary confinement is dark ages practice. I am angry, depressed, and outraged how a state of the USA can inflict such punishment. I feel this horrible type of incarceration is due to US social psychology has become fascist. The reason these politicians and authorities in Ca and DC can sleep at night is due to a mental phenomena called compartmentalization. These politicians including governor Brown totally put out of their minds what horrors they are doing to people. They are no different than the Nazis in Germany in world war 2. These authorities have for all intents and purposes have no conscience. They can go home love their families, go out an have a good time, cry at the cruelty to animals, fall asleep at the drop of a hat, etc. These prison officials and politicians are psycho sociopaths. If i had the choice to be confined in solitary confinement for years or being put being put before a firing squad I would chose the latter. Our federal government goes out of its way to go into a state and overturn sensible drug laws, the right to die, etc but does nothing about this evil of indefinite solitary confinement. All citizens of US and citizens of the world need to protest and engage in civil disobedience to abolish this worse than death indefinite solitary confinement. What would also help would be a multiparty government based on proportional representation. I know that many of these prisoners in solitary confinement are not even murderers and even if some are, their solitary punishment is so immoral. Always remember “if not for the grace of god, their go I”. Which means any of us could be put in the shoe.

  • Mark

    The guy killed one person and maimed another – he certainly did that no question about it. I don’t want him as my neighbour – do you?

    • jakeViz

      Nope. I dont.

      I also don’t want the likes of some barbarian who locks people up in solitary for 30 years as my neighbor either.

      Unfortunately those people ARE your neighbors.

      America is better than this.

      Cruel and Unusual punishments are constitutionally forbidden. He should have been executed a long time ago.

  • MorticusMaximus

    The treatment of these men reflects on us all. Would we torture these men in this way for so long if we were charged with their punishment ? Yet we build prisons and allow those systems to inflict this pain and suffering on fellow humans on out behalf. Some offenders deserve to remain in prison for their whole life. But torture like this is obscene.

    One further point. 50,000 prisoners on full life sentences in the USA. In the UK, 50. FIFTY. The US justice/prison system is out of control.

    • jakeViz

      America has become a police state with no regard for constitutional law.

    • ephewe

      Yes it is out of control. I actually saw a statistic which says that 1 in every 32 Americans is either in prison or on parole *right now*. That is a stunning figure. Concerning only the most visible aspect of the “justice system”: I have personally been harassed *more than once* by police (of which there are entirely too many) for having to gall to walk down the street. I was not suspected of a crime. I was not committing a crime. I was simply walking from point A to point B. Since most around here people drive everywhere, that evidently meant I was up to no good and thus I should be harassed/searched/intimidated/etc.. I once called 911 to report a fire that I saw while I was (again) walking down the street, since I thought that was the responsible thing to do. I then spent 2 hours being grilled by police (my girlfriend too) about how I supposedly started the fire then called to report it for kicks. I have had police pull me over, then rob me (twice). I have had police pull me over with no justification then straight-up fabricate violations for which to levy financially *devastating* fines. Right now, if you go to the main street near me and stand there, you will see a separate police vehicle drive by approximately every 30 seconds. They are constantly roving in search of people to victimize – people who have not wronged anyone. When police here stop you, the first thing they do is say, “why are you so nervous?” (as if they don’t know exactly why). And this particular rant is only about the police; to say nothing of the back-end of the so-called “justice system” (the courts & prisons). You aren’t wrong when you say the system is completely out of control.

    • Tanvi Mongia

      I totally agree, as a society we have to say that we are not okay with people being treated like this. it is an affront to all of our humanity. the prison system is indeed totally out of control.

    • Edgar Aethelred

      No guns in UK

      But also to be fair, no draconian drug laws in UK

  • Jason

    Amazing, scary story. Thank you.

  • Gary Sechler

    Something I read from Blake’s post was that he wasn’t going to mess up in the “next life.” There is only one thing that makes us, us, and that is our mind, our consciousness and our memories. When we die, God through the Holy Spirit uploads our mind, which is our soul and saves it for our resurrection, just like uploading a file on the internet. God has one law, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but there is a dark side to this, as you have done, God will do to you. When we are born we enter this life God has major and minor tests that we are to experience. What that means, is that Blake has earned his current state of being. How? Only God knows who Blake was his last time on this earth, but just suppose he was Adolf Eichmann, the German who carried out Hitler’s plan for the jeues (Jews) or one of his close advisors, which is more likely, Eichmann has probably experienced the second death by now, but if you have ever read about the hell that they created for the Jeues (Jews) what Blake is going through is a walk in the park, comparatively speaking, What he is going through was specifically planned for him by God, and since God is the source of his problem, God is his only hope for help. Our job is not to cry over him, nor to aid him in getting back on the streets where he can “do it again.” All we can do is pray for him, and ask God to help him deal with what he has done in a positive way and help him to understand that God’s purpose is to bring him to a point where he would never want to treat anyone the way he is being treated and has treated others in the past.

  • Jennifer

    you reap what sow, I have no pity what gave you the right to murder (you did) you should have been sentenced to death but you were not because someone with a heart choose for you live be thankful in your little you call home now !!!

  • My GOD! I cannot tell you how disgusted I am with the the Justice System in this country, this is horrifying and so very sad … I pray for this man.

  • guest

    I dont feel a bit sorry for the writer of this article. I feel sorry for his victim and his family. The moral of his story should be not to kill someone or this is what happens to you. Not poor me. Where is his remorse or feeling for his victim? Maybe if he had some he wouldnt have done wihat he did. all he thinks about is himself and how he is affected. He also sentenced the man’s family to a lifetime of hurt and pain and they did nothing to deserve it.

  • John Te

    Wondering what the author thinks would be a fitting and just punishment for the wanton killing he was found guilty of…

  • Letmeopine

    Bottom line, he took a life that was not his to take. That’s God’s place, not man’s. And whoever said America’s justice system is vengeance not justice, I bet if it were your family memeber/loved one who was killed you’d be saying different. To know the killer will never walk the streets again and never have the freedoms that he took from the person he killed……well if that’s considered vengeance, then so be it. There’s not much difference between vengeance and justice if you really look at all aspects. All of our actions have consequences, good or bad. If you choose to take a person’s life then yours should be taken as well, whether it be to the prison system or to the death penalty. When we reach an age of accountability, when we know right from wrong, we have a choices in life. It’s up to us to make the wrong or the right ones. Wrong choices or right choices, they all have consequences. His choice was to kill and now he’s paying the price. We all reap what we sow, and that is Biblical.

    • dustinfaber

      You talk about taking a life being God’s place not man’s, but then you condone vengeance when that is something God said we shouldn’t do.

  • JJ

    Oh, boo hoo. My uncle was murdered in 1977. The weapon of choice? An ax. You won’t get a nanosecond of pity or sympathy from me.

    • Andrea Keane

      is his murderer in solitary for life?

    • Micah

      Holy shit, man. I’m sorry about your uncle. That’s a horrible way to go…

    • ephewe

      I know this post is very old, but I had to put in my two cents: Not even Hitler deserves what this man described. There is no earthly evil that justifies this. If you’re gonna kill a man, kill him. Under no circumstances should the state have the authority to destroy a human being’s mind and soul. It’s funny how people will preach about rehabilitation from the right side of their mouth then they will endorse eternal cruelty and isolation from the left side. Thankfully, I have never tasted actual prison (let alone solitary). However, I’ve read enough compositions by articulate men such as the author of this essay to *know* that nobody deserves it. State-sponsored “rehabilitation” should be limited in scope (much like places in Europe where the maximum sentence is 20 years) so that there is always hope and incentive to get through it and become better. I do not believe The State is competent enough or moral enough (not even remotely) to sentence people to death; let alone decades of solitary (which is a death sentence for the mind). What’s the point of “rehabilitation” if you completely remove all hope and utterly destroy the person being rehabilitated? As far as I’m concerned, solitary confinement of this scope and duration blows *waaaay* past the limits of so-called rehabilitation and lands squarely in the realm of inhuman cruelty – even more cruel than murdering a person.

  • Nosympathy

    I am not sure what you are searching for..lets not forget the words you use in your paragraphs. “I woke up to ” ” I felt like ” I ate my dinner” the officer you killed, wont wake up to smell anything, he wont wake up to feel anything (sick, suffocated etc.) he will never have a dinner period….so what it is that your BITCHING about again? YOUR STILL ALIVE, your out now, your not dead are you?. The officer you killed is…and for everyone out there sympathizing with this morbid pity partier, you are just have just been conned…

    • jakeViz

      I hear you.

      America does the death penalty half assed and this is the end result.

      He killed a guard and should have been executed.

      Instead we throw him away and forget he exist in a place where you loose your mind.

      Like the sentence is ‘insanity’ by virtue of being alone.

      We cannot do Capital Punishment half assed.

      The likes of people in solitary for 10-20-30 years is cruel and usual.

      He should have been executed. I am sure he would have preferred it. Im sure the victims family and friends would have also preferred it.

      America is better than this.

    • Andrea Keane

      you didn’t really read it all he is still in solitary he isn’t out he is his 4th prison in solitary like everywhere he has ever served anytime since his sentencing.all totaling 25 years in solitery out of a seventy seven year sentence. If the crime is so horrific then execute them if it isn’t they should have a prescribed time and an out date – period. execution should not take years and years to take place justice should be swift. this is barbaric and demonstrates that we are not a civilized society at all most of the people who commented here have no concept of what they are saying they don’t think about what is being expressed here. this creates more violence and deviance. this is the path to every citizen being afraid and the government and police being all powerful . do any of you realize what could happen if we keep going this way or do you not care because you are older and figure it won’t happen in your lifetime. once again sickening sheep baaa baaaa.

  • Allen T.

    Fr. Russ my email is not working. I caught some type of virus, and lost the account, access to aol and everything I had on there. Can you give me a call when you get a chance.

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    First let me thank you for the educated and very smart part. I hope it applies.

    But thankfully I have NEVER EXPERIENCED BEING RAPED!

    However I was a teenager on my bunk in Baton Rouges Parrish Jail when the teenager in the next cell was raped.

    I had to listen while he was abused which was made all the more real by the movement of my bunk transfered through the sheetmetal wall that our bunks were welded to.

    I also witnessed a teen dive head first off the 2nd tier railing in solitary confinement on Christmas Day 1968 as he went to the shower. I suspected he had been abused.

    I saw another hang himself in LA County Juvenile Hall. So I am sensitive to such abuse.

    I have a BS degree but with no thanks to the system. No I am not angry and I hope I am normal. My concern is over those I left behind.

    You should read:

    America’s 10 Worst Prisons: Walnut Grove

    “A picture of such horror as should be unrealized anywhere in the civilized world.”

    —By James Ridgeway and Jean Casella

    They are the editors of this site by the way.


    Here is something I believe which Jean and James write about in their articles.

    “Incarceration is a cruel gauntlet with one side lined with rouge guards and the other with predatory inmates.

    These two adversarial groups consciously or unconsciously collude in order to mete out societies punishment.

    If you are lucky you will reemerge on the other side with a new appreciation of what it takes to do your time in the middle.”

    By Alan

  • SuzyQ1@yahoo.com

    AlanCYA when you were raped in Baton Rouge did you sue like Billy BTK? My husband tells me that sometimes you guys come out of jail and you are never alright? How did you adjust? I mean you seem educated and very smart. Do you hold anger over your ordeal?

  • @Ann Dash: The real question and what should be front and center, is not about pity. It should be for us in society a cold and “unemotional” question of Justice. Our concern should be, what is the proper punishment for one that takes a life? I think the sentence should be equal across the board, dead is dead, no matter how it is accomplished. Nor do I see any difference between a police officer, corrections officer and a private citizen. IF? All things where equal, and they are not. I would favour a Death penalty. IF it is to be “Life”, then life it should be, and that decision should be in the Court system done by Judge and Jury. The problem as I see it, is sentencing to a life of what? I do not want to make the criminal a victim as they are now. I want the “convicted” to pay for the life they have taken, (it could mean a form of slavery or indentured servitude to the victim of the crime? ) I want the person on implanted “gps” system with and impulse implant for violence. (That is right a stinger if you get my drift) We are close to perfecting such things… Then let the person live in society with their dam mark of Cain implanted in their Butt… A dedicated job, “forced work” controlled by the state, with 50% of the income to the victim, 25% for the state fee for supervision and enforcement and 25% percent living… Something to these effects for the murderer.. ( to take anyones life one should pay the maxim in retribution) In my mind God gives life, the Devil takes it. So you want to play Devil, I know how to fix you for the rest of your life. I know just what to do with those that cross my lines..

  • ann dash

    What do these criminals expect when they TAKE THE LIFE OF ANOTHER for no reason? I have NO pity for these people. If they didn’t want to do the time, then DON’T do the crime.

  • Absolutely fantastic piece, really eye opening.

  • Allen T

    Oh Yea…As for what exactly happened to Billy Blake it can be obtained by numerous different methods, one would be a F.O.I.L. request. yet I am sure anyone with half an education already knew that they could write to NYSDOCS, or the COUNTY Clerk of the County in which the incident happened, and use your $$$ resources to obtain whatever documents will excite you. Sorry that I don’t have a link for this information. links “unless you trust the providing source” give computer viruses and I am not in the habbit of clicking on them, or supplying them to others.

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Yes attacks happen even on inmates locked in their cells. Sleep too close to the gate and get strangled. Or you can have you throat cut, and even be burned alive if done correctly. I was in a locked four man cell in Baton Rouge when an inmate from the neighboring placed a large amount of toilet-tpaper on the top bunk opposite me and lit it on fire. We all woke up to a volcano of fire. No one was hurt but it distrubed me. If he had used a flamable fluid it might have killed him.

    But then there are cases like the following article addresses.

    I’d be curious as to which type of attack an unpopular inmate like Blake experienced.


    “The logic of the SHU, at least in part, “is to protect officers and prisoners from each other,” Reiter notes. Yet her informants often reported being “just as scared in supermax” as when housed with the general prison population. “Officers press a button to let you go out to exercise,” Reiter says. “Sometimes they open two prisoners’ doors at once, either by accident or on purpose” — and a physical assault can follow.

    Yet lack of contact with other human beings is its own psychological endurance test. A man who spent 10 years in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay told Reiter about what happened once when his cell and his neighbor’s opened just slightly at the same time: a prisoner from a rival gang reached through and the two tough guys held hands. In the moment, being enemies “didn’t really matter,” she says. “They were just happy for the human touch.””

  • Allen T.

    I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I am almost sure Blake was snuck up on and cut on his gate, I don’t think anyone went in his cell? You know…Your in your cell with the gate locked hanging out in front of the bars and some one runs buy and gets a cut off on your face with a razor. I think the state was penalized for having someone unsupervised on the Teir roaming, not searching that person. and the fact that they are under an obligation to protect inmates regardless of whether Blake was locked in his cell or not. This is why they always count razors, do shakedown after shakedow, etc. to fulfill that oblication to protect. For some reason though, I am almost positive it went down as I just stated. If anyone is really interested, I could find out? We do know though that jail is not a safe place. Regardless of the country, security level, inmate guard, inmate, inmate relationship etc. Jail is not a safe place. Some jails are run by inmates, some jails are run by guards,

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    If the walls could only tell what they have witnessed. During jury duty I was unnerved by the sounds of the bailifs keys bouncing off his hip as he escorted us to the court chambers. I was so shakened by them that I asked to be dismissed because I didn’t want to be part of sending anyone to prison. The judge allowed me to leave.

    • Dan Sword

      You should have stayed and then given a not guilty vote. That’s what I do whenever I have jury duty, regardless of the evidence.

  • Solitary
    (in segregation on my 21st
    Black Day…three in a row.) Ralph Hamm III now on his 45th. year in MA.

    as i lie here
    in this solitary prison cell
    i hear
    the cries of misery…
    the cries of frustrate anger…
    and the ever present sound
    of the countless cell doors
    i feel the others
    before me
    who left something behind them-
    some part of themselves here.
    and what of the others
    after me
    who will hear
    in this solitary
    prison cell?

    So writes my brother Ralph some 40 years ago; while he waits for the Wall to fall. Hoping some day to see day light in the free world… 45 years; if he had killed he would have been home 25 years ago… So is the American Prison system…

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    Of course you are right that not “every” guard is corrupt or evil. And I salute you for your work in prison during 70’s. I am also glad that you back your friends still there. That shows character.

    As for your complaint: I wrote “it is well known that officers have opened up cells of rival inmates so they can attack each other.”

    I made no claim as to how common this practice is. I only inferred that the jury may have heard evidence of such a tactic when they awarded Blake the money. I go on to acknowledge that I have no way of knowing why the jury decided in Blake’s favor. That said I’ve run into a few asshole guards for sure.

    I am well aware of the danger of glaring at anyone while serving time not just those well connected but many others. I always avoided conflict but would step up to the occasion if I was cornered. I had a “I’d rather die fighting then let certain shit pass, attitude”

    But I don’t claim to be a bad ass just not a punk.

    For those who wonder if guards are ever in the wrong don’t take my view as gospel google “Guards under FBI investigation in Los Angeles County Jail, or Baltimore, or New Orleans. These are the most recent cases that I know of.

    Here are a few other older cases starting with where my brother died.

    Guards accused of cruelty, racism
    By Charles Piller
    Published: Sunday, May. 9, 2010 – 12:00 am

    “A Bee investigation into the behavior units, including signed affidavits, conversations and correspondence with 18 inmates, has uncovered evidence of racism and cruelty at the Desert facility. Inmates described hours-long strip-searches in a snow-covered exercise yard. They said correctional officers tried to provoke attacks between inmates, spread human excrement on cell doors and roughed up those who peacefully resisted mistreatment.

    Many of their claims were backed by legal and administrative filings, and signed affidavits, which together depicted an environment of brutality, corruption and fear.”

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/05/09/2737459/the-public-eye-guards-accused.html#storylink=cpy

    The movie Felon was based on 8 Corcoran Prison guards accused of staging inmate fights and discarded a policy of not mixing rival inmates in cramped exercise yards.

    In the book “The Rise and Fall of California’s Radical Prison Movement” Eric Cummins writes:

    Page 272: Much of the violence in our prisons, now as in the past, is perpetrated by uncontrolled gangs of guards. …These abuses are not slipups at Pelican Bay’s SHU…This is a prison that was designed on a principle of grossly inhuman treatment.

    But yes these inmates are dangerous as the following recent case “may” show.

    An off duty prison guard who worked at Chino State Prison was shot in the head at a local gas station. Sounds like the case in NY.

    Much respect!

  • @Alan CYA: You don’t seem to understand you do a disservice writing as a con that makes a blanket statement like “it is well know tat officer open cell…”. You sound like all the do-good-ers and Liberals that have never been there. That is like a blanket statement about all guards and it is not true. Yes there are some, but it is not common practise. If it was there would be a hundred time the body count. 25,000 men is Solitary (about) I hate to tell you very, very, very few are good guys… most would kill you in a second. Not that it justifies the reason they are treated badly. But call a spade a spade and be honest. When I was in prison, due to where I was on the picking order, that vast majority in my first year and a half, like 85% to 90%, would not “Dare” look me in the eye as they walked past, they walked with head down to the floor. If you have been there you know just what I mean, if you do not, you have never been there. I was one of the first that broke the picking order of our prison system, and taught that we were all init together. You can read what we did, Bobby Dellelo, Ralph Hamm in the book “When the Prisoners Ran Walpole” I was the funder and organizer of NPRA… First certified Prisoner Union in the USA… Read Ralph’s book “manumission” his three others will be out this year, “blackberry juice”, “tinderbox” and a reprint of “Dear Stranger/The Wayfarer… See his web.( freeralphhamm.org ).. Be cool, speak truth, no sobbing… We are talking about dirty criminals, here, just like me. We are not talking about Cuier boys in any sense for he description. Man Up or Shut Up.. For those who do not know it is 45 years so far for Ralph in the MA., prison system (my brother, my partner. I am not free while he is still chained.)

  • Allen T

    I’m still around Paul…Have been for 50 years now.

  • Alan CYA #65085


    Your welcome.

    But let me make myself clear, I certainly do not condone Blake’s crime.

    But it is well known that officers have opened up cells of rival inmates so they can attack each other. They get 1 hour of rec time a day. Whether this was the case or not I have no way of knowing. However there must have been some justification for ruling in Blake’s favor.

    “In 2000, a Court of Claims judge awarded Blake $74,430 in damages…State Supreme Court Justice Charles T. Major ruled in 2003 that Blake was liable for damages. The Clarks never filed papers seeking that inquest until this past July.”

    That was July of 2011 well past the deadline for filing a claim to it.

    But I do agree that the family of the slain officer should have received the money. Blake should not have received a dime. Unfortunately it seems that he had already spent it by then.

  • @Paul: No I am not confused it was your Country, a glass monkey cage. Your attack on our people and how we do things is fine, but your place is no paradise; it is infested with strife, and racial conflict, for being such a tinny, Winny, little place; it is not even and ant hill compared to the diversity and majesty of the USA. You have a Country full of intolerance and internal strife as I type.. You also apparently do not know what happens in the extreme cases of your own prison system… Apparently you needed to get away from the place, hope you enjoyed the ride..

  • Fr. Ross, Allen T: wasn’t around for a while. With ‘he probably never got arrested’ I meant the drug charges. For killing a cop, can’t recall when that happend, you’ll go to jail for lets say 20 years, good behaviour, maybe less. But they never get killed. We don’t have so many fire arms as you people, uh… we don’t have them at all. I know my country has changed and that we aren’t that tolerant any more (I left Holland 8 years ago for a bike trip around the world). But the things I mentioned, prostitutes, smoking pot, euthanasia, gay marriage, that tiny little spot on the map is about setting the standard. Finally countries, even the States, are following our line af thinking (gay marriage, legalize smoking pot) and I was happy that euthanasia was legal when my poor mother asked for it.
    Your country was building a glass monkey cage to keep a man just like Blake in for the rest of his life. I have no recollection of that. I think you’re confused with another country. We don’t do stuff like that. But we should talk about Mr Blake. Did he finished his award winning novel yet? All the best.

  • Shiran

    Thanks for posting that link Alan. But that left me confused, since according to that link Blake received $74000 in damages from the State due to attack he suffered from another inmate. Which leads me to believe he is not really in such a solitary confinement as he describes. He clearly does have some sort of human interaction. It is only after he came into that money he was sued by the murdered officer family, and rightfully so I might add. Remember as touching as his golden pen writing might be, he deliberately, callously and remorselessly shot 3 officers during his escape attempt.

  • @Kat: I find the post interesting: I have to check I did not find a place to respond? You have a man sentenced to Life, did not say why, then killed a prisoner in a fight? Know he is looking for friends… I do not know about you, but do you think there is something wrong in his thinking? (I’m just asking?)

  • Kat

    Thank you for letting us know how you feel, William Blake.
    And out there to all the people who want to help: Write to some of the people who are sitting in solitary. Some kind words from the outside world can do so much good inside these cells.
    There is another prisoner who want to share his thoughts while sitting in solitary. Please read on: http://www.concretecage.blogspot.com

  • Annie

    I do not feel pity for this man….He took the life of another human being and severely injured another! Prison is not meant to be a cake walk! You should loose every human right possible! Blake chose is fate, his path in life, his destiny! His victims on the other hand did not, he chose it for them. Blake gets to eat, drink and breath each and every day…His victim has been silenced for life with only him memory kept alive by his family and friends.

  • marko

    Burn motherfucker. This makes me so happy. All of you who read this need to take in his suffering anrealize there’s nothing that will ever change about it. He is going to die lonely and tortured in that cell 50 years from now.

    God willing everyone in these cells will meet the same fate. And almost all of them will.

  • @Jobby: You are right, no ones thinks of the consequence of action. When voting to suspend the death penalty are Liberals and others thinking of the consequences of a life sentence in which the individual does not care about anyone they are around and become a total threat to everyone else including the men they are serving sentence with? Many of the same people who voted and vote against the Death penalty will fight to end Solitary Confinement. Are they saying no punishment for bad acts? They can’t seem to make up their minds; all someone has to do is yell poor me, I’m being abused, after I killed those people… Everyone asks me what would you do… My response is very cold. You kill one of mine, I want you dead or I’ll kill you myself… I am and “eye for an eye” person.. Your dead it is over… Now, I say that and I only mean that if in fact you are the true perpetrator of the murder… I am not talking about accidental death… I am not talking about one of my own that may be in the commission of a crime, they are on their own… I am talking cold-blooded murder… I’m talking say Mr. Blake. If that was my brother, he would have to worry about me the rest of his life getting to him…
    I can only tell you this, when and if I did bad acts, armed robberies and such; if the situation arose and I had to use a gun and kill someone, if caught I would expect nothing less than the death penalty; if I was left to live with a life sentience, they guards would have no trouble from me because I would spending my time trying to figure out how to escape… Which could mean I might be planning a way someone else would get hurt… Like some poor guard… Which also follows that were every they put me might very well be justified.. As one of my partners said to me this past week when I should him I was on this site. “I was never placed in Solitary when I did not deserve to be there.” I found that to be a very interesting statement… From a man that is doing very serious time.. There is pain in being honest..

  • pigg

    He seems to have left out the part about how he ended up in solitary for all those years. Was he sentenced to serve his time in solitary or did he manage to bring that on himself once in prison?

  • @Isablel: We belong to very large prison advocacy groups. I noticed when I went to sign your petition you only had 3 signatures, that must b very frustrating. Our organizations are in coalition with many others, one such is the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NARCAT) we have been involved with them at the highest level “police making” on the issue of Solitary… Robert Dellelo is the spokes person for us on this issue. Bobby is with the American Friends Justice Project… It is just a suggestion so you do not get frustrated, join one of these organizations, or affiliate with them, they have already meet with the President… They will continue to meet with Him on the issues.. I suggest “NARCAT” for they have material and things you can do locally, from writing your editor to holding training meets, they have all the things you need. Oh! and you do not have to be religious to be part of their organization.. It is about the issue.. view us on nlhome.org and freeralphhamm.org also Street Talk of face book.. Good work… Know you are not alone in your struggle…

  • @SomePerson and G Ward: I would hope that SomePerson would reflect on why they desire such retribution, if they are not a direct victim. However I am grateful for the input thought I may think you go a bit to far in your intriguing view of punishment,I wonder the reason why a Citizen has needs for another to suffer such fate. @ G Ward: I happen to thing no one is coward who interjects their views on a social issue that affects all of us. Prisoners and the punishment that is executes on them do not belong to the victims. The punishment and the execution of that punishment belong to us, society as a whole, we are the ones that meter out justice whether you or anyone else likes it. It is paramount that people. Citizens, speak to the issue of punishment; and whether they are happy with it or they are not. As long as the general public feels that they are in need of solitary confinements, we will continue to have many folks in the Box. Only through education and finding out the “why” we need to do such horrific things is the only way you or anyone else will change it… The only “cowards” are the ones that cannot stand to hear opposing views, views that may offend ones senses; however, are never the less views of a fellow Citizen of a Free and Democratic Society…

  • Jobby

    I find it quite interesting that he says, “Had I known in 1987 that I would spend the next quarter-century in solitary confinement, I would have certainly killed myself.” He would have killed himself? Not, “I wouldn’t have reached for that gun….I wouldn’t have shot those two men”

  • Isabel.vachon


  • SomePerson

    die slow murderer!!! spread the word of the pain you’ve endured and hope it prevents followers of the same path.. you have received what you have asked for… may God have mercy on your Soul.

  • G.Ward

    The only people who have an understandable reason to spout the hatred some of you morons are spouting about this guy are the loved one’s of his victims. The bile that many of you are vomiting up about a total stranger…wishing misery and suffering and pain on him…says a lot about the quality of people you are. Personal loss creates understandable emotions…but the rest of you are disgusting.

    It’s easy for you to sit in the comfort of your homes and say what another “should” suffer. Cowards.

  • Allen T.

    Christopher is hope for a few reasons. 1). much worse then him have been released.
    2). To give up hope, is to cease to exist
    3). His support network would notice and leave.

  • Cristopher

    Really felt sorrowful for him, but I wondered if we aren’t living in boxes too, but less unconfortable ones, is it reasonable to argue that?

    I just got shocked when I noticed he’s still got hope…not sure, but he indeed is a believer.

  • Allen T.

    The individual case by case review…I have spoke of this before. I’d be willing to bet only a fairly small percentage of all Solitary committments are to protect Staff and the General Population from an inmate. So many inmates who have a fair amount of time to do. do not want to program, they just want to be in a cell by themselves and be left alone. Solitary provides that comfort. So no matter what they have to do to get there “without catching a new charge”…they do it! One of many. To some it is PC with respectability? Rather then to sign into PC because they have enemies, or just have fear, etc. they get put into solitary where they are locked in 23 hours a day and are safe…but not with the label of PC, on the Contrary they are in SHU, which to many is considered status! Although an individual case review does not guarantee anyone will learn the exact intentions of anyone? It will help to possibly determine who will commit violent acts to accomplish their needs, and allow them to be classified in a catagory of their own!

  • @Alan T: Well I do not think you must have served any time in isolation to understand the concept. As prisoners, I would like to talk about what we do with the individual that cannot for what ever reason be in the general population.. 1.) I want t look at why we need to get rid of this person and isolate them a.) it could be for their own protection. b.) it could be for the protection of others in the yard. c.) it could be that the person just wants to be alone. many reasons to look at… 2.) Where do we put this person? (can he be with a few others of the same mind-set? 3.) If he does need to be isolated, in his own cell, away from any type of population. Then how do we place this person where they are humanly treated and security needs are met? Where he/she does not qualify for being the victim in the situation and is receiving the punishment they just deserve…
    this could be an interesting conversation between prisoners and ex-prisoners… If I do this (we do this) at the same time will be sending stuff to Ralph Hamm and others in side asking them to write a short essay on how they view a humane isolation, with some of if not all the same questions we will discuss… So we could have a book of prisoners views of Isolation?

  • Allen T

    Fr. Russ, NYS has Southport Corr fac. about 45 minutes outside Elmira. When they first opened it up I believe it was designed to be an SHU facility, with a very small CADRAY of inmates to maintain the facility. It very well may still be an SHU facility? My point being is that NYS has tried different methods of housing long term SHU inmates, and they are up to date, if not advanced in this area. With this in mind…I truly believe proposals on how to effectively do this or that? Proposals on how to be a leader by taking initiatives in this manner or that, are not gonna fall on deaf ears. I learned a long time ago that there is a “well since you put it that way”. to everything in life, that effectively changes the entire course of a conversation. I myself, do not have enough insight, or expertise in the area of “Solitary”, housing SHU inmates in a cost effective, humane, and common sense manner. I truly entertain the idea of 10…20, educated individuals participating in an orderly, respectful debate, that is made available for the anatysis of others who are in a position to institute change. Something like you were suggesting when you spoke of taking a thread and recording it for the purpose of publication.

  • @”T”: He is sentenced to life for the killing. The escape is, in a fact irrelevant, to his sentence. The judge sentence him to the Corrections system, how they treat him, is in most case none of his business.. The question, to the community, is was the life sentence “Just” it does not ask currently, without a legal redress, whether or not in most case, is where he is sentenced too placing him under humane conditions or not… That becomes another question… What we have done to man, many criminals that we justifiably sentenced to prison for their bad acts, made them victims by not treating them humanely.. For few have the answers of how you do that under the conditions of confinement.. You have a bunch of, college educated theorist, that have no clue about the mind-set of criminals, make decision on bullshit science; and studies that are bogus… They are like, Theologians trying to prove God, on bullshit foundations of writings that are thousands of years old; Who knows if the are interpreted rightly or wrongly? In the end they have no relevance in reality to the subject at hand… they have the nerve to call themselves Doctors…

  • Allen T.

    I am curious though, why doesn’t the President, Governor, or some major Politician intercede on Blake’s behalf? Even someone prominent from another country, or where ever? Is the first real publicity that has ever been generated portraying him as being abused by the system? If so…he needs to keep attempting to make news of this, and not allow it to die down “no pun intended”. I think I made it clear from the beginning that I am not on his fan club, but I would help him or anyone else who is being abused, or rather tortured. It is ok all day long to say he deserves this or that because of the crime he committed, even if I agreed, which I don’t, that’s not my call to make. The max on a D felony escape is 7 years in Prison. So even had he escaped, been caught and returned, 7 years appears to be the max. From what I understand it was just reason to believe he was gonna attempt, or attempt? Why should a correctional facility superintendent have more authority than a judge who follows Laws enacted through legislative sessions etc?

  • Allen T.

    In NYS solitary you have a short list of permissable items you can have in your cell. You can get an item a day. Some of the items have to be returned after use. So if you want a Tuna sandwich it could take 3 days. One for the Tuna, One for the Mayo and One for the Can opener. The bread you get on your tray at meals.

  • Allen T.

    Haven’t we upgraded our Solitary, from the days of the Dungeon?

  • Allen T.

    They should consider reinstating certain legal courses in the high school curriculum. these young ones are getting in more and more serious trouble everyday, and most don’t have a clue what they’ve went and got themselves involved in! It is like scolding a child for getting pregnant, but yet they were never taught what Birth Control is. “Just an analogy”. Most kids these days know all about that…yet how many campaigns, marches, and demands had to be placed on those in charge of deciding “what should be taught, and what should not be taught”, before this type of education was recognized as something kids should learn A.S.A.P.! Education…is probably the most effective deterent to crime.

  • @ “T” : Believe it or not. I graduated Newton High School, and believe it or not I had two-years of law, business, tort and criminal law intro classes 11 and 12 grades… You don;t get that anymore.. I remember them, Stanley Bond, left Guilda did the Cambridge and killed the cop, Powers and Sacks where part of that they where part of the Whether man or what ever; it cost me a year in prison, I was ready to go out on a college program and asshole screwed it up and they shut it down…

  • Allen T.

    Sometimes I think “The Death Penalty” is appropriate, especially in acts of Terrorism such as the recent bombing in Boston! I had just been trying to get you to read about Kathy Boudin, her transition back into society, and using her as an example, why sometimes, no matter how severe the punishment, Society still is not satisfied. When she was with the Weather Underground movement, I was a very young boy, but do recall the bombings, some of them! Now she teaches Law at Columbia University in Rockland County, close to where the imfamous Brinx job happened. There is a mixed line about if that is fair or not, the fact that she is even out of jail, much less teaching at a University?

  • Allen T.

    Fr. Russ. I see you had your cofee this AM. sharp already you are. Two things I’d like to hear from others about “Including Yoursel”. I’ think this thread had been abandoned for quite some time now, anyway…If nobody responds, I’ll not take it to heart. 1). I never like the fact that we are the United States of America, key word “United”, yet we have different laws in different states/ 2). I think they should teach “at least”, local Penal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Introduction to the criminal Justice system…to 7th. and 8th graders! We have to educate pre-teens and Teens, on the Law, the same law that could cost them life in jail for violating? What’s your take?

  • First off society decides what a crime is or is not. Depending where you live, can determine if you are committing a crime or not. It is up to the individual to know and understand the law he is under in the community in which he/she resides… E.g it is against the law for a ex-felon to carry a gun in Mass. However, it is not in Arizona; anyone of age can carry an open weapon; unless you are on probation or parole… So you need to know where you are and the rules in which you are living under.
    Weed, is Federally illegal, to posses, grow and distribute; however we have many states that have made it legal for medical use… So whether you think you are unjustly punished is a totally different issue; and if you do not like a law, like weed, then one needs to get others together and change it, as is being done… In the mean time if you are using, possessing and selling in certain areas of the Country you are a criminal and if caught you will do time, you have no right to complain about it, in my opinion… (I booked numbers, took bets on horses and dogs, they called me a bookey, one of the crimes I did time for; now the state has the lotto and off track beating, nobody paid me back for my time, and they have given me no cut on the take?) One day some things are a crime, the next they are not… To be heavy and philosophical “That an action is called criminal is a sign that it is subject to general social disapproval…. it injures those whose interest the law is designed to preserve and protect.” It is based on the reasoning that “You ought not do this (because it is harmful, either directly or indirectly, and for that reason it is forbidden). and if you do then punishment will follow.”
    The legislator must, then, decide which acts are criminal before embarking upon a general justification of the punishment for those acts.

  • Allen T

    It is more than fair to say that the majority of society wants “Prison” to be the system of punishment meeted out to the criminal. Although at times we have disagreements over what should, and what shouldn’t be a crime. We also have our share of “Social Vigillantes” who feel punishment is better left to the individual victim, or its vengers to handle “Bernard Goetz”. Ultimately though, Prison is the most popular method and dates back as far as the dungeons, if not even farther. We have taken social norms and shaped them into laws, and we have taken the deviants and labeled them as criminals. Bottom line, someone has to fill them cells! While I don’t believe that we have jails full of innocent men, I do believe we have jails full of men who have committed questionable crimes. Before we can deal with the many issues surrounding Punishment, and whether or not it is an appropriate mechanism to deal with social deviants, first we have to take a long look at individual Crimes, and decide whether they are actually crimes, or moral issues that should be dealt with outside the criminal justice arena? I think alot of the stories we hear about guys being railroaded, set up, political prisoners, a victim of politics etc. etc. etc. deserve some looking into. On the otherhand, I have been arrested well over 50 times, never once has it been by mistake. However, were they all crimes I committed? If they were, then of course I deserved to be punished, but if they were just socially deviant acts that have been classified as crimes for 1000 different purposes, “To fill cells at election time, offenses since deemed mental hygene issues, or to fill Prisons that parts of society are economically dependent on” TO NAME A FEW…then if this is the case, NO I did not deserve the punishment. This punishment concept gets very deep indeed!

  • My selfish interest, would be to focus on here in the US. Why we punish the way we punish. The questions (is it justifiable?) If it is not, what is justifiable? I me, to me silly people, talk about no vengeance; for the taking of every thing from a woman’s virginity by a con artist or forced rape to murder. No vengeance? To me that is pure bullshit. Why do we have Life sentences if life is not “Life”? At one point in my own thoughts, I figured I’d want revenge, if some one took, a loved ones life from me. I’d want them dead. However, now after years of study, and doing time with lifers. I am so vengeful, I voted against, the death penalty. (there were a number of reasons I worked and voted to get rid of the death penalty) while in prison; I did a study of lifer, would they or would they not want the death penalty, all the lifer I knew which at that time was over a hundred, all of them to the man, wanted death rather than life. (go figure) I know the system is to protect me from myself. At least I think that is the case. For it takes the crime or the criminal that did a crime against me and puts him into the communities system… In most cases the victim is them left out of the process… Well, if you killed on of my wives, I’d want you dead, if it was murder; however if it was an accident then they have to keep you from me until my head and rage has subsided.. Were you a drunk driver, or a construction person that trip over a brick 15 stories up and the brick fell and killed her? Even in my on vengeful way there would be a difference In how I would want you handled… Several years ago a women driver, killed my young grandson… My first though about her was, she was women, “no women no kids” murder went out of my head. My second thought was how did it happen, was she drunk, long story short after investigating the whole thing, my poor baby ran across the dam street and this poor women had no chance to prevent what happened, not her fault. Very sad, but not her fault… Every one and the poor women will live with his death… So the issues are very complicated, and each case is its own story…

  • Allen T

    Fr Russ. You now have me thinking of punishment in other countries. I wonder how many times we have pointed to other countries to justify “Solitary” in our country? They do some very horrible things to criminals in other countries. When I was young I remember hearing that certain areas in the Far East will cut your hand off for stealing. I knew then and there I would have had Two stubs!

  • It is very hard to get over on anyone who has been around the world or has serious worldly contacts.. If you are a jet setter to you the world is a cherry… Most of us are not… If you are in the top 10% of the world economically you live far different from most of us… But if you have seen the other side or you are blessed to know how they live, you also know they have their problems also.. I know of no perfect Country for the average or poor of society, I know of no prison heaven on earth.. You rarely get the full story..

  • Allen T.

    Fr. Russ This is what I mean when I say some people just talk because they have lips. Yes… only Honesty about who we are and where we came from can help us direct each other to where we need to get. Some people from other countries can tell me anything, I know little about world history, wasn’t my strong subject of interest. After listening to your description of what Paul very possibly should have added, I think we are real decent over here in the USA. Dr. Kevorkian, ultimately got away with BS for many years. I call it BS because it wasn’t as if he was a humanitarian, he was getting paid, good money. Yet acting like God isn’t something I would recommend to anyone. Aside from euthanasia…Most people smoke pot every day uninterupted, manny relationships these days amount to prostitution. If I can only get involved with a ladie if I buy her jewlery, or other expensive gifts, the only way she’ll put out for me, is after a long evening in which I footed every bill? Kinda makes you wonder how wrong was the guy who gave her 10 bucks, had his moment, and doesn’t have to act interested in her all night long and $200.00 dollars later. Do I condone any of this? I am not a hard liner, however, I do know right from wrong. But to represent your argument for your country as being a fair place because you can smoke pot anywhere you want, and buy prostitutes at the supermarket…well, I think you said the rest! But don’t go away Paul. We are not judging you, I am not, and I truly believe Fr. Russ wouldn’t, we are just explaining what we believe, have experienced, or in my case…”That I think you are alot smarter than the statements you made, and you must know we are alot wiser than the amount of words we are allowed to, or care to, type in a Post! But do…come on back now!

  • @Paul: excuse me, We do ban them, if they want to blow the place up, and insight riots and are not citizens of this Country.. We do not throw out our own people… Like you do..

  • @Paul: I just want to tell you. we do not ban people from this country for the way they think, like you folks. We also allow women to dress like they want and for religious reasons it is not a crime for them to wear a “barque” (sic) like it is in your country… We allow people to integrate or stay separate and it is not violation of any law; yes we have an “illegal” immigration problem but we are not like your Queen, excuse me, she quit right? Now your King, trying to throw people out, we are trying to bring them in… One other thing I don’t bend my knee to any frekin, King or Queen… So far we are not throwing anyone out that wants to institute Syria law; they are welcome to try to get it through our voting process… So be honest you got one to the worse racist society in the whole of Europe, been there, you can’t fool me… We are not going to allow another Hitler in this Country. Keep it at your place thank you…

  • @Paul: Can you still go the bathroom in private in your Country now or are there camara up your rear? Like England and Germany; I know we are getting just like you folks.. How many years has your Country been in existence before those barbarian travelled across the sea and tried to butcher my own ancestors in Scotland? So you can kill cops there now and what happens you get a ticket? Please, enough fairytale.. You folks are good at that; “old Hans” had some good ones…

  • @Paul: Happy you told me you are from Holland. I was with the head of you Countries Corrections department over forty years ago Mrs. Rosenberg I believe; she was a guest lecturer at BU and the AFSC, which I worked for at the time, they brought her over; your country was building a glass monkey cage to keep a man just like Blake in for the rest of his life… You folks where advanced, in the use of electric shock, and behaviour modifications crap, you study everyone under glass; you may think some of us are stupid and do not look close. You think euthanasia is advanced? Who decides to kill? When you run out of drugs or it is too expensive to keep the person alive… All is not roses in your little country the size of RI with a population 1/4 of RI… Anyone can control their back yard… We are talking a Nation here full of bad guys that have Civil Rights…

  • Allen T.

    They just may have did Blake a favor keeping him in the box all them years? Since the conviction is not complete without the sentence if he can prove his entire sentence has amounted to no more then cruel and unusual punishment, starting with the sentencing Judges comments, all the way to almost his entire sentence being spent in solitary without proper due process…then his conviction/sentence may be found unconstitutionaly obtained, a NYS CPL 440.10 motion would be an avenue of attack and aything is possible if you got a typwriter and know how to make a motion! Let the process begin!

  • Allen T.

    I don’t smoke pot anymore, and I don’t smoke it any less either. Thruthfully I haven’t in a long time. Prostitution, I think making it illegal only helps them make more money. The only ones that seem to go to jail anymore are Public Health threats, however as soon as they stop clapping, their free to peacefully assemble once again. I can also name a list of people I wouldn’t mind taking out there misery…That sounds interesting, But Adam and Eve is what I believe, not Adam and Steve! So although we have our differences, we also have our reasons!

  • Allen T.

    So Paul, now you have me curious…You can actually kill cops and not get arrested where you live? Really? Really Really?

  • I’m from Holland guys (Amsterdam). Just ran into this article and was shocked, and still am. I didn’t know that these kind of things happen in the States. And you’re such nice people. Holland is a tolerant country. Gay marriage, smoking pot, euthanasia, prostitutes, it’s all legal and for more than 30 years. What is not legal is torture, described by the unfortunate mr. Blake. To begin with, in my country he probably never got arrested. Hang in there, Mr. Blake. Write a novel, win the Booker prize and you’ll see birds and sunlight again.

  • Allen T,

    i like this idea, I did alot of studying about this stuff in my undergrad courses, for some reason though I think this will be better directed “from the gut”, as opposed to from the book. I could be wrong?

  • I am not sure we can do what we want here a thread starts like this one and it has about 560 comments on it… If we get started talking about punishment we could end up with several thousand. There are different theories of punishment like “restitution vs. retribution”… This stuff gets complicated…

  • Allen T

    i just typed a whole page before my last comment? Said awaiting moderation but now I don’t see it? It was in response to punishment. It will show sooner or later I hope!

  • Allen T.

    Lately I haven’t been going out of my way to do a spell check. Been doing alot of things in one day. You know what I mean, any questions though…please ask, I’ll clarify!

  • Allen T

    You have alot of Hot Topics right now that could set the project in motion. Jodi Arias and The death Penalty Issue, There is a girl who gave a ball player 5 years hard time on her allegations and she sued the school where the incident happened and received 750.000 she now has been caught on tape admitting she lied but don’t want to pay the money back. There is alot of questions about what should happen to people like her?
    Many people say it is time to rewrite NYS sentencing statutes, They recently changed all of the Drug Laws and corressponding sentences, it may very well be time to change the rest. (Draconian). Many would like to switch to civilian watchdog groups instead of Police but then we get cases like Zimmerman v. Trayvon Martin. Guardian Angels, and in certain disprportionate racially populated areas…Lynch mobs, Gangs…everyone wants to get in on the punishment. ever see responses to death Penalty questions, people line up to kill someone and let it be known…Of course when you can speak under conditions of anonymity…Would the same people voice a public opinion? How many would volunteer to pull the switch on old sparke?, or like Black Sabbath said “Stick the Needle in”… How about a comparison of Laws from Country to Country?

    Fr. Russ I’m gonna put alot of thought into this over the next day or two…

  • fvh

    Wow! What a natural writer. Makes me wonder what he could have made of his life had he not made the choices he did… Choices that, like any other, don’t deserve to be punished through solitary confinemet or death.

    I would include this essay in a time capsule.

  • @”T”: You tell me where and I’ll be there… Just hired my new file clerk, so she should free up a bit of time for me… So many projects, right now… I have a mountain of back filling that just needs someone to sit and sift through paper and put it in the right place.. I’ll say this, that to deal with what you and I would like, we have to start at “Punishment”… What type, for what reason and need… This crap gets heavy. For we are talking about “Punishment” which is not something for the innocent. We have to assume whether rightly or wrongly that all that are sentenced are “The Criminal”… I do not want to lessen to a bunch of legal arguments that are pleading not guilty so I shouldn’t be here…. That crap is for the Court… I will commit to some time, I’ll try for everyday to address this issue; whether it is just you and me or a bunch load… You are talking a free college course in Corrections by the way… If I like what happens; I’ll publish what we come up with, through my new publishing company “The Little Red Cell”… How is that… “IF” the material is worth what we come up with. Your idea, you’re the author; so after my publishing expense, is te darn thing sells; I’ll give you the standard 15% on the profits… (Just you) no other payment to contributors, this is your idea (Alan T.)

  • Allen T

    Fr. Russ I was gone all day. Just got back and I see your Post about starting a new thread about punishment. Sounds like an excellent idea. I could probably learn alot. They have had several names over the years, reformatoies, correctional facilities, even some of the new jail CASAT facilities that deal specifically with substance abuse issues.., A name is no more than a title, what is really going on, on the inside?

  • @”T”: A thread concerning the justification of how and why we punish; would be interesting. I think;? How we could develop a justice system of correction or punishment of fair and equitable treatment, one that would be humane? Punishment is the reason or the primary reason a person is sentenced… Rehabilitation is an aside that we hope would happen… Corrections is a false term. Correct what? This gets real heavy, and most folks do not think it through. We as a society, direct, the prison system to punish as their primary objective… The problem is, the punishment, turns the criminal into a victim… One has to decide what is justified.. Life is life… not 65 not 50 years or 30 or 20…. How, that time is served, is not defined anywhere I know of? So you could serve the time standing on your head…
    We are just now studying the brain and finding that kids under or around mid 20s their brain is not fully developed… Well, what does that mean? So you butchered dogs and cats at 10 to 14 and now you are twenty, so your brain changed, did you stop butchering animals, and now are onto humans, or are you now St. Francis and holding mass for the squirrels? In the mean time, your brother the unlucky one, jumped from the cats to little Mary next door; he has been sentenced to the rest of his life without parole… But wait! We know need to give him and opportunity because he was under seventeen to see if we can let him back out to try again at some point? All very interesting… See, if you screwed with one of mine, they would have to protect you from me, and that is what part of the system is supposed to do (prevent personal vendetta)…

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    I’ve been busy with lives little trials but I commend you two’s efforts to put together ideas to solve the problem of solitary confinement.

    I would also like to address a few points previously directed at me.

    First the reason why I feel it is important to go back 40 years is because that is when the roots of the current system happen to have their origins.

    This will be old news for some (like Russ in particular) but for even some of those that lived through it the whole picture might have been hard to see behind the walls as they dealt with daily crisis’s.

    There was no SHU, nor the correspondent STG’s such as the AB, BGF, or MME until the 1960’s, when they were first born in California’s prisons. Then by the late 1960’s and early 1970’s all the major prison gangs had been formed and were at war with each other. This time period also coincided when the first criminals claimed that they were political prisoners and revolutionaries rather than bank robbers and murderers. Soon thereafter guards began to be treated just like any other gang by some inmates and so a series of guards lost their lives. This is when the authorities’ crackdown really began in earnest.

    It is no coincidence that the Angola 3 were first placed in the hole in the early 1970’s over the death of a guard or that Thomas Silverstein has been in isolation since 1982 for killing one, or that Blake has been held in the hole for the murder of a guard. It is my belief that in order to find a way out of this mess every inmate must work to stop the violence between themselves and hopefully the guards as well. Then maybe:

    1) Lifers should serve time only with other lifers because they are more likely to be the shot callers with the least to gain from a cessation of violence between gangs. I think Allen T hit on this idea already.
    2) Some oversight should be granted to an independent organization for those deemed a threat by the guards.
    3) There should be a way out of the hole because without hope there is no reason to comply with the man.

    Secondly as far as me focusing on my own story I’d like to say that I have always been uncomfortable in doing so. But without an advanced degree in such areas the only credibility that I can draw upon is my own experience and that of my two brothers.

    I was one of the first people to support this site and tell my own story. Ask the staff. And over the “years” I have had more favorable comments than negative ones.

    Thirdly I don’t feel like I need any therapy because I only think about such topics when I try to help this cause in memory of my two brothers. I have a good life otherwise.

    No I don’t wish I had done adult time.

    I was lucky and only witnessed or read about the worst abuses, I was spared such abuse by the grace of god and a willingness to defend myself. Without the first the later would not have been possible.

  • allen T.

    Sometimes I think we should jump in somewhere, or start a fresh thread and get these ideas jumping with a whole new group of fresh faces and ideas!

  • Allen T.

    Very interesting? When the conversation begins to elevate to Topic specific information I get extremly interested, and I also feel it draws a larger audience of active participants. I want to hear the “minds at work”, from many others. of different cultures, different parts of the world, who have different perspectives and base their opinions on a whole different belief system. Here I was thinking Paul had a good argument “and he does”, BUT not in comparison to what very well go on in his own back yard! although at times our system (U.S.A.) might seem so cruel and tortorous, and it very well may be? But in comparison to what? And most important of all, what are our options?

  • I oppose the death penalty, and the bargain you make with justice is that a life sentence means just that. What he describes here is terrible torture and certainly something which must be a last resort for someone under the age of 20 who may not be completely cognizant of their actions. But this man was, he killed two people whose families have suffered equally, if not worse, for what he did to them.

  • Paul is right, the punishment we meter out, is in part revenge. although I do not know which part of Europe he is from, the one where they cut of heads, or crucified or killed hundreds of thousands by burning at the stake; our laws in the US derive from England, France and Spain, just for a bit of history… We are only a few hundred years old, so Paul take a look at how long your part of the world has been around and you folks are behind us in most things… (I’m just saying) Everyone has a different view of Justice and Punishment; millions felt and some still feel the German Nazi never really got what they deserve; and they where operating under government orders, to kill… Oh, and by the way it is “you can” not “You should” judge a Country by the condition of its Prisons… Or the way they are treated, for if in fact we did; my next question would be, why are there any German and Japanese alive today? For my justice could say everyone involved in the murder and the torture of prisoners, before, during and after the fact should be exterminated… Then where would we be?

  • Allen T

    i read what that guy Paul said an I was almost embarrassed to be an American. Almost!

  • @”T”: You are right it is all about economics… However right now States and the Feds are hurting for money, and they can reduce the population of prisons as save money by going toward a minimum security rather than Solitary: They go to private prisons thinking they are going to save money, but in the end they cost more… Our Governor is trying to close places, the problem is there in no community involvement of any substantial size… Also they have not really worked with the prisoners on a large-scale, they do not know how… You have to involve everyone for this stuff to work; and you are always going to have the few that screw things up… You need strong leadership at the Governors level, and strong community base… If, you can get the cooperation of a large group of prisoners that would be goal orientated. You then are on your way… Mass. prisoners are the only ones that have a history that works… We lead the way in programs, due to the fact they where all started by cons; and we took at the time the most violent prison and turned it into sand box for nearly four months… (Prisoner lead and Prisoner driven – With Community support) No one else has done anything like it…

  • Not one Nazi or recent war criminal I know of, like Mlavic, Karadiz, or Charles Taylor and many others had/has to face a sentence like this poor bastard. People who had the blood of then thousands, up to millions of victims on their hands. This is not a sentence, this is revenge. Anyone who wishes this man another 25 years beyond hell should be ashamed of himself. You should judge a country also on how it treats his inmates. Reading this I realize that you gringos treat people worse than animals. I’m glad I’m European. At least we have some decency – and less crime. Obama, please give this man a break or at least some fresh air.

  • Allen t.

    Fr. Russ I can only speak on NYS because I have never been in prison anywhere else. I watch Lockup, not as much as I use to, alot of Repeats. But I can speak on NYS all the way back to before Fishkill was a Prison…It was a hospital for the criminally Insane Mattawon, and Sing Sing of course was known as “up the river”, From looking at the picture on this page Elmira hasn’t changed one bit, Auburn was always known as an Industry prison, Clinton and Attica were famous, Clinton for its ski slope, Attica for its Riot and Comstock and Coxsackie were notorious for being the Young Lifer spots especially Coxackie. They actually tried to keep most of the kids in Elmira, Coxsackie and Comstock. There was also Eastern Correctional which was suppose to be like an Honor prison something like Green Haven an Honor Prison, primarilly because of their proximaty to NYC, which made easy access for visitation. these were your maximum security prisons in NYS. I served time in most of these spots and while there I couldn’t help but to meet many of the guys in NYS who were under life sentences. probably one of the reasons I stayed petty. I was not trying to get all that time. Oh no! Some were what was referred to as Political Prisoners, then you had guys like Willie Bosket who was single handedly responsible for changing NYS entire Juvenile Offender statute, at one point I believe he was in a cell of his own with cameras on him 24hrs. a day in his own private area at Woodbourne C.F. This was the 70’s, 80’s prior to the CRACK BOOM of the mid 80’s early 90’s that put in motion a doubling and then tripling of NYS population and a massive restoration and conversion of various properties into Prisons as well as the construction of several prisons in order to keep up with the massive increase in population. At one point NYS peaked at close to 65,000 inmates give or take from a sytem when I started that had maybe 15…20 thousand. When I was a kid just about everyone knew everybody in jail, Nowadays, who the hell is who anymore?
    my point being with all this change and transition and various increases in population, alot of solitary confinement cells were built that stay in use. guys go to the box for anything now. Back in the day you really had to do something violent to go to the box. I just keep thinking about all these cells that stay full and how many people are economically dependent on these cells staying full etc. This is why earlier on in these posts i was so geared towards a “review board” to look at these cases. Most of them are BS, and if reviewed the cases would either get reversed or modified. It just may close some of of these boxes!

  • Allen T.

    I worked as a supervisor for a study that was being conducted by Metro North a few years back. i use to ride from Grand Central to New Haven 3 or 4 times a week, and I remember the sights out the window going from one end of CT. to the other. They have alot of space out there to build prisons. Since I was employed by an ouside agency I did not have to go through the normal screening of a Metro North MTA employee, however when they did finally find out I was a convicted felon…Wow. they always find out sooner or later, but that is another story for another time. They do have the space to build these Prisons in CT. New York State, Upper NY primarilly, is extremely dependent on its prison population, without the prisons, they’d be nothing but real poverty, farm land areas, or just plain unpopulated stretches of nothing but High grass and mountains. so many want to condem inmates, and this and that…Families eat and pay bills off of the inmates. Common sense will tell you these jails stay full to feed the economy that is dependent on them…So are these sentences, and SHU committments just another reflection of laws being abused in order to make sure a certain population don’t starve? Age old argument, yet some things are just so evident!

  • @”T”: My concepts runs to a prison, city, no walls; like taking over a ghost town; and building a community as normal as possible… There are many places in the Country you can do such a thing; even here in CT we have economically devastated old mill towns.. You start with low risk short timmers and build in a system to bring in Lifers.. You bring in lifers that have long term in that you know are solid and are not going to give you shit… With the technology to day you can have every one on (GPS) with me running the place bad guys are screwed… Either you’ll be real about change or I do not give a shit… Hell is always open…

  • Fr. Russ Carmichael

    @”T”: You got it… You build in incentives so a guy can test his metal and go forward… It like grades in school, the only difference is you are not trying to fail him and you’re not requiring him to super succeed it is at his own pace… Every step has to be monitored because we are talking life and death in this situation. There are no games here… It requires a discipline, the guy is not use to, it is a learning process… Everyone involved has to be rutting for him to succeed not fail… It require you to keep your eyes on the watchers (guards) just as much as the prisoner…

  • Allen T

    Would you give a Lifer probation? In the joint I mean…See, I can build off of what you say. Concept. A guy has Two years box time, but after 6 months you put him out on Probation…he must earn a trade, stay in school for Six months minimum, participate and complete an aggression replacement treatment program,,,whatever. but by doing so his remaining 18 months box time is waived. What did we do here? We took what you said about a guy learning a trade, a skill, something productive, and added to it a “possible” way to shorten long term keeplock. So maybe, it can’t be done, although we know it can. But we are trying to look at ways to do this. To me this is what this site is about! If each day we take one or two issues and attempt to build on it…in 30 days we have 30…60 ideas we can now try to introduce as ways to end long term keeplock, SHU, Solitary, refer to it as you may. This is our goal is it not? Better then 30 days of Posts, and we only have cons in each corner of the square staring at each other with shanks in our hand! the system loves that!

  • @Alan T: Your Concepts are much the same as mine… “Responsibility and Self-determination” are real keys to change… You also need to look in the mirror and see the change, you need to be able to mark your success, not like stars on a paper, but doing for others… You can take a lifer; one who is never going to get out; but may have the ability to be a math teacher.. He gets his degree, he becomes a math certified teacher and he then can help and instructs other cons.. A guy is a plumber, killed his wife and kids: comes in screwed up… You work with him and you get him to work with other cons, teaching them the trade… He has lost every thing, but now you have given him a “Light” a slim ray of self-worth… I can go on, and on.But you get the idea.. Guy was a big dealer in the street, that is an organizational man who can build a sales company… How many artist did you know? I know a shit loud… Stay strong and in the struggle for justice. I think of Tommy Manning his art his writing… A waisted life… He had so much more to give to the world..

  • Allen T

    Let go of the shit already that was “50 years ago” your now refferring to it everyday as some victim. Here look at my scar, I was in action! We are talking about men in State Prison many of whom are never coming back again. I said about 20 different things in my Post, once again though…You only respond with some article about a youth home you were in 50 years ago. What about the other 19 things that were said? What about Solitary watch. You don’t get it do you? THIS AIN”T ABOUT YOU! Go see a shrink about your issues and I hope you get help. I see one. Does me alot of good. We are here to talk about solitary, not who can piss the farthest! We are here to talk about ways to change solitary for the good of those PRESENTLY in solitary! myself personally, I don’t want to interact with you anymore, to me…Your a troublemaker, you seek constant attention, I can’t recall any one time, maybe weeks ago…that you have said my idea for changing solitary is? or my idea to get rid of solitary?, or how I would go about changing solitary is? It is always some article about crime, murder, rape, This is not the history channel, or CNN or is it your site to continuously sandbag and sidetrack issues because you don’t like the person or what their saying. It actually appears that sometimes you want to be seen as this warrior, you want to be a big time con, you want to make it appear as if your one of the fellas…I talk to Fr. Russ by email everyday, he has my whole history at his fingertips, I chose to trust him with that, I wanted him to see who he was talking to, he earned that respect from me. I talk to him as if he is my priest. It feels good to get things off our chest. But all seriousness to the issue, Can you Post ideas everyday for a week without mentioning yourself, without quoting from an article, and without talking about something from 40 to 50 years ago…The here and now? Can you? Try it, because from what I “have Learned” that is what this site is all about. This site! There are other sites now. all of this is just my opinion by the way…You can go about this any way you want. This is not about me either, just my input about SOLITARY!

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    I was transferred to Preston on November 12, 1968, and escorted down the hill to my new residence. Sequoia Lodge was located a good distance away from all the other lodges in the far left hand corner of the institution from the main gate. This was because it housed the most violent prone wards in the California Youth Authority system. At Sequoia Lodge we were housed in individual cells, not dorms. Looking back on it, this was a blessing, because most of those housed with me were convicted murderers, rapist, or child molesters.

    The next stop was the adult system so I was at the edge of the abyss. I visited all the major prisons on a trip down to LA for court. I seen enough.

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Yeah I only did time in a youth facility and here is how this site described it for my post:

    Preston Youth Correctional Facility. Opened in 1894, Preston was one of the most notorious “reform schools” in the country, known for its brutality and deprivation. More than a century later, little had changed–at least, not for the better.

    Last year, the Ella Baker Center reported abuses at California Youth Authority facilities that included “young people locked in 20- to 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement for days, weeks and months on end; young people locked in 4′x4′ cages for temporary detention; guard and staff abuse, neglect, manipulation, and humiliation of the young people in their care; rampant sexual assault;…virtually non-existent care for young people with mental health or substance abuse needs; shocking negligence in medical care, especially emergency care; woefully inadequate educational programming; [and] a culture and atmosphere of constant intimidation, isolation, fear and violence.”

    It singled out Preston, along with Stark, as the worst of the facilities. In the fall of 2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced that it would close Preston in order “to operate more effectively and efficiently as the state adapts to changes in our youth population.”

    It was a cake walk. :)

  • Allen T.

    Fr. russ if I was a very walthy man I’d buy into contracts on a few Prisons in key states, and wouldn’t do it for profit, however in the event it was made…whatever. My goal would be to have the security in place to hold the worst of the worst. of course there would be a box, or SHU, but if you couldn’t figure it out quick…I’d transfer you out. These guys would have real food, and real conjual visits and they’d have evreything I could give them, without being arrested myself of course! LOL! My point being…it would be none of the hard liners business, how I ran my jail, and after a while, their probably wouldn’t be an out in the open fight, because my jail would be so sweet, nobody would want to get shipped out! People on the outside should not even concern themselves, because the guys aren’t coming home again anyway! My point being…there would be no need for solitary, just a couple cells, for the ones who like eating a shit sandwhich and won’t have it any other way. There are always a few no matter how sweet it is. You know what I mean, Fr, russ.

  • Allen T.

    CYA: Let’s get something straight. NOBODY gave you no vauge or any type of threat. I am a big boy, the last thing I will do is run my mouth, I step to my business, always have. Anyone who has ever been in jail knows there are certain words, certain things you don’t say to a man. You wouldn’t know this though…Cause you never been in jail! The quicker you realize that and stop trying to be something your not, the quicker will get along. Juvenile time, and a bunch of kids calling each other names, trying to rape each other or doing it, being able to open a window or door and run up the hill,,,That is something totally different. But no…get it straight, I never threatened you. You have been a very rude and obnoxious self centered guy. I can show you a half dozen times I have made comments and seconds later you’d start talking about some killing in louisianna or somewhere else. Not only totally disregarding what I said but in a very rude way! Then you’d compare me to russ “Well if I liked what russ had to say better”. something like what a chick would do! I an NOT here for you Fr. Russ ot nobody! I am not to be compared to anyone, judged by anyone or disrespected by anyone. Most important of all if I choose to totally disregard you after all this, then so what? That’s my business. we might be the only one talking, there’s thousands of people watching, with that in mind… go about your business, if you can’t respect me, keep me out your mouth, but don’t call me no chump, and get familiar with me, cause were not friends, you don’t even know me!

  • @CYA: Sorry, I do not read, nor normally have the time to read, comments addressed to other people. I try, if I am on a thread, to read general comments or those addressed to me… I run three business, off this machine and working on a fourth… (I am dyslexic and so when I jump from one to the other I can really screw up.) In my business’s I have editors for my work; I am not even sure how I got on here… (have big bills to pay) It appears to me “T” was just making a general statements, it reads to me? I also believe, he wanted and desires to stick to the issues at hand… I may be wrong but if I read him right? Bless you stay cool..

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Another misunderstanding it was not you that I was referring to.

    I don’t even drink not alone do drugs.

    Here is the comment. You read it before remember?

    Allen T. says:
    April 11, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Definition of CHUMP…an old convict name for FAGS. ANY convict knows their is NO grey area when calling another convict certain names: Snitch, Bitch, Chump, Rapo …to name a few. During the 20 plus years I served in State Prison, I seen guys get murdered for calling another convict/inmate certain words. I also seen many guys get their whole faced sliced with a razor blade or a can lid, for doing the same thing! There are certain things you just don’t do, first thing your taught when you walk through the door, watch your mouth.

  • @Alan CYA: I clearly do not know what you are talking about? You are talking foolish. I said clearly; that what you are posting is not appropriate for this thread.. That is all… Nothing more nothing less. You can continue to post you are not offending me in anyway. I do not care.. You are reading to much into what is said… I do not care who agrees with me or not… That does not get me upset? You do not have to “believe” who I am. You can look me up. You have a computor. You can go to my public website. http://www.nlhome.org, you can go to facebook, you can see me on youtube. You can spent 25 to 100 bucks and they’ll do a background check for you… You are talking silly… Where did you get “having my face sliced”? I hope you are not drinking or using drugs while you are on here, not that is any of my business? However, you do sound funny and I do not mean funny ha ha:-).

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    No one needs to fear me for I mean no one any harm. Throughout my entire life I have never went after someone that was not in that very moment threatening me or attacking me. However I will defend myself when attacked. I have repeatedly said I respect you and Allen’s views but both of you get upset when I disagree with you. I’ve tried to be as polite and respectful as possible when I disagree with you two guys but I guess I don’t write clearly enough to avoid such hard feelings.

    I believe that you are the man you describe I am the one I described as well. I hope I can continue to discuss the issues with you two without any chest thumping or vague threats of having my face sliced over a misinterpreted apology. (read the April 11th comments)

    Such remarks do not make me comfortable to directly contact people.

    Why put myself in a position where I might need to defend myself?

    The prisons are full of men who felt they had to prove themselves.

    I don’t want to join them.

    Now please do not take any of this all the wrong way I respect you as I’ve repeatedly written on here.

  • @CYA: I just do not see this as the appropriate sight for that discussion. You could have going to my email or the one I posted for “T” on this thread… I do not hide I am a public figure… As one judge said, and stated to my attorney: “Russ does not fear the Devil himself. I know him well.”

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Point well taken but I had been focusing on this case because of the blow back it generates for the men in prison. I mistakenly thought you shared this concern I will not share any further developments on here.

    Take care

  • @Alan CYA: I just want to say. I am not on this tread to talk about killings… I am here and I hope others are here to talk about Solitary confinement and its use of that methoed as punishment… Is that a troubled concept that you cannot focus on… I read the papers and I do not need you to direct me to the news, or issues.. I try not to be rude but you seem to not be able to stay on point… No one is paying me to solve those murders and I am not here to teach people how to be smart in crime..

  • @Allen T: The conversation about closing Solitary is important and needs prisoner imput for it to work.. As you note my stuff from the 60’s and the 70’s address the key, which in my mind is always “Self-Determination” without the cooperation of the prisoner you are dead in the water… One has to want to change. The problem to-day there is little reward in change, you can’t make a leaving, you can’t get accepted back into the society you are trashed, so the change has to be very personal to the individual, it is not a cookie cutter thing… Clearly the younger the harder, if you are a burnt out old man? Well the nursing home is ready and you can go and scary the cripples, but if you are young the questions becomes what is my future? Now for me, the future was my children; if they where not there; who knows what I may have become and what way I may have went? The problem in putting your efforts into someone else, it is very dangerous, like a girl-friend or wife.. Your change can not depend on anyone else but you… You are the one controlling the Beast… If you cannot, then one needs to be in a mental facility and not a prison… (In my humble opinion.)

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    North Texas Man Charged With ‘Terroristic Threat’

    The former justice of the peace in Kaufman County was charged with making a “terroristic threat,” authorities said Saturday.

    Eric Williams was admitted to the Kaufman County Jail early Saturday morning, jail records show. He is scheduled to go in front of a judge Saturday morning, a Kaufman County Jail spokesperson said.

    Williams remains in the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center jail with bond set at $3 million, according to the sheriff’s department website.

    Yesterday, law enforcement descended on the Wellington Park housing addition in Kaufman, executing a search warrant on a home they would not identify.

    The search warrant was served by the task force investigating the murders of district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia, and assistant district attorney Mark Hasse.

    On Friday, CBS News learned authorities executed a search warrant at the home of former Kaufman County justice of the peace Eric Williams.

    Law enforcement has also set up roadblocks near the Highway 175 service road adjacent to the Crossroads Liquor Store and at FM 1388’s north side intersection with State Highway 34.

    Williams was questioned by police several hours after the McLelland murders, and Miller explained that as the investigation draws out authorities pushed to find probable cause to obtain a search warrant. On Friday, investigators searched both Williams’ house and his in-laws’ home nearby for “physical or forensic evidence that would tie him to the crimes.”

    Miller also shared detailed from what he described as “informal conversations [with Williams] over time.

    Williams was a police officer for 19 years before becoming the justice of the peace.
    He had been shaking up the system there.

    He doesn’t think the ABT was behind the murders either.

    Eric Williams, a former justice of the peace, was convicted of burglary and theft by a public servant and was sentenced to two years’ probation.

    The investigators understandably took an interest in Williams as someone who reportedly had been heard to utter death threats in the past and who had been prosecuted by McLelland and Hasse.

    Assistant district attorney Mark Hasse also called local attorney Dennis Jones to the stand to testify about another death threat attributed to Williams.

    Jones testified that Williams showed up in the law offices that he and Burt share on the Kaufman Town Square.

    Jones said he heard Williams threaten to kill Burt, his wife; his children and that he would burn down their house.

    Lt. Col. Troy Abbott, the commander of a Texas State Guard unit where Williams served as executive officer…testified that Williams had overseen the armory.
    Investigators are…evaluating skid marks from large tire tracks near the McLelland home.

    What is so incredible is the victims put their dogs in the kennel the night that they were killed and all the guns in a bag the night before. How convenient.

    “They had a party the night before and he gathered up all his guns and put them away in a bag so that his guests didn’t stumble across them,” J.R. McLelland told The Dallas Morning News.

    Was the killer or a spy for the killer at that party?

    The victims had a surveillance system that could record but didn’t. He normally kept a gun in every room, but he placed them all in a bag the night before, he had dog’s (plural) that were in a kennel. Then his wife opens the door in the evening but at least he had his PJ’s on. LOL

    I read that he had been shot 20 times and his wife only once. Why bother to shoot someone 20 times with such a deadly weapon unless you hated the man?

    So you have to think this is personal.

    I also read there is a witness to the murder of his assistant Hasse and she describes the murder as “a man argued with him in the parking lot and the prosecutor pushed him away so the guy pulled out his weapon and shot him then ran off.”

    So that one doesn’t sound like a hit either.

    However I went on to read numerous corruption claims in the area people that have a lot to lose.

  • Allen T.

    Fr. Russ, Thank you for an answer that provided me with insight I was not aware of. I would want to find a representitive who could qualify as a reputable agency for the purpose of seeking, and winning a contract to enter into the private run prison industry. I used the Catholic Church because they have so much financial resources, and connections in higher places. By no means was I venturing into creating a shirt and tie, bible in hand atmosphere, However, I am very attracted to the “concept of chaining the beast within”, and whatever course of methodology it takes to bring this understanding to other men who could so strongly benefit from this understanding. Like you said in similiar words “If it takes a magic Tea Pot” to bring this transferrance about, then a magic Tea Pot it is. I thoroughly understand that you don’t just learn the concept and everything is like “ok…everything is great now”. That it is a transition, one that the individual has to want, and be prepared to live by. I just look at privitization as a first step towards taking the reigns. At this point the rest becomes more practical, more possible. there is so much more involved, and I could not even begin to imagine the exact nature of the complications…We need to start somewhere though, and any possibility at all, appears to a better step towards making this happen, then exploring avenues that have already been addressed, dismissed and the same again, and again. Close to a month ago, I came on this site to address someone and move on, Now a month later, I am attempting to address something, and I won’t leave until I feel I have made at least a worthwhile contribution to something I am learning each day to believe in more and more. Thank you again Fr, Russ.

  • @AlanCYA: As to being “wise” I am not sure… The more I learn the less I know. With a white beard at seventy, if I did not learn anything I would be a total ass, I am only half asse right now… In my life I have learned I can effect 83% of the dysfunctional, mis-directed criminals I come in contact with and have over many years, as long as they are open and will listen… It is not getting easer it is getting harder, due to the economic situation, lack of jobs, destruction of the black and brown communities with this stupid drug war… I struggle forward, it is all one can do…

  • @Allen T: I believe I understood what you are saying… There is huge money in privatization of Prisons, and clearly in my own mind I could run a seriously competitive alternative to much of what is established right now with our systems around the Country. However, I don’t believe in privatization for a huge number of reasons at the base, it shifts the burden of Civil Rights, in my opinion, into a question of who is responsible, “the State” (whom I believe should be) or (the private organization that exist). I know both can be held liable however this go between state and private can get complicated.. If I were to again do something along these lines, it would set up like the open prisons of England; which was much the concept I had in mind in my youthful days.. (@ T) As to the question of the use of Solitary: The question of who can use it is with the people the prisoner is in the “custody” of… So if I was running the place there may or may not be an Isolation section… On the other hand “IF” I was to deal with combative, I may in fact want to have the ability to use “Isolation Methods”?
    See every one begs the question of should it be used or not… It all revolves around why is the sucker in there in the first place… Look, in all honesty, I am not going to have some crap-head in my house, who would fight with family members, and cause problems all day long… (who would?) All these Liberals are saying “poor prisoners”. (It may be true or it may not be true that the prisoner has become a victim?) Clearly for me: I do not care what mommy and daddy are saying, because they are the last to know that their son or daughter is nothing but a “deviant combative” a person that is unfit to put near anyone else.
    I don’t know about anyone on here, but I know people like this; and many are in prison. Some get along with a certain type of individual, like myself, as long as you do not turn your back on them… (these folks are fight priority predators in my view; and I know them because I am one of them with a chained beast.)
    The real question on this thread should be, why are we using solitary confinement? in my opinion 1.) It should have little or nothing to do with the first cause of sentencing to prison; unless the Court deemed it so… 2.) If one than is to be confined and then is unable to follow the rule, that the general, population must follow; some thing has to happen, for the correction system, has to have conformity in the directed punishment that the Court sentenced that individual to; so conformity is necessary for its function… (You are not the same as a public citizen when you are sentenced for a crime against the public citizens which are all crimes that I am talking about.) Your civil rights are curtailed, by the court system, and can vary from state to state..For states also make up their own laws.. Which we know are not to be in conflict with Federal Law… I look at “Corrections” as the governmental agency that is deemed to “correct” law breakers and “punish” them for bad acts… The problem arises in how it is done. Correction is one thing and Punishment another… Some places insist they are not there to Correct, they are there to punish… To Correct requires responsibility in the individual. Where as to punish you do not need anything from the individual only your own imagination on how to inflict your determined punishment on your charge.. You may want a punishment that does not turn the criminal in to a victim… How that is done I am not sure.. (Later)

  • Allen T.

    Fr Russ …like I was saying, I would think that with having tried everything conceivable and then some to end solitary in prisons, an important first step, would be to take away the reigns. Since privitization has opened this door of possibility, now very well be an ideal opportunity to take the reigns. The pretense or initiative i presented was for the purpose of establishing a credible bargaining partner. If they were to watch sports all day and Have conjual visits 7 days a week i’d support it! i guess I need to makle myself more clear some times…Fr Russ.

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    Your a wise man.


    From “The Rise and Fall of California’s Prison Movement” by Eric Cummins

    Page 4:

    “Early prison advocates such as Benjamin Rush went even further in their attempts to mold the inmate mind, calling for forced attendance at prison religious services and strict diet of sacred reading, dominated by the Bible. Other books were expressly forbidden.

    Rush compared the Bible to “an apothecary’s shop, in which is contained remedies for every disease of the body.” The Bible was the ideal meditation for criminals, and the solitary cell was the perfect place for a convict’s disordered senses to be reconstituted by its agency. The convict would fix his mind to God. ”

    Notice the “solitary cell and the Bible” are the center of his treatment model.

    What works for many is not the solution for everyone.

    I love the Godfather clip where the Don’s son is being Baptized as his henchmen murder for him.

    I’ve seen alters set up in the cells of some of the most violent inmates I ever knew.

  • Allen T.

    Fr. Russ let me be more specific. Say Donald trump or Mike Bloomberg someone with money No Name or affilliation at all, Just someone with the finances. They decide to finance the operation and take the reigns, wouldn’t it be up to them that now have control as to whether or not they want to use solitary?

  • @Alan CYA: I do not believe in forced religion… Fact is I do not believe in forced anything… I believe in responsibility.. I believe in-depth searching of your own soul. Finding our who you really are, looking at all the ugly things that make you the person who walks around and inter acts with people the whole of society… To chain a Beast you first have to know that you are one. You can’t blame other people because of your own ugliness… You have to look yourself in the mirror and see the real you; and if there is a beast in you, wheather through your own fear or your own brutality, than you have to find the way to cage that animal so he won’t continue to do you harm or anyone else… It has nothing to do with God. It is all about You! or Me!

  • @T: I try not to sell my religion; it is a personal thing; not for everyone and you have to decide what you believe for yourself. I am not a Holy Roller and I am not going to shove a track in your face… If you ask me about my belief than I’ll tell you… If I am holding studies on Theology, you would be or anyone would be welcome… Never the less Religion does not or would not be part of my rehabilitation steps unless voluntarily and no one would get good marks or points because they are praying and going to church… I know plenty of killers who go to church then confession… They think three Hail Mary’s and an Our Father forgives their abuse… Not with me…

  • @Alan T: First off, I have been there; was consultant to commissioner John Boone, under Governor Sargent in the 1970… With my associated we went from the most violent Prison in the Country at that time, to not even a fist fight in four months; Bobby Delleo ran the place on the inside and I worked with other on the out side… Also However I was one of th first in this country to do alternatives to prisons with high risk men… I ran one of the first halfway house under the Lowell Court System of MA and the EASE program which was supported by L.E.A.A (Law Enforcement Assistance Act.) money 1974 through 1979; we had the highest three-year accounting of an 83% not returning to prison in the Country. Nixon cut my money and nine ex-cons were out of a job… The program got closed due to havin no money… Give me one week in any prison and allow me to work with the men; and I can turn the place around… However they will never do that because I have demonstrated that we know what we are doing and we end the profits and jobs in corrections no one wants that..

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    In Cali juvenile facilities in the 60’s we were required to go to Church. And in San Quentin they had a list of books to force Christian religion on the inmates there, some of whom were Muslim by choice. They called this the treatment era.


    You remind me of my older brother because of your size and history of violence. Over the years my brother has put many larger men in the hospital, some might have even died, he doesn’t know for sure.

    As far as the beast within, most people have the capacity to be violent given the right circumstances. I have literally been exposed to violence from birth so I know its negative effects. I’ve been told upon my arrival home after my birth I was the center of attention for the welcome home party of my family and their close friends. Afterward while I was resting in my cradle my older brother came in the room and tipped the cradle over knocking me to the ground. He has since told me that he had become jealous of the attention that I had received. Over the early years of my youth I often had my ass whipped by him and our parents.

    We moved around a lot and as new comers we were always tested and retested by the bullies. In each new neighborhood we encountered the local toughs and we always rose to the occasion and almost always prevailed given fair odds. But I’ve also been tied to a tree and beaten by a mob when I was four years old; I’ve been hung upside down in a tree by another, and tied to another tree in the country then abandoned by yet another group of kids. I’ve been run over by kids on their bicycles as I lay on the ground playing. I’ve been held under water in the public pool, I’ve been made to fight a series of brothers one by one. By the time I landed in juvenile hall at the age of 9 fighting was a reflex which landed me in the hole over and over again.

    All this in spite of the fact that I am by nature a laid back individual, and as such I avoid problem s and areas such as bars. However when I’m confronted by unreasonable threatening individuals I try to never allow them that critical first shot.

    As a senior citizen I have trained in an ultimate fighter gym where the younger crowd has often asked me tips on how to improve their punches and kicks after witnessing me work out. Yes I am 61 years old but I can still hold my own in a fair fight.

    As they told me, “Who would have ever guessed?”

  • allen T.

    Fr. Russ. Your the Warden, you have a few hundred guys on board you hand selected, you design the program format, security, and create a prison totally unlike the traditional punishment/solitary, cops/convict atmosphere. You start out with a managable number of Throwaways, and build from there. think you could do this on a private level? The fact that your a man of cloth and have the backing of a religious group, or church will possibly allow you credibility, It isn’t like the state is going to hand over reings to any one person or group of people unless they are affiliated one way or another with a reputable organization, wheter its cost effective or not. So I chose the Church as a representitive, and You as the warden. Could you build this into something that provides an alternative to solitary?
    However, by no means are we running a religious colony. Like this Rapo BS. Angola, or any other sick and twisted pedophile place. Were talking Lifers not kids. Men who are in Long term solitary. Like Lincoln Hall before the state took over. Private ran detention facility by the Brothers and civilians they selected. The Brothers wore no collars, I don’t remember ever going to church, and the place had no forced religious activities or none of this sick twisted rape bullshit. Had you not known they were brotheers you would have thought they were just tough ass college guys making money working as counselors!

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    I quote from a letter to a former guard by the name of Henry Lesser from a condemned serial killer by the name of Carl Panzram warts and all, Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers, p. 202, (1997), Brian King, ed.

    “You know that I spent several years in one of those places [reform school] when I was a boy and the so called Training that I recieved while there is mainly the cause of my being the degenerate beast that I am today. I have thought about that system of Training young boys for all of my life and I know that the whole system is wrong. That system of beating goodness, religeon and Jesus into boys in the 99 times out of 100 has the direct opposite effect of taking all of the goodness, kindness and love out of them and then replacing those with hate, envy deciete, tyrany and every other kind of meaness there is.”

    Panzram was 11 years old and from a poor northern Minnesota farm family when he was first sent to Red Wing in 1903 for breaking into a neighbor’s house and he was deemed reformed in 1905. “I was reformed all right,” Panzram later said. “I had been taught by Christians how to be a hypocrite and I had learned more about stealing, lying, hating, burning and killing. I had learned that a boy’s penis could be used for something besides to urinate with and that a rectum could be used for other purposes….”

    NY’s Walnut Street penitentiary in 1790’s and PA’s Eastern State Penitentiary in the early 1800’s were the first prisons designed for isolation an they were the idea of religious Quakers.

    And the warden in Angola prison insists on preaching the bible and if you don’t play along you are not going to earn his favor. It is not a happy place. Ask the Angola 3.

    I’m glad your experience was more positive. People are people and how they justify their cruelty in their own mind is the only difference.

    I believe in god just not the churches.

  • Allen T.

    This probably sounds like something out of left field; yet, have you ever considered a Catholic prison. Sorta like how lincoln Hall was when I was a kid. Lincoln Hall was a private run juvenile facility, “the Brothers” were the C,O.’s and the entire place was run by the Brothers. If there were civilian employees, they were hired hired by the Brothers.
    In this day and age where our goverment is interested in cost effective alternatives to running prisons, and has even went as far as to seek out and employ private companies to actually run certain prisons, could the Catholic church, or another religious organization take over a Prison designated for what will refer to as “The terminal Prisoner”?
    Can the concept of “chaining the beast”, be instilled into other men, Can a secure facilty end solitary, by replacing “One Parent” who is trained to be a good punisher, with another Parent who is trained to chain the beast within?
    Of course you and I know this goes alot deeper, but I wanted to offer a glimpse at an idea. An idea that didn’t fail 40 years ago, but was rather replaced by a State or States, that wanted to monopolize on a booming marketplace. Could we now revisit this old idea with a new updated approach and level of sophistication that could possibly end solitary, by placing the same prisoner in the care and custody of a different parent with a whole different way of handling matters?

  • As I said in the beginning of my change, the number one factor was realizing the animal I had become and was: (and to date still am; however I have a chained Beast; that beast is chained by my God whom I happen to Call Jesus…) However, god was not the first cause in my limited mind. #1 was self-realization: Then the realization that there was only one thing and I mean one thing I had any real feeling for “Love” if you will; and that was my children… I did no give one shit about anything or anybody else… Not One Shit! so #2 for change was due to my Children… Then #3, I took on a Jesus philosophy and discipline to guide my screwed up life (having no believe in a God at the time). I emulated Jesus, the Jesus written about, in the book of Mark as best I could. I followed His “Way” then my God found me… That is my three steps to freedom… At the present day the steps are reversed in my Life 1.) is my God I call Jesus 2.) my children 3.) a continuing look at who I am and what I am doing…
    So you have it from a chained free man in Jesus…

  • Three things effect change within me. 1.) An honest look at what I had become. 2.) My children drove the change in me (specifically my oldest and youngest daughters) and 3.) My belief in and the direction and relationship with my God. (And I mean a very direct and personal relationship with that God. Which required many years of search and focus)

  • Alan CYA #65085


    You are indeed a lucky man to have so many children turn out well. FAMILY IS EVERYTHING!

    Take care.

  • @Alan CYA: If I felt offended you would hear about it… However, I am here looking and talking about ways to end Solitary… Now, you need to understand that I am not into victim blaming; I believe in the use of punishment and responsiblity; I am a father of eleven children; none of them abused, in any way, that I know; however they were punished when they did not follow rules set down by me… All of my children, with the exception of one, is a college graduate; all where in their youth fairly exceptional athletes; several received full scholarship on their academics and athletics to schools; the youngest was excepted to both the Naval Academy and the US Coast Guard Academy from which she graduated and is an Officer in the Guard presently… I say all this to emphasize; that I am not an idiot, I believe in punishment, also reward and achievement. Not, one of my children followed in my bad path… I made very sure of that not happening.. I used, a withdraw and reward system, in bringing them up. If they did the wrong thing they lost privileges, if they did more than was required they got rewards; however it had to be above and beyond… I say all this to tell you. That I believe that 97% of the individuals in solitary confinement and long-term lock down should be out of their tortures condition… However, they need to be, under proper human conditions of confinement until they prove to be not a danger to themselves and others.. No one should be looked away be cause of their political views… Removal from populations, should only be for physical safety reasons… Our problem is that the system does not know how to be good parents; all they understand is how to be good punishes… Which by the way is their frekin job..

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    The online definition:

    What is a chump?

    A chump is someone who is easily played; a person who is gullible and easily fooled.

    Don’t be a chump—she’s kidding you along.

    This is close to my application “Don’t feel like a chump.”

    I hope this straightens things out.

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    This must be a generational thing.

    When I said “don’t feel like a chump” I meant don’t feel like a fool for laying out your story.

    And the phrase was not calling you a fool it was an effort to apologize for not responding to you sooner. Now this is exactly what kind of misunderstanding I was writing about before. You take an apology and turn it into a insult.

    I use the statistics the same way this site uses them to give credence to the statement.

    Now I was exactly like you in the joint I knew the danger and tried to just do my time but sometimes people just don’t let you.

    Now I hope we can get on with the issues of solitary and why it was developed in the first place. I feel it is partly to prevent violence between inmates.

    Until, as Russ says, these inmates realize part of the problem is their own use of violence then nothing will change. We need to work together not search for a word to fight over.

    I do not feel I disrespected you only that you heard it wrong because of your own interpretation which is obviously different than my intent.

    Things have changed in 43 years since I did time. I am open to that.

    I encourage you to stay on here. Listen to Russ he is wise.

    @Russ if you also feel slighted I apologize to you as well. Much respect.

  • Allen T.

    The way it was giving to me is that certain things get checked even if 99% of you takes it as a joke. I seen two guys in jail having a verbal exchange and the one guy called the other guy a punk and the guy didn’t say nothing he just walked away and laughed it off. Later on that day he came back from program and his whole cell was robbed by a third person who was no more than a fly on the wall. Within a week the guy was getting extorted, a day or two later he signed in PC! He was suppose to check that immediately even if he thought it was possibly a joke. Actually I wasn’t one for verbal exchanges to begin with. I was a quiet guy, always watching what was going on around me. I use to say I was scared with good cause, yet I had too much heart to be scared. So once I learned what apprehensive meant, I would tell others I was apprehensive, very apprehensive and stayed on point so I didn’t get eaten alive by the animals. Sometimes I guess I have to learn I am not in the joint anymore, but when dealing with people who claim they were, I have a certain expectation level of what I know for a fact they know is right or wrong! There is no way you can claim to have done time and make certain moves that you know for a fact are unacceptable. Otherwise you either didn’t do any time, or you were a knucklehead that stood 5ft. off the CO everywhere you went till the day your couple months were up. either way around, I have no time to get involved with you. But I will stay right here on solitary watch till I am ready to move on.

  • One of the hardest things to learn and take if you desire to stay out of the joint, is verbal abuse… It is very hard, I know; having a TV show for ten years taught me I have to accepts some abuse from assholes who are ignorant; an extremely difficult task for me… Less than two months ago, a person went from verbal abuse to touching me, a very big mistake for them… However, remember when we were kids: sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me… Most of us are of a mucho breed that refuse to take even an ugly look… So you pay the price of your own pride; and if you do, you have to accept your punishment… @ Alan T: During my time, few were even allowed to look me in the eye due to the pecking order, knot me… changing and organizing was very difficult in my early years due to the fear and the pecking order of the prison; we had to break that down, we had to let every work for the same goal of change… It meant allowing the skinner to help you with your legal stuff, you may have had to protect him… You had to live assholes alone to a certain extent… Staying out of prison is a choice, it is a behavioural choice. I am not very sympatric to guys that cry about their time… For I have found with the vast majority, they put themselves in the box.. It takes and education for use to look at the damage we have done to others… My crimes ranged from booking, shark-ing to armed robbery, extortion and strong-arming to name a few… I never gave one bit of shit about who I hurt.. You can’t tell me that; that is not the majority in the joint right now… Society does not have to take anyone back, not should a con expect to have welcome arms hug him. What has to happen is you decide to stay out and live the best life you can put together… May be you get lucky, get and education and help some in something.. Tell your story and keep one kid from going down the road we choice… That is all there is…

  • Allen T.

    Definition of CHUMP…an old convict name for FAGS. ANY convict knows their is NO grey area when calling another convict certain names: Snitch, Bitch, Chump, Rapo …to name a few. During the 20 plus years I served in State Prison, I seen guys get murdered for calling another convict/inmate certain words. I also seen many guys get their whole faced sliced with a razor blade or a can lid, for doing the same thing! There are certain things you just don’t do, first thing your taught when you walk through the door, watch your mouth.

  • @Alan T: I’ve been away I must have missed something? Mr. TrayTwon123, is up set with someone? Who is he talking to? I must have missed his posting on here…

  • TrayTwon123

    In jails where? During what period of time? and involving parties that were previously homosexual. Let me get a couple things straight here, who you think your talking to with all these stats, figures, and quotes? Also, and I am very serious about this…be real careful who you call a chump, and be even more careful about how talk to me altogether. I should have straightened this out a long time ago. I don’t like people who get familiar and then getdisrespectful. I asked how old you were because you have been sounding like a 15 year olld, lately. The jury is still out as to whether or not your a cop or some type of Law enforcement. Now you give some thought to what I said and if you ain’t got nothing productive and respectful to say to me then go tighten knickers!

  • Alan CYA #65085


    I was 10 in 1962 when I was in LA Central Juvenile Hall so that makes me 61.

    I don’t have the article with me now but last year alone they claim there were over 216, 000 rapes in jails. Go to justdetention.org to learn more.

    They are double bunking people now so what if your 130lbs in with a rapist much larger. Not a position I would want to be in.

    Many of these guys are afraid of being in general population.

    I’ll read the article soon got to run. Did you catch that 94% plea out?

  • Allen T.

    Alan CYA. if you don’t mind me asking what is your age group? I didn’t want to ask your exact age out of respect for your annonymity. The general area though if you don’t mind?

  • Rcarmichael1316@sbcglobal.net

    T we understand where u r coming from and u r right we r never accepted back and should never look for that…

  • Allen T.

    In NYS SHU you back up to the gate get cuffed and move in most cases. Other then that they have so many CO’s during movement, and, or when an inmate is out their cell, There is no inmate to inmate contact without it being monitored. What I’m saying is if guys are committing suicide in SHU it isn’t about sexual abuse. Most of that stuff is no longer happening at all. These days if a guy is getting raped in Prison you can pretty much believe they invited it upon themselves. I haven’t been in prison in 7 years through the grace of God, yet I have been on Rikers Island within the past year doing skid bid BS, and jail has changed alot. I have to admit though, aside from NYS, I don’t know anything about jail except what they show on lockup, or I hear about from old gangster guys like Fr. Russ. You can’t discuss jail on alot of spots. That is why I kinda liked this experience, it was different. Just makes me a bit nervous because alot of cops get on here and try to talk it up, you have to always be wide awake. The conversation about Kathy Boudin teaching at Columbia University drew about 200, 250 hits. You can guarantee 150 were cops, but I still was once again reminded that the criminal is never welcome back in society. If you think for one second that most people in society would like to see a guy make a successful community re-entry, think again! That is why I wanted you guys to read that story about Kathy Boudin, so you could see the remarks and statements that were made. Real wake up call for me.

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    Allen T. wrote at April 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    “One day I would like to take a look at the stats of how many of the incarcerated are in as a result of a plea as opposed to trial” andalso he wrote

    “how many of these cases did the psychiatric problem exist before the incarceration?”

    My posting the figures was an attempt to answer his questions.

    Do I get credit for my attempt? No I got lambasted instead. LOL Only kidding my friend. :)

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    Yes you do sound a bit grumpy but that is ok

    You must remember not everyone reading this has your inside knowledge. I am glad you do not refute the stats at least.

    This site is for and about solitary but other factors figure into it. Prison violence is the biggest factor. The biggest factor in prison violence is race relations, and victimization.

    Much is made of the fact of the over-representation of groups in prison but little is made of these figures. You and I were lucky my friend we missed the worst years.

    I hope you feel friendlier. :)

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    I didn’t take your story as bragging.

    I agree the man had a surveillance system that could record but didn’t. He normally kept a gun in every room, but he placed them all in a bag the night before, he had dog’s (plural) that were in a kennel. Then his wife opens the door in the evening but at least he had his PJ’s on. LOL

    I read today that he had been shot 20 times his wife once. Why bother to shoot someone 20 times with such a deadly weapon unless you hated the man?

    So you have to think this is personal not a gang or a professional hit.

    I also read there is a witness to the murder of his assistant and she describes it as “a man argued with him in the parking lot and the prosecutor pushed him away so the guy pulled out his weapon and shot him then ran off.”

    If the prosecutor thought it was a gang member he would have pulled his out on sight or at least I would have.

    So that one doesn’t sound like a hit either.

    However I went on to read numerous corruption claims in the area. People that have a lot to lose if they are convicted.

  • Alan CYA: I do not mean to be insulting, however, you do realize that most of us on here at least that I have seen are pretty much aware of the prison stats… I hold a Master in Social Justice and Change BU and Goddard amoung the school I have attended… I’m a doctoral candidate in two subjects, that I may never finish, nor do I care, I am a life long student. The more I learn the less I know: I have been involved with this issue on a National Level since 1971, as one of the founders of (The American Friends Justice Program) in Cambridge Ma. I was the first prisoner while on parole to be part of the staff; and was the recipient of an anonymous grant by one of the Quakers to establish that program (1971) and there has been an ex-con associated with the program ever since… I mean the stuff you put out is like you are educating us? It may be me and I have been around so long, I do not know, but I’m more interested in your personal story and lets close Solitary than rehashing shit I know… Do you have a plan to get our folks out of Solitary? Forgive me is I am a bit grumpy…

  • The point of my story was not to brag, about how good I am with guns and knives. It was to state that who ever killed these people, had to be the luckiest hit person or persons, to come into their house like that. Or, they are in my belief, whom ever did this, had to know them extremely well; or had direct inside information. There is no way you are going to walk into a paranoid armed persons house and find them unarmed if it is normal for them to be armed, without inside info… (No damn way)… I charge 5000 a class for strategic planning… Just the basics; advanced classes could cost as much as a Masters Degree…. My credential can be checked through the law enforcement persons that ended my career… Bless you all…:-)

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    California’s Prison Population is 38 percent Latino, 27 percent, white, and 29 percent African American which leaves 6% other.

    I derived the following by adding those listed in the chart by race by the total number of suicides listed. 12/33 = 37% white, 5/33 = 15% black.

    Yet the 2011 suicides in the SHU are 37% white (they are only 27% of the total population), 30% Hispanic (of 38% total pop.), 18% other (of 6%) and 15% African American (of 29% of the total population).

    Why do you think this is?

    I believe there is a direct link to the rate of their victimization in prison and suicide.


    I quote:

    “One theme that emerges clearly from the US literature is the racially biased nature of sexual victimization. The aggressors in Lockwood’s sample were 80 per cent black…while the victims were 83 per cent white. This led him to observe that, ‘In prison, most aggressors are black; most targets are white.

    Prison sexual aggression, thus, is a case study of interracial crime’.

    Human Rights Watch published a report about this in 2001:

    “No Escape: Male Rape in US Prisons”

    “Past studies have documented the prevalence of black on white sexual aggression in prison. These findings are further confirmed by Human Rights Watch’s own research.

    Overall, our correspondence and interviews with white, black, and Hispanic inmates convince us that white inmates are disproportionately targeted for abuse.”

    So the victims commit suicide rather than live in fear. Sorry if these facts offend some.

    I think this more than the solitude is the cause of the suicides in the SHU.

    But I hope it was not the case for my little brother at least.

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Allen T

    94% plea out. This Bill Moyers program is worth watching.


    “BRYAN STEVENSON: Sadly, we still have a system that treats you better if you’re rich and guilty then if you’re poor and innocent.

    You’ll be told that if you plead guilty, you can go home. You’re not told that there will be these collateral consequences. You might lose your right to vote, you’ll be barred from public housing, you won’t ever be eligible for food stamps.

    You’ll be building toward this situation where if you get arrested again, you’ll be facing mandatory sentences like 20 years in prison, or life in prison. And all of that stuff has to come from an advocate who explains the consequences. Yet what we’ve done with the system is create a situation where the lawyers themselves have an incentive to plead everybody out.

    About 94 percent of all cases in this country are resolved by a plea.”

    On the insane issue I think PTSD is a definite issue in prison. If you’re lucky you’ll only see some sick shit in there, but if not you’ll be the victim of it, this is true even in the juvenile system. I saw the affect it had on my older brother and suspect it had on my younger brother.

    My older brother Mike actually spent much of his youth in solitary for fighting or escape.

    He was committed to Atascadero State Hospital from Deuel Correctional Institute State Prison. While visiting him thereafter I saw the really insane. Mike was not one of these he was functioning and after his release he was soon only a few credits away from getting a degree when his daughter died of sudden infant death syndrome. It was all downhill thereafter.

    No one could have lived his life and not been affected by it. I could write a book about him but he won’t talk about any of it. Never has never will and believe me I’ve tried to learn more.

    So I do think you can be driven mad it just takes longer for some than others. And of course many enter loony as well. Anyone that has sat in a holding cell can tell you that.

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Ha ha well I often wonder if I have a mild case Asperger syndrome for I drop the ball in such matters. I’ve stepped up for some of those abused in the joint. As Russ said most don’t out of fear of retaliation. I can confirm that is the case.

    @ Russ

    In light of both of your comments, Russ on knifes, and you on victimization, as well as the stabbing at the TX college campus last night, I recalled this event from my junior year in high school.

    “I sat eating a bagged lunch outside on the Sylmar High’s quad when I noticed a group of three students in the distance aggressively moving through the crowd. I watched as the group approached a stocky, sandy haired, lone student dressed in Levi’s with a plain plaid, short sleeve shirt. As the group reached the student the shortest in the group angrily confronted him. In apparent preparation for the confrontation the angry guy had removed his outer shit which exposed his plain white undershirt commonly called a “wife beater” and a pair of black suspenders. The choice of their clothing indicated that they may have been gang members.

    It was with my own recent experience of being attacked at San Fernando High by a group of similarly dressed youths in mind that I closely watched the scene. This previous attack was why I was attending Sylmar High after all. All of my attackers had fled the scene when the staff yelled at us and I alone was expelled for fighting. I had also been new to SFH when I was jumped for no discernible reason while I drank from a water fountain.

    I was still angered by the fact that no one had lifted a finger to aid me that day. I therefore identified with the kid being confronted by this new mob even though I had never noticed him at school before.

    The confrontation went from words to blows in mere seconds. The shortest of the aggressors hit the victim in the face knocking him back a step or two, then as the victim regained his balance, he returned the blow knocking his assailant down.

    Another attacker took the place of the first and began punching the victim. I watched as a third attacker pulled a knife out of his pants pocket and hid it under the sleeve of his shirt.

    The second attacker was also knocked to the ground just as the third reached the victim and began to stab him. I watched as the victim was stabbed once, twice, three times in the chest before the victim was able to knock his third assailant to the ground. When the armed assailant hit the ground his knife flew out of his hand and into the gathering crowd’s feet. The attacker was now crawling on his hands and knees searching for his blade while the other two continued their assault.

    The fight was closer now and I approached the scene not sure of how I could most effectively assist the outnumbered and wounded victim. The victim now had his back to the wall near me and seemed to be struggling to breathe as he fought off two of the attackers.

    The third attacker arrived with his knife which I could now see was a duck-billed utility knife used for cutting vinyl tile. The assailant slashed at the face of the victim cutting him from the back of his head just above his ear, to his chin which severed his ear in two and sent blood spurting out of the gaping wound in pulses. Alarmed by the horrified gasps of the growing crowd the assailant turned wildly in my direction with both his arms and legs out wide, with his legs bent in a slightly crouching position.

    I reached for the assailant’s hand that held the knife but someone else grabbed it first.

    With his weapon in check I struck the assailant a solid blow to his face. My punch had landed squarely on the guy’s nose which instantly began to stream out blood as he fell to one knee. Seeing an opportunity to finish the assailant off quickly, I kicked at the guy’s head. My kick landed on the hair line and to my surprise my heel had made his scalp fold back like turf on the football field.

    The other two assailants having seen the two of us enter the fight quickly fled the scene. So not wanting to be asked questions I too turned and slipped quietly into the crowd. I could only hope that no one could identify me. The disturbing thought of a possible parole violation passed through my mind as I left the scene. As I walked away I looked back and saw the semiconscious assailant still being stomped on by the other guy that had intervened.”

    While I was serving time I told this story to my only friend and he told me it was his buddy and that the guy thought I was a guardian angel of his imagination. He had collapsed shortly after I left having one collapsed lung. He almost died.

    Some good looking low-riding chicks picked me up after school and thinking with my dick I went for it. But rather then taking me home they took me deep into their gang territory. Luckily the man was making a bust of their homeboys and they panicked and sped off. Good thing or I would have been the pinata at their party.

    I could tell you a hundred stories about knife fights. I was sent to Preston over one with a large group of adult professional body builders. The 6’6″ man was the chief of polices nephew and he went on to first cripple another teen, and then while he was waiting for his trial he beat another teen to death. I had went toe to toe with him until I tripped over a curb and fell. He got pool stick from his buddy and swung it so I rolled my shoulder to protect my head and he landed it across my shoulder then my brother stuck the pig with little pen knife. He screamed like a pig being slaughtered. I jumped up and ran over to a fence and with several muscle bound adults on my heels I jumped the fence into the blackness below. It was over 50 feet down with the last 15 feet on a slope or I would have broken my legs at the very lease. But the night was not over we got in the car and headed back to the club only to be chased by the several B&W squad cars. I had to bail at about 35 miles an hour tumbled and rolled to a stop then seeing the cops were not going to stop I rolled up onto the curb. The car stopped beyond me I would have died. So I jump up and did a back flip over a five foot fence I was so hyped. I hid out in a garage until the dozen or so police left and then rode a bike I found the ten miles to my moms where the cops waited. I did 11 months over a group of adult weight lifters jumping two teenagers whose combined weight was less than the “victims”. All we wanted was to watch the band in the club.

    American justice.

  • Allen T.

    What do you make of someone like Kathy Boudin NYSDOCS 84G0171. Does 22 years in Prison and comes out and Teaches at Columbia University. Kind of leaves the debate open as to whether long term solitary/Incarceration/etc. is the real cause of a cancerous community re-entry upon release. I hear so many cases where men/women come out of jail after serving alot of time with psychiatric symptomology worthy of an expedited Mental health referral. However, in how many of these cases did the psychiatric problem exist before the incarceration?
    One day I would like to take a look at the stats of how many of the incarcerated are in as a result of a plea as opposed to trial. How many who went to trial had a 7:30 examination, and how many attempted to go forward as unfit to stand trial. Because on a plea there is no unfit to plea that I recall, or extremely rare. Face it, a man/woman who is gonna cop out can’t be unfit or they wont get the benefit of the plea. What I am trying to infer is that alot of pleas are being taken from men/women who are mentally unfit. That its not jail that makes the person crazy as much as the person is crazy before they go to jail. In most cases, I place emphasis on, in most cases.

  • Allen T.

    Thank you finally a verbal response! I was just ready to write Anders and ask how I should handle you!

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    @Allen T

    Sorry I do appreciate your story and our similar history. Don’t feel like a chump.Your words meant something to me. :)

  • Alan CYA that was a great response you gave to my heartfelt empathetic summarry of my feelings for your situation, and your vigilant dedication to the cause. Hope your not always so verbal.

  • @Alan CYA: things do not make sense. It may be the reporter. I am about 5’9″ 200 lbs. 70 years old, was a bum club fighters as a teen; know a bit of self-defence, nothing compared to my associates… However, I am a gunman, was a very fair marksman; am very dangerous with knives; and still a bit paranoid given my past occupations.. At 70 I am limited, an older punk, not eight weeks ago, when at my friends bar and OTB, were I on occasion have a beer and bet my horses… Verbally assaulted me he was a very stupid 6’4” about 50 years old male who did not like a priest betting horses (and winning substantially) I took the verbal abuse; then he got brave and put his hands on me. I dropped him to the floor with one shot… Clearly everyone in the place was extremely surprised… I am saying this because The man killed was a paranoid, a gunman who put away his guns: Does not make sense? He was in fear of something happening and he left all his guard down? How did that happen? (I got rid of my guns due to my youngest daughters request) However, as I mentioned I am fairly good at self-defence; and I know my way around a knife or knives pretty well. I have within reach, deadly knifes… Where ever I am in my house, I am arms length away from a knife. I do not worry about security; for I have, not one but two, trained pit bulls… You cannot go by the front of my home without them alerting me that someone is there… I say all this, because, if the man is the way he is described in the news reports he prepared his household for someone close to him; someone he or “she” trusted and let his guard down with; every report is saying he did not have a chance, she opened the door… I open my door to family… That is it… I consider my life long partners family; they would be able to assassinate me with ease.. Anyone else, would have a problem… I mean this man was a security nut… Worse than me, well he was still in the field of danger… So it even makes more sense this is some one close.. I’ll bet they already know… Or he got set up, mafia style, preparing for one thing, and Mr. Death come in… Look I have a son, my oldest, booze has been his problem all his life; if he were coming over; all my dangerous weaponry would be secured before he got to the house… Get my drift? My dogs would only be secure if I was expecting someone who feared them… Keep thinking…

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    So they put the dogs in the kennel the night that they were killed and all the guns in a bag the night before. How convenient.

    “They had a party the night before and he gathered up all his guns and put them away in a bag so that his guests didn’t stumble across them,” J.R. McLelland told The Dallas Morning News.

    Was the killer at that party?

  • Allen T

    Allen CYA…Oh yea…Before I forget, It was very sad hearing about your Brothers experience. I think that would make me wanna get involved also. I have a Brother, he’s older. One time he got arrested and me of course knowing what jail is like, was scared for him. Not only he had never been in jail before, but he waa soft as ice cream and no muscles, on the contrary maybe even the resemblance of man boobs, just a fat scared kid. This is my Older Brother mind you. I thought of how maybe I could do the time for him, how I’d kill someone if they did something to him, and I prayed that he’d live off my reputation and somehow survive? he got bailed out right away, never went back again his entire life, it was a drug beef sale and possession.
    Anyway, knowing how I felt about my Brother being in jail for One day…I can imagine how you must have felt/still feel.

  • @djhfkj: You, said it all right there…

  • @Alan CYA: Without giving anyone ideas on how to break out of Jail… First the sheriff to me looks like a regular guy, that would be very easy to threaten with serious harm… So my guess is they terrorfied this guy or his family to let the man out… Simple.. You would not want to owe me money, I can tell you that; and any jail I was ever in; if i so desired I could have gotten our of… That is my guess without knowing anything about the case…

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    @Allen T

    Yes I did about a month for every year I spent in the system. It is fornicate, fight, or flee my friend. I choose the middle ground. I just recently found the pictures of one of the holes. They were in my last post on here. Check them out. I’ve started to collect these juvenile detention centers history. The stimulus package for the depression of the 1890’s. :(


    What do you make of this article?


  • Allen T.

    Alan CYA Ok Brother…I didn’t ask for a resume. I had a strong feeeling you were in a Youth facility having recognized the initials be cause I was in a half dozen before I went up top. It’s just that I thought you had said you did BOX TIME? That is why I asked. Yea.. a few days worth of POSTS back I’m almost positive you said you did a couple scraps in the box?

  • @Alan CYA: Any good student of strategy, a good chess player, a planner, will be able to get you if they have the mind to do you in.. As far as I am concerned these people are nitwits, they are public, they flaunt what they are about and what they do; they long to get caught. It is all they have in life, getting caught so they can be a big deal, they do not see themselves as friken idiots… They call themselves warriors, they do not have a clue what that means… Ralph Ham is a warrior.. Bobby Dellelo is a warrior, those who work for the benefit of all our brothers and sister whatever their color whatever thier crime those are real warriors.. You do not have to like the guy or women beside you, you just need to understand you are suffering the same fate, and you are stronger to join together and fight the indignity.. If you can’t get that then your an idiot in my humble opinion..

  • @Alan CYA: He said just what I posted… The man would open the door to a cop or someone of that status. However they say it was the wife, who would most likely ope to a salesman of a FDX delivery guy caring a big package… Note however, I am not going to write here and give lesson on how to get someone, but if one has a little better than half a brain it is not that hard; for me I would not care where you are or how much protection you have. If I wanted you, I’d get you, you could take that to the bank…

  • djhfkj

    Well, maybe you shouldn’t have killed the deputy, dipshit.

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    Here is a story Carl wrote for SW.

    I wouldn’t have opened for anyone in the evening after my assistant was gunned down in the street in broad daylight.

    Only if they came like they were there to protect me because they had received a threat,
    then maybe I would have fallen victim to the ruse.

    I note that a swat vehicle would leave a heavy print and the occupants are well armed. Time will tell. The family thinks no one is moving on solving this however.

  • @Alan CYA: No I have not seen “Carl’s” postings… When I did time in AZ, the warden was Jim Upchurch, he was an alright guy, very progressive, did not give me anything I could sue on… Infact I liked the guy alot.. He just did his job and ran a good place (no bullshit). I did get locked up for a month, someone said I was helping a group escape… (It was bullshit).Well as bad as I was, the other side would have opened the door for me… Or the person came to the door like a sales man or even someone from the Court I would think… If I had thoughts of doing something like that I would have dressed and a sheriff or a cop; I would have looked like a detective going to that mans front to door… However, I would think sales man given the size of the rifle he was carrying.. So I would say salesman..

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    Have you noticed Carl on here he was an assistant warden in AZ? Also today this:


    “Investigators are looking into whether the McLellands may have known their killer or killers.

    Considering the tensions following the murder of Mark Hasse, they question whether Cynthia McLelland would have opened the door for a stranger.”

    Some kind of acquaintance huh?

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    @Allen T


    CYA stands for the California Youth Authority

    I never did adult time (except in Baton Rouge’s Parish Jail) but I have two brothers who did. I’ve written these three articles in the link above (I know you said not to post a link) on my experience. I did this to honor two of my my brothers one who one died in the hole after over a decade and the other who was made incapable of functioning in our society due to his time spent in prison.

    Mike was a brilliant and fearless warrior (although he was to light in the ass for this role) who is now a homeless paranoid schizophrenic. But hey I love him.

    My little brother Victor was a nonviolent person but also unafraid to speak his mind. This more than likely resulted in his being placed in the hole to which he never reemerged alive.

    In my teenage years I partied with bikers, low-riders and other such gangbangers but I always stayed independent because I just didn’t like the lack of freedom of movement entailed by being in a clique. These guys got shot outside their own turf. F that shit.

    Mostly in my youth I just wanted sex, drugs and rock & roll. I never was a criminal for profit nor was I a predator inside or outside. As such I had no backup whenever I was out in the foothills partying with these Vikings. I was just a skinny teenager in over my head but hey I held my own.

    My best friend in the CYA was the kid brother of the Satan Slaves president which later became part of the Hells Angels and my friend went on to become a Galloping Goose member. (If you see this it is noted on the MC clubs web page so its no secret.) But it seems he too has went off the grid.

    You can also find this article on here. It begins during my second bust at age 10.

    I had already spent my 10th birthday in another juvenile hall.. Search for it using the SW’s search engine on here.

    In Solitary at LA’s Juvenile Hall, circa 1962
    February 12, 2010

  • For those who do not know: I did four years in Walpole 68 – 71. then did another three in the 80’s in Arizona’s Perryville which was a country club for me… The hardest was in the Florence jail, however, I taught about thirty-five young men how to sue those dirty suckers is Florence.. They still have not recovered from my being there.. Bunch of dirt bags.. They had no idea what Civil Rights meant… My Judge was Roy Bean III, a real piece of scum… I cost that shit hole place millions for what they did to me…

  • Allen T

    Alan CYA: If you don’t mind what State did you serve your time in, and when? If you have already stated this in earlier links I apologize for not taking note, and if you rather not be specific, I understand that also. Whatever you decide…PLEASE…don’t send a link. LOL!

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Warden Clinton Duffy, who put 90 people to death in San Quentin said,

    “I never executed a rich man.”

    Bottom line is if you can afford a decent defense, you probably will not die in an execution chamber.


    The attorney representing former justice of the peace Eric Williams said his client has been given notice that the appeals court has set oral arguments for a May 22 proceeding concerning the state jail felony conviction.

    The order went out to the attention of David Kenneth Sergi and Mike McLelland and is dated March 29, the day before the McLellands were killed.

    Williams has one remaining indictment still outstanding.

    If convicted, that charge carries a penalty of not less than two years, or more than 10 years, in prison


    I refer you back to the Duffy quote above.

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    Now this guy kicked ass Excerpts:

    William Wayne Justice was a Federal judge for the Eastern District of Texas.

    As a former Texas lieutenant governor put it last week, “Judge Justice dragged Texas into the 20th century, God bless him.”

    And Justice demanded a top-to-bottom overhaul of Texas prisons, some of the most brutal and corrupt in the nation. He even held the state in contempt of court when he thought it was dragging its feet cleaning up a system where thousands of inmates slept on the dirty bare floors of their cellblocks and often went without medical care. The late, great Molly Ivins said, “He brought the United States Constitution to Texas.”

    Some say justice stings. William Wayne Justice certainly did — and his detractors stung back, with death threats and hate mail. Carpenters refused to repair his house, beauty parlors denied service to his wife. There were cross burnings and constant calls for his impeachment.

    They can be short on mercy in Texas. All the more reason to mourn the loss of Justice — William Wayne Justice. Rest in peace, your honor.

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    On September 8, Huey was in the State Capitol in Baton Rouge for a special session of the Louisiana legislature, pushing through a number of bills including a measure to gerrymander opponent Judge Benjamin Pavy out of his job. According to the generally accepted version of events, Pavy’s son-in-law, Dr. Carl Weiss, approached Huey in a corridor and shot him at close range in the abdomen. Huey’s bodyguards immediately opened fired on Weiss as Huey ran to safety.

    Weiss was killed instantly, and Huey was rushed to a nearby hospital, where emergency surgery failed to stop internal bleeding.

    Huey died two days later on September 10, 1935, eleven days after his 42nd birthday. His last words were, “God, don’t let me die. I have so much to do.”

    After Huey Long’s assassination in 1935, a wave of corruption swept Louisiana politics. Officials who promised to carry on Long’s programs to “Share Our Wealth” instead stole the wealth, tarnishing the public’s perception of the populist movement.

  • Alan CYA #65085

    “mostly through a lot of luck, or blessing in my personal view… But for the Grace of….”

    Damn we think a like but I’ve lived down south (Baton Rouge) and I lived in Jersey, and LA believe me the corruption down south is a way of life. New Orleans is most famous for it but the governor was machined gunned on the capital steps during the depression.

    I don’t know if you read past the bloggers to read about the NY case and the neighboring town in Texas that was shaking people down they stopped. Maybe this is what happened they shook down the wrong outfit. If so that made it personal.

    I put those in there to balance the blog but the blog at least gives one a sense of the communities view of corruption in the area.

    Just start with the elections did you catch the major of that town doing the shake downs was the longest serving major in the states history. He resigned.

    I also note that the Fed’s are starting with corruption cases. Why?

    If you read the Daily Beast article it explains.

    Since I am the only one of my running buddies alive from that fools world I feel lucky too.

    Divine grace or just the awareness of the risks involved you decide?

    I could of been a collector but would I still be here?

    I ran alone, inside and out, no crew, no back up, and no rats.

    I trusted only one person in that era and he is my brother.

    That is no way to live my friend. Peace!

    I also posted the Rolling Stones article To Big to Jail for Allen T. He was to defensive to read it. Money corrupts but damn it is nice to have some huh?

  • @Alan: My problem with a blog like this fellows does, is his blanket indictment, against police. His presumption of they are out to get us… The fact is, if you chose to be a bad guy, you are right they are out to get you, that is their job, and what they get paid for doing; however, almost all the police I know; and I know a lot they came from the same neighborhoods and out of the same class; and most of the time the difference between us and them; they have a ligament job… Bad guys that “hate” police I find ridiculous; you choice the wrong side, they have the force of ligament society on their side… A bad guy with brains should understand that; that is not to say there are not crooked Cops; I know I was in the robbing business with a few ” a very few” that I grew up with. One of whom became a chief of police… When we where kids they played the Cowboys, I was always an Indian. Supposed, revolutionary types, just are off the mark when they target police; they in fact are targeting the very people they are supposed to care about the general society… The shakers and the mover, that set the government agenda are the Wall-Street Clan the 1%; and the fact is in this Country you are not going to get to that group, to cause them any real pain.. If you are not smart enough in your criminal business and you end up in the shitty system, it is your own fault for being stupid, I know it was mine; I had bad hiring practices; two rats brought me down.. My own fault cause I always knew they where weak… We are the ones responsible for putting ourselves in the system, no one else… And the system sucks, it is a horror; however it is our own fault, we continue in our destructive violence and bullying other to keep it that way… When you are a criminal, you’re a criminal, you are not the average Joe, whether you steal a hub cap or a few million on an armored car job… The fact is, you’re the same just the degree of profit makes you any different… Oh yah, the same with a killed, whether you thing you’re a pro or you killed your girl, your still just a killer. I say this knowing I am no different from a Mr. Blake, just more fortunate, may be if lucky was not with me; i would have been with my friends like Bobby Delleo and Ralph Hamm, Bobby did 40 and Ralph is on 45… I have been breathing free air for 38 of Ralph’s years. mostly through a lot of luck, or blessing in my personal view… But for the Grace of….

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    On a blog about a wrongful death at Terrell State Hospital

    JamesPoppell 13 months ago

    Great hub Wesman Todd Shaw. As a current resident of Smith County, Texas, I am not surprised this has happened. I moved here from California six years ago and it has been somewhat of a culture shock to see how the judicial system works out here. It seems as though not a month goes by when the local evening news reports on wrong doing by one law enforcement entity or another. I believe there was a story just last week that reported three Constables were arrested for operating a Security business without a state license. I never saw these kind of stories on the news in California, but it seems like the norm here in East Texas. The point I am trying to make is that people in a position of authority seem quick to cross the line for one reason or another. I was also surprised to learn that the Sheriff has been in office for over thirty years (30 years). My heart goes out to your two friends and their families for having to endure such senseless acts. I cannot imagine the power a mental institution has over an individual and the thought sends shivers down my spine. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Wesman Todd Shaw 13 months ago from Kaufman, TexasHub Author

    Thanks very much, James Poppell !!!!

    I’ve lived in Tyler several times, and was there to visit my brother just a couple days ago.
    Not far away here in Kaufman, Texas – the county Sheriff a decade or so ago ran the entire methamphetamine distribution business!

    Oh I’m told the feds investigated him a time or three….but very likely, they were in on the whole thing too.

    Then I recalled this from last year.

    Texas Police Shakedown Lawsuit Settled
    Posted: 08/09/2012 8:16 am Updated: 08/09/2012 11:42 am

    “Under the terms of the settlement, the proceeds of property and cash seizures must be used to purchase audio and video recording equipment for traffic stops..
    Voters in June turned Tenaha’s mayor out of office after 48 years, ending the term of the longest-serving mayor in Texas history.

    In 2011, Texas changed its forfeiture and seizure laws as a result of news reports about Highway 59. Law enforcement agencies must now account for every cent collected though a seizure or property sale. And law enforcement agencies cannot use the funds to boost officer salaries or to pay bonuses without the permission of an elected body.”
    Last night I had a Sherriff patrol car stop in the parking lot in the lane in front of me and then remain there for a couple of minutes until he drove around to my lane and parked next to me and I felt a bit uncomfortable. But as I said I’m clean so I do not fear “arrest” unless someone framed me. The funny thing is the officer was covered in tattoos and walked up behind me first then went in the market for a moment, returned with nothing in his hands but this time he passed in front of me to get a good look.

    Although I do not live in TX I am becoming a bit paranoid of the police now too.

    Two news reports below:

    Of course this is not just a TX thing and criminals do have access to such weapons.

    (CNN) — Thu April 4, 2013

    A veteran New York police officer is accused of equipping a robbery crew with state-of-the art New York police equipment and helping them loot drug dealers out of a million dollars.

    August 31, 2012

    Oswego, NY — “Two Onondaga County men were arrested Thursday evening in Oswego, charged with selling two assault-style rifles and a silencer to an undercover police officer.

    Dudley and Longo sold a loaded .22 caliber assault rifle “with an attached silencer” and a loaded Izmash Saiga .223 caliber assault weapon to the undercover officer.”

    A flashback to the days when my knees buckled when a police cruiser pulled up. They were the most feared gang of all in my neighborhood.

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    I bow to your superior knowledge for I am no expert or hunter.

    But your description also sounds like a vehicle and a gun from the armory.

  • @Alan: As a hunter trapper, I would say a .223, is used by; someone very failure with weapons. A good sniper gun with a good scope, it is what I used is Arizona… It leads me to think, militia types… An average guy would grab a carbine or a 15, not a .223… I could be wrong it may just be what was handy? It is not a close range gun… It is not a hitman piece either; one would go for a Rugger 22 (at least a pro)… This guy is over kill, and sending a message… The truck tires tell me a hunter, off-road man headed for the Woods or Mountain’s, the gun tells me survivalist, militia…

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    We are of like mind.

    The facts as they appear in the press. Scattered like the shell casings.

    Cynthia McLelland’s body was found in the house’s front room near the front door, and it appeared that she had answered the door.

    Mike McLelland was found shot in the hall way toward the rear of the house dressed in his pajamas after apparently trying to get away.

    Sources said a .223-caliber assault rifle, similar to an AR-15, was used in the murders, with approximately 14 rounds being fired.

    A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity described the scene at the McLellands’ home as an awful scene. “There are shell casings everywhere,” the official said. “This is unprecedented. This is unbelievable. This is huge.”

    One suspect is Eric Williams, a former justice of the peace, who was convicted of burglary and theft by a public servant and was sentenced to two years’ probation.

    The investigators understandably took an interest in Williams as someone who reportedly had been heard to utter death threats in the past and who had been prosecuted by McLelland and Hasse.

    Assistant district attorney Mark Hasse had called local attorney Dennis Jones to the stand to testify about another death threat attributed to Williams. Afterward Jones testified Williams showed up in the law offices that he and Burt share on the Kaufman Town Square. Jones said he heard Williams threaten to kill Burt, his wife; his children and that he would burn down their house.

    Lt. Col. Troy Abbott, the commander of a Texas State Guard unit where Williams served as executive officer…testified that Williams had overseen the armory.

    Investigators are…evaluating skid marks from large tire tracks near the McLelland home.

    Then again there have been only 14 prosecutors killed In the past 100 years

    One victim had sentenced his killer to a mental hospital and Mike McLelland was just such a judge. And his wife also worked at the nearby Terrell State Hospital as a nurse.

    The other such case:

    Victor C. Breen who was serving as district attorney of New Mexico’s 10th Judicial District in 1971 when he was shot to death as he got into his car to drive to his office. The assailant, Jose Resendo Garcia, had been committed to the New Mexico Mental Hospital on Breen’s recommendation. The district attorney was considering having Garcia recommitted when he was killed. Garcia was sent back to the mental hospital and never brought to trial.

    @Allen Thank you I do try to widen the discussion.

  • @Alan: On your remarks on Country; I have children and family members that are career military, youngest daughter, officer in the Coast Guard, graduate of the USCG Academy. I myself a prison organizer both on the inside and outside now for fifty years in the trenches, believe our people are the ones that will change the system for the better. I believe we have a fringe nut-bag group that makes a lot of noise but are all self-interested. They are very few in comparison to the population inside and then multiply that by family members on the outside.. We as a group are and have always been the key to real change… Revolutions, as these folks who push or talk that line is an impossibility in the United States; they neither have the backing or the material and access necessary for such a venture, they are nit-wits… Even if you choice to be a career criminal this is the best place in the World to do it :-) Only place where you have a voice even when you are in Solitary… Only place in the World… I love this Country and I am so proud of all mine that serve… Also many of my family work for the government dedicated public servants, love them all…

  • As to the case and killings; I am hoping that who ever did this, has no, connection to the prisons and are not ex-cons; However, the hits looks to me like professionals… I hate to tell people; that means people like us; we are more sophisticated than the military, at least some of us in planning and execution of targets…. A gang member would not walk around that place displaying all his tattoos, he might dress like the mailman caring his loud and walk right up to the door; or he might pull up in a pizza delivery car or dress like a cop… Gang-members and leaders are not stupid… I know of one in particular who’s IQ was a 180… Went to Harvard after his bit with me… Running a huge gang is no different from running a huge cooperation takes the same skill… Marketing is marketing, buttons, drugs or guns all the same skill set is needed… Money laundering takes wisdom, investment hiding, you better know what you are doing.. And who you are doing it with…. Stay safe and strong…

  • @Alan: Please note on communication, I understand. For me I am a public person, with a background. I do not run and I do not hide; that said I have never been stupid, and I am always vigilante. I live in New London CT. You can find my address on our website; or in the phone book. My email is somewhere on this site.. Nevertheless that is me… Any fool knows that coming after me even now, would get them retaliation from associates or relatives. I am not like Jimmy Bulger who killed all his friends and associates so now he has to live locked up; his whole crew but for two guys are all rats, which are arrogant and do not realize the people they killed have family members who you never know may in the end retaliate.. I say this to say I totally understand your wisdom. Also know there are those that if they want you and have the right connections they could find you rather easy, because you are on the internet… It is not as many believe securing your identity… In fact this system is profiling everyone on it and has for some time; use of these sites all the social networks, once on you have opened the door to who you are. You notice several of my associates I talk about, though they read all this stuff, do not respond… They like to keep a low profile… We are also highly political, go all over the Country, speaking and Daily I work on our issues, testify at the State House, have two public TV shows, one I produce and one I Host… However that is me; and I am highly controversial to some… Stay Well friend….

  • Allen T.

    Alan CYA, just one thing from reading your post, about the part of a heavilly tatooed gang member walking through them streets without being noticed. I use to think like that, “What does a gang person look like”, then I was watching a gang series on television a couple years back and they were showing guys from a well known Biker Gang and they were business men. Looked like your local Barber, or City Council rep. I was taken by surprise at first, because of the notoriety of the gang. What I’m saying is that old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover holds so true. Could have been the mailman?
    Another thing I wanted to tell you is that I have learned alot from your posts. Take care and thank you for all your time taken to make your contributions.

  • Alan CYA #65085

    The deceased couple had both worked at Terrell State Hospital (asylum) which has been accused of abuse of it’s patients. The husband was a judge there and his wife a nurse. Is it possible that someone that was a patient there was crazy enough to do this? humm

    Although the professionalism of these attacks seems to be above most criminals abilities.

    Also I doubt that a non local or a heavily tattooed gang member could go unnoticed on that street where they were killed. They were cased out and they believe the wife opened the door so I believe it must have been a local.

    Then there is this on CNN:

    Since the January 31 daytime slaying of chief felony prosecutor Mark Hasse outside the courthouse, authorities have pored through his case files.

    Saturday night, hours after Hasse’s boss, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found dead at their home, investigators met at a local Denny’s restaurant with the convicted official, his attorney told CNN on Tuesday.

    Investigators took swab samples from Eric Williams’ hand to test him for gun residue, attorney David Sergi said. CNN does not know what the results of those swab tests have revealed to investigators.

    Sergi says his client voluntarily cooperated because he has nothing to hide.

    Williams, a former justice of the peace, was convicted of burglary and theft by a public servant and was sentenced to two years’ probation.

    The development shows investigators are looking at much more than possible cartel or Aryan Brotherhood of Texas connections to the cases.

    They are looking through all the McLelland and Hasse case files to see if any red flags arise.

    County Judge Bruce Wood said “literally hundreds” of investigators are working the case.

    “I’m not sure what time frame we’re on, but I’m confident that they will find whoever committed this crime,” he told reporters Tuesday.

    Russ I have wanted to email you and another person that just gave me her email on here but the fewer that I make contact with the better. Why?

    Because the way things can be misunderstood on here makes that decision seem to be the best for my families security. All the blood and guts throughout the history of the prison movement that I have read about has made me somewhat paranoid.

    However I do respect you and your views.

    I am not afraid of my government I am a proud American that believes we can oppose elements of it’s policies without being killed something I think is not the case with many of the people involved with the prison movement.

    I gave up drugs over 40 years ago served my country in the military and so on. The people who work for the government that I’ve known are the best people I’ve ever met.

    However there are people that abuse their positions and I do not approve of those I’ve run into like those LAPD that cruised my neighborhood four to a car in riot gear.

    I lived by the code (never a snitch) as a criminal (a harmless drug user) but I respect those that just do their job to protect society from rapists, child molesters, serial killers etc.

    A balance that you seem to understand as well. With respect my friend. I hope I can meet you one day. I’d love to chat with you. I’ll come around to emailing you one day.

  • @Alan and Allen T: Please don’t get upset if I offend someone. I do not mean it. I am working; and occasionally going back and forth with this computer, I get a little short… Today was just one of those days, payroll, and getting ready for Tax person tomorrow, TV show tomorrow night; then my Luca Brastsy was being a pain in the rear, not wanting to do his house work… I have a few employees that are challenged; Well, there are days… I started at 6am on here and I am not finished… Our care client decided they wanted to go shopping at 7pm… Oh, what a problem; but to keep the peace we got it done… Stay cool…

  • @Alan: After reading what the question and answers things stated, in his research; I’ll leave this to other profile folks… I find my information may differ than his own a bit… Like is he counting McVea and Company or is he leaving that out? Is he looking at one group or several? This may be the wrong venue for a discussion like this? Good strategist give people ideas just by accident… I would rather not contribute to nut bag agendas… I write “T” through email on occasion less public; however, homeland security I am sure monitors my computers (I warn everyone)… Given that several of my own family work in the field, for law-enforcement.. There are clear patterns coming out…

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Yeah like that merchant marine’s suicide that Tony Sr told me about.

    Oh did you catch that Ebel was also Sicilian?

    Glenn McGovern has been compiling statistics on such attacks for years. He’s the author of the book Targeted Violence as well as the recently published study “Murdered Justice: An Exploratory Study of Targeted Attacks on the Justice Community.”

    McGovern, a former SWAT officer, spoke with us from Santa Clara County, Calif., where he works for the district attorney’s office as an expert in threat, risk and vulnerability assessments.

    There’s not a lot of information on targeted attacks on members of the justice community, which includes prosecutors, McGovern said, at least not a lot that isn’t classified.

    “I just started researching, and it just grew from there,” he said of his efforts to put the attacks into statistical context.

    Before we jump into our question-and-answer session with McGovern, here is some of what he said he learned reviewing the 133 “individual hostile events” he found that targeted the justice community in the U.S. between Jan. 1, 1950, and Dec. 31, 2012.

    — The targeted victims were killed in 41 of the events.

    — Revenge was the motive of 67 percent of the attacks, and guns the preferred weapon.

    — The attacks almost equally targeted judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials, but judges were more frequently the victims of fatal attacks.

    — Just over half of the attacks occurred at the victim’s home, usually on a weekday and generally in the late summer or early fall.

    — More than 80 percent of offenders were facing charges at the time, more than half were males in their 20s and 30s, and 57 percent of them were white.


    Read the part near the bottom where he also states it is unlikely to be the ABT. At least on the orders of the leadership.

  • Far better than sleeping with the fishes..

  • Alan: The damn problem is there are far more than one group; and some of these nut bags use the Turner Diary stuff…. Either a small pack or a lone wolf… If it proves to be this type of stuff, they set us way back on the Solitary issue big time…. We have been working on that long and hard…

  • @Alan: I’m a funny guy, what dam good are dogs locked in a kennel or having a gun in the house unloaded and a lock on it… :-) I sleep with the dogs…

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    “This is against the normal policy,” says former Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant Richard Valdemar, who has testified more than eight times in federal trials against the Aryan Brotherhood in California. He was also the technical adviser on the History Channel’s Gangland. “They know if they attack the police they will bring heat down, so they usually avoid it.”

    So far a member of the ABT, a lawyer for the group, and a guy who wrote a book on targeting of public officials has voiced their doubts.

    I hope it is just someone that had a grudge because if not prison reform has just gotten near impossible.

    I posted the comment but it is on hold.

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    I know Russ that is how I looked the article up because you told me about the movement.

    Mike McLelland had his dogs in the kennel according to the press.

    He thought his military training and fire arms would protect him but he was wrong!

    My Maltese wouldn’t be of much use. LOL


    The authors of this site are from NY so they would know. I would be guessing one way or the other.

  • Alan: Who ever wrote that statement about sophisticated leadership of gangs; has no idea of gang leadership mentality.. they apparently never studied the gang wars of the past 50 years; for if they had they will find that outside of “your own” gang members do not give a crap about the overall consequence of their actions and when they want to make a horrific point… Someone is in trouble.. When one picks up a gun, especial if you are a leader and decide to go to war, with however, it is with deep reason and with no regard to what may or may not happen to you and the people you lead.. It is like going in to take and armored car or a bank… (the mentality is) If we get away with it so be it and we have the money; if we are screwed in the proses and have to shoot it out, it was a fine day, and we weren’t doing anything important that day anyway… as we say a good day to die with company.” I know, “Sick!” But been there done that… I know my own well, cause i am a nut bag just like them; only I have with the help of my God chained the Beast… At least so far…

  • Allen T.

    Alan CYA…I was talking about disciplinary Jails in NYS. that have not closed. My entire Post is on jails in NYS only. If you read the entire POST you’ll see several times I said NYSDOCS.

  • @Alan: come to my door and my pits will have them for lunch :-)

  • @Alan: I was there at Walpole; it was said I ran the prison on the outside and Bobby ran it on the inside (by the Guard Leadership) who to this very day will not put my name in a book for fear… The problem for us exons on the street, is just what you are having going right now.. No different. People where targeted, clowns wanted to start a revolution. They set all our work backwards; and force was meant with force… These clowns put everyone at risk; even if you are in a defensive mode, you’re a convict and you are operating illegally. The problem with the prison and abolition of them is much like the problem of American Slavery; it is a horrific immoral thing in many ways, but how do you end it, with a minimum of catastrophic problems, to the general society?
    How do you deal with wackos like we have killing people and have the general society understand they are a tiny part of the criminal society? Everyone should not be subject or held to the standard that these crap heads will be held too…

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    Why the recent string of Texas killings may not be the doing of a prison gang. Excerpt:

    “These people are somewhat sophisticated, specifically those in leadership positions,” Ely added. They run multimillion-dollar criminal organizations. They have smart, cunning people running them. They would realize the world of hurt that would come down on them. Whoever did it wasn’t thinking about the long-term effects of this. Law enforcement is never going to rest after this.”

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    On education I agree that inmates need a skill when they get out to succeed. However the system remembers the last time it allowed outside volunteers to teach in prisons.

    From “The Rise and Fall of California’s Radical Prison Movement” by Eric Cummins

    Page 246: By the fall of 1975, prison movement foco guerrilla strikes had ceased in the Bay Area except for occasional gangland “hits”…. The most tragic of these would come in 1979, when, as if to sound a definitive death knell for the movement… claimed one of the movement’s most ardent supporters….attorney Fay Stender…a victim of the prison movement foco theory that had appeared originally in California inmate self-improvement organizations and covert study groups…

    A former… member retells the story:

    A woman knocked on the door of Fay Stender’s house. When Fay answered, a man appeared with a gun and came into the house. I think Fay’s son or daughter was there at the time. He accused her of betraying…the revolutionary movement and shot her several times…. She didn’t betray anybody…She moved on.”

    Fay Stender was a victim of the prison movement foco theory that had appeared originally in California inmate self-improvement organizations and covert study groups…

    A quote from today’s DailyBeast article:

    ‘The danger beyond the immediate threat is that criminals will take the killings in Texas and Colorado as something the cool killers are doing…

    As the sun set on Monday, crime-scene tape was still strung around the McLelland house. Water left over from the thunderstorm on Friday and the one that followed on Sunday stood in a drainage ditch that had been dry during a long drought.

    “It’s the first rain we’ve had,” a deputy said.’ The end.

    Or at least in decades I would add.

    Lets hope this new tactic doesn’t put an end to the movement to stop the use of long term isolation.

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Yes at least two have closed,Tamms was closed and Colorado State Prison 2 never opened because of the cost. Ironically it was Clements that opposed the later.

    But yes the unions will and have reacted as this article points out on Russ’s movement.

    Mer Stevens reviews a book about the hidden history of a prisoners’ uprising at Walpole State Prison in Massachusetts.

    September 11, 2008

    “At the Walpole State Prison, inmates formed the National Prisoners Reform Association, or NPRA. NPRA’s stated mission was to “exercise self-determination within the prison and to demonstrate that the prison itself was unnecessary.”

    Prisoners and their allies outside had some early victories that helped pave the way for the struggle to come.

    The guards maintained a dedicated campaign to break the prisoners’ organization. They let off 418 canisters of tear gas inside the prison in a single night, enough that residents of the town of Walpole were affected. The guards’ union staged slowdowns and walkouts against the reforms that led up to a strike against the betterment of living conditions. In a public condemnation of the strike, one citizen’s commission wrote:

    Their strike was not for better wages, hours or other traditional union goals; their strike was against the better and more effective treatment of other human beings. What could condemn a system more than evidence that it caused human beings to have a vested interest in the mistreatment of others?

    The strike left prisoners and citizen observers in charge of Walpole. Under their leadership, there was almost no violence. Instead, inmates trained one another in conflict resolution, understanding that any incident would be used as ammunition against their struggle. Remembers Dellelo, “When the guards walked out, they expected the prison to explode. We held it together.”


  • Allen T.

    By no means are you bragging. You speak the truth. What you said about them not wanting you to speak is true. Your ideas cost them jobs. My exact point with the Long Term Keeplock “Disciplinary Jails they built”. They are keeping them full, if they had to shut them down think of all the jobs they’d lose. NYSDOCS lost about 10 Thousand inmates over the past 10 years or so. They say it’s becaus guys aren’t coming back. That may be part true. I think alot of the old breed died off, OD, Aids, old age, relocated. all kinds of stuff, and some haven’t went back. Anyway, the NYSDOCS population died down and they have closed some jails. Never good for the Upstate economy that lives off the Prison. I don’t recall any disciplinary jails closing down though?
    While I did in fact mean exactly what I said. To end programs for some that may never come home. It was not at all an easy statement to make. I gave thought to the CADRAY system and everything you said, there are other programs at no cost or cost effective for these guys. The money saved can be better used “if monitored”. That’s another thing “if monitored”. The Prison system is like the military with the 2 dollar nail and the 50 dollar hammer. Let’s face it. You can save the system millions of dollars, but if don’t account for that money, it will be wasted on something else real quick!

  • This is not about bragging. One of my folks here said I do not talk about this stuff enough; when I do it sounds like bragging to me… It is just the fact that myself and a few others where out organizing and were in the right place to have some of this stuff happen and we where of the same mind… Being in Boston connected us with all the schools; being the first convict at the American Friends in Cambridge gave me access at that time to lots of folks who had been in the peace movement; also coming from Newton was a very big advantage and having the political connects that I had, was very unusual for a convict… I mean, I was on parole, out not even four months, and the Mass. Chief Justice invited me to a Justice conference at the Mariot in Newton. I went from a cell to a suite over night. Sen. Jack Backman, of Newton, had me under Senate protection because the parole board wanted me to end my organizing ex-cons in the street, it was a violation of association at that time..

  • We know for sure over the very long history of prison system in this Country and in others that “Education” is one of the corner stones that can effect change in a person. We know the brain now scientifically is not fully developed until on reaches early twenties. So as I look and have looked at the system with my associates like (Bobby Dellelo) (Ralph Hamm) and many others. I look at in side first. We have men (and I deal with men’s prisons primarily) doing very hard and long time; who are or can be educated to the point with their long terms they can be come teachers and mentors to others that are incarcerated under shorter sentencing.. We had or we can train people to every skill you can imagine, for it takes nearly every skill to maintain a prison system, from architecture to zoning needs… Plumbers, electricians, cooks, industry cleaners, painters artist etc… You need a good classification system and people who can sift through the population and place those individuals in the area where they can excel and contribute to the rehabilitation of themselves and others… It can be done and done effectively… The really scary part about me and my folks is; we already have proved it can be done; and we know how to put it together. Which means, we can do it far better, far cheaper and nearly no need of guards.. Or huge monolithic prisons.. So we are the most serious threat to privatizing prisons, the guards union and anyone making money off this failing system… No one invites me to speak any more. I was all over the Country in the Early 70’s, I help and instituted many alternative program from prison in the Court system, our programs were emptying out the system. 80% of our guys were not returning. Polaroid, in Waltham MA., had one of the best work programs in the Country, Dr. Land loved me, he was from Newton, and he implemented all my ideas… Honeywell, project we brought in to Walpole with Vice President of Honeywell Mel Smith… No one studies the stuff; and no one want to listen because it may mean they are out of a job…. My union friends go crazy… Because the are limited in their vision, unions would grow if they would do what we suggest with apprentice programs; but you are always bucking someones job… It is in the very thing we suggest in reform rhetoric.. Change means some-one is out of a job or they have to work to get educated to the change…Scaries people.. No one is going to have me talking at any College anymore.. Clearly if they have justice programs for guards; which we were the first to suggest that guards needed education.. (that tells you how old I am) there were no justice prigrams in any schools in the whole Country…

  • Allen T.

    Without a doubt the entire system needs to be restructured from top to bottom. Whereas initially, penal colonies were ran much more as disciplinary institutions. If you committed a crime you were sentenced to what was termed a reformatory. However, there wasn’t a whole lot of reforming going on! Prisons were full of “convicts” and they did “hard time”. Much unlike todays prison where offenders are caled “inmates” and enter into a Correctional Facility full of various programs designed to provide rehabilitation.
    Emphasis on rehabilitation didn’t come into play until much later. The Attica Riots which is detailed in the book titled “The Turkey Shoot” was a very significant turning point in the history of the NYSDOCS. At this point emphasis seemed to switch towards rehabilitation programs designed to rehabilitate the offender, and enhance their opportunity to make a successful community re-entry. The inmate would now learn educational and vocational skills that could possibly lead to employment and other opportunities that would help reduce recidivism.
    Then came “Treatment programs”, The Quakers with Alternatives to Violence program, (ASAT) and (CASAT), and a program for every letter in the dictionary, a prison chaplain or religious representitive for every inmate in the system. These programs + The Death Penalty = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$! In the midst of it all, disciplinary jails were built to house any inmate who dare interfere with the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$…
    Today we need to go back into them disciplinary jails and find out who is who and what is what! As far as rehabilitation, with the tax payer footing the bill, maybe every inmate shouldn’t be afforded rehabilitation in the form of expensive programs. if a guy is doing 77 years to life and most likely is never coming home, why would you pay thousands of dollars a year for him to learn vocational and educational skills?
    Maybe we need to take 1000, 2000 or more of these inmates who are probably never coming home again and build them their own jail? Of course the dilema exists that if we put them all together we are asking for an uprising! Not necessarily. I have ideas.

  • @T: I just can’t believe I have made it to this point in my life… I thank my God for the great trip, never would have wanted to miss it… I have great kids (my reward for some of the things “good” that I may have mistakenly done) Today my concern is for our brothers and Sisters that will ultimately pay the price for the foolish killings that are or appear to be directed at Corrections and the Justice System by White supremest; at least it is appearing that way? Everyone suffers for these nut bags… I have no use for the gang mentality. (or the bullshit revolutionary, they are a joke to me, they are all about themselves and knee-deep in bull) I know, funny coming form an organized crime guy… I will not explain my view, for I might sound defensive of my own actions. I will say, it was a different time, and we operated very different from todays organized structures.. I believe I was ne of the first with an integrated unit, although my older generation had coalitions in the Jewish community, I just expanded my view; and it was always about earning and making money; I came out of very old school no drugs. I could have made millions in the grass business… (/was not meant to be)
    I’m thinking about Tom Manning today, and all the good work he could have done out here… I liked Tommy, but the nut bag Ray filled his head with bull and the people’s revolutionary crap.. And look what it got him… A very talented man, could have helped try at least to change things, rather than to bring things backwards. You stay strong…

  • Allen T.

    I have been sitting here thinking of how to set up an independent council “A Watchdog Agency” that would oversee individual cases involving inmates serving “Long Term Keeplock” key word “independent”. see, now they would sort out who’s in there on disciplinary, and who’s camping out hiding from the everyday issues in General population.

  • Allen T.

    Between the age of 13 and 30. I did that a half dozen times. Once from Lincoln Hall. Always from the car as an adult. if you look at my sheet “which is public information” and I have absolutely nothing to hide, it’s all over it throughout the years. The charge anyway, the conviction always ended up as resisting, disorderly, even assault once. I was so careful never to plead to escape again…It didn’t matter though. That one time conviction burnt me for life. For everything and everything right up until last year on the Island. After 30 you could put me outside the jail and come back in the morning and I’d still be standing there! LOL! It’s amazing the difference once we become institutionalized. For a matter of fact they had mistakenly sent me to Hudson Correctional Facility once, took them Two months, but they caught it. One day they came and handcuffed me from program, put me on a van and within an hour I was in Greenhaven! I meant to say you were on your way to becoming 80 years young.

  • @Allen T: When you said my age like that, and I thank you, it is a shock to the system… A least for me; I was told that I was not going to make it past 1976. I am still here and many of my doctors have passed on… I never think about age. Even doing time, one day was like the next. I buried myself in reading while doing my time, not much on the weight yard, but ran five to seven miles everyday. I have partners that were like you; rabbits for the wall. I think Dellelo in his forty plus went three times… All most impossible to keep Bobby in a cage; he is always planning his way out; or was he has been out nine I believe now… I even screwed up one of his planned escapes. We where going back and forth from the prison to Court and the jail. He was read to take off. I was not, he had a bundle of time and on this particular run; I ended up getting less like your freind did, when you worked on his case. Poor Bobby was upset… I then had four kids waiting for me; and was working on number five… Stay cool…

  • Allen T.

    Anders do you seriously think the united nations cares about some cop killer withan escape history who was spared the death penalty? the bottom line is if WE “The people who been there” don’t care and do something about it nobody will. While your suggestion is noted, were way past that. myself, without being disrespectful to you, because I actual have no reason to be, have nothing else to say to you, nor do I care to hear anymore of your philosophical argumentation that is no more than “smoke” so you can appear as an authoritarian on a subject matter that you really don’t have a clue about. we are a bunch of ex cons talking about jail, changing the system, faith, etc. primarilly though “Jail” is the issue. I have a strong feeling that you have never did a day in jail, that you like to argue, and that you are an otherwise boring person if you look forward to each day that you can confront and debate with a clergy member who is well on his way to being an octogenarian. Think I used that word right… the guy is moving in the direction of 80 years old. I would wanna go a round in the ring with him, and I consider myself pretty good with my hands.
    What I am saying is if you don’t have anything to contribute on the “Jail house” matter, why don’t you do like socrates and go find a group of other intellectuals to impress?

  • @Anders: You have to be a complete nit-wit… I do not care what anyone believes… You apparently can’t read that statement. You interjected yourself into this conversation that I was not directing to you at all… You are just looking for a fight, you are welcome to come to New London and I’ll accommodate you face to face in debate on one of my TV shows, how would that be? However I believe you to be a coward, so I do not expect to see you any time soon… If you can’t afford to come to me just put your address down and I’ll be there in 24 hours? Even if you are out of the Country I have my passport right here… Oh, and I get around a lot, all over the world…

  • anders

    @Fr. Russ (April 1, 2013 at 7:56 am) – Whether you celebrate or morn, with a Jesus ‘on or of the cross’, you just twist is to “I am a Christian Mystic, who believes, that they have been in the presence directly and factually with Jesus the Christ” … “for the fact that the vast majority only have Christ through “Faith” not “Knowledge” ” – well, well, that ‘knowledge’ of yours being in ‘direct contact’, for sure you will have valid proof of that, don’t you. Or do you expect everybody just to have ‘faith’ in what you claim?

    Actually, as you have direct contact, you then are a kind of supernatural ‘Father’ Russ. Now it comes clear why you so urgently pressed me to lookup who you are. Can’t grasp the absurdity yet of what is displayed here.

    The staggering and disconcerting fact however is that most urgent issues never have been picked up by you:

    This is going on in your country:
    – US Prison Population: The Largest in the World
    – Prisons and low-wage labor detainees billion dollar business
    – majority of prisons are private and enlisted at Wall-Street
    – children are getting brainwashed at school on a daily basis by state law – they have to repeat daily the nonsense ‘one nation, under god’;
    – you cannot run for president unless you commit yourself to one of the religious clans

    anders says: March 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm “This should be an issue for the United Nations against torture ! It’s horrific to learn about such inhuman imprisonment which says allot about the USA.”

  • anders

    @Allen T. (April 1, 2013 at 7:22 am) – Hatred? Where, when? Facts are facts. The bible says that a rabbit is a ruminant which is a false and pretty ridicule assertion. A book, which even is worshipped as ‘holy’, having a false and ridicule claim, is obviously not a great book, it reveals stupidity.

    When reacting to the article of William Brown the motivation was to stress that this should be put forward to the United Nations. Obviously, to ‘Father’ Russ it was important to hijack the issue of ‘solitary confinement’ for his religious belief: F.Russ (March 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm) “@Anders: The issue is and we (our prisoner and ex-prisoner groups) belong to the National Religious Campaign Against Torture; they are a front-runner on this issue and have been. They are the best people in the world. We love all of them and know them well… Also sojourners Rev. Whale another great group of people…”. “

  • Allen T.

    Father Russ,
    Don’t even sweat that…I am the worst as far as following tradition, I very seldom go to church on holidays, I haven’t gotten ashes in years, no meat days…not me.
    I pray to God, My personal relationship with God has nothing to do with rules and tradition. Maybe this is why I feel so good. Although a practicing Catholic would challenge my principles and declare me unobedient, in need of repentance, and maybe even a fraud? I just concern my self with where I am at in MY relationship with God and whatever others feel a need to do, like I said whatever?
    Everybody has these expectations once they hear your a member of the clergy.
    ok. kids…don’t burn the house down…I have appointments and won’t be back till later>

  • My morning post on facebook to the many who seem to care about what I may or may not communicate: (Anders seems such a frightened little person, always trying to twist what folks are saying, needs to quote for he is void of his own creativity and response the views and opinions f others, he just wants to fight.) The very first thing this morning I was put to the test (called a hypocrite) by a contributor on “solitary Watch” my first reaction was to get defensive. That I thought about it; his criticism was over a remark I made concerning Jesus: I had made the statement: “Fr. Russ said (March 31, 2013 at 10:07 am): “On Easter day; I do not celebrate Easter like many. Even though for me my Jesus has risen and is off the cross;” Obviously you are a hypocrite.”
    Well the man is limited in his understanding and the difference in the Christian Religion. I am not a traditionalist, most know that at least those that I am concerned with. I also am aware the Jesus is believed in through Faith by the vast majority of Christian, where I do not claim to believe in Jesus by Faith. Most see folks like me (In my belief system as a nut bag) which is fine with me; for I am a Christian Mystic, who believes, that they have been in the presence directly and factually with Jesus the Christ… Now in the context of my remark. I was stating that I do not celebrate Easter as the Traditional Christian does. I celebrate it as a day of mourning; for the fact that the vast majority only have Christ through “Faith” not “Knowledge” and I further do not push Jesus’ or the Christian belief on anyone… (Never have and never will) I see that as the job of the Paracleti and none of my business… As “Christ Priest” I share when moved to and what comes out I am sorry if it appears hypocritical since I do not believe that I am.. However, I understand the criticism that says I may be… (However that is the persons right to their opinion..) This particular nut bag that made the remark I have little to no regard for, just a trouble maker, puffed up with his/her own views… Has no concern for others… (In my opinion)

  • Allen T.

    Anders, I actually thought you left us. While I shake my head and laugh at your aparent hatred, and total disregard for the Bible, God, etc. as you list it, I remember so clearly when I said similiar if not the same things. I think I was worse though because I was a criminal “after the fact”. in other words I knew, or at least thought I knew what was going on and I decided to be a criminal anyway. Like a real outlaw. I remember not wanting to read my new International Version study Bible because I was told that once you have the information you are accountable. So I figured as long as I stayed STUPID about certain things I’d be safe from judgement, couldn’t be held accountable for what I don’t know.
    how many times have you read a book and something sounded amiss, just not right no matter how many times you read it over and over? Did you throw the book away, or just draw your own conclusions? When and if you answer…Please allow yourself to answer. without quoting from Bertrand Russell.

  • anders

    @ Allen T. (at 4:21 pm) – What you write does remind me about Pascal’s Wager (also known as Pascal’s Gamble) and the argument from inconsistent revelations. Anyhow, the fact that the bible says that a rabbit is a ruminant does reveal that anyone who believes in that book (as ‘holy’) is a fool. Thanks for your honesty and your time to put effort in explaining your views.

  • anders

    @ Fr. Russ

    Fr. Russ said (March 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm): “I never have said one thing about God to you. (Nada)”

    Fr. Russ said (March 31, 2013 at 10:07 am): “On Easter day; I do not celebrate Easter like many. Even though for me my Jesus has risen and is off the cross;”

    Obviously you are a hypocrite.

  • anders

    @ Thyrone Magloire(at 4:18 pm) – The fact that the bible says that a rabbit is a ruminant does reveal that anyone who believes in that book (as ‘holy’) is a fool.

  • @Allen T: have to say, you and I are on the same train, in the same box car, two don’t give a crap hobo’s, just happy nut bags in hopes we found “The Way”; for it is for us “Caging that dam Beast” for me whatever works… If you believe in an invisible tea-pot going around the universe and it cages the Beast. I say more power to you and bless the tea-pot…

  • Allen T.

    Anders I have found that people seek out religion/spirituality/Higher Power Concept, for many different reasons, and that we have many different factors that motivate us to continue with our beliefs. Fear of anything, is not a good reason for anyone to be a part of something. I have often heard the expression “I am a God fearing man or Woman”. If this is the root of someones motivation then “perhaps” they should search farther, for there is so much more to this.
    Once again, I am at my best when I speak for myself, and my relationship with God is truly something that I desire, I am a willing participant, not a hostage, and I have no fear at all of death. I think death is very sad. I will miss my family and they’ll miss me. I hope to live to be 100. However, we all go one day and I am no exception to this. I don’t blame God for my problems, nor do I expect him to ever intervene on my behalf.
    I spent 7 years in Catholic Scool and I have read the old testament, new testament, King James international study version. I have read from the koran, I have read hundreds of pieces of literature associated with religion, religious values and beliefs, and many spiritual messages. I have also studied Bertrand Russel, Victor Frankl and other philosophers, intellectuals, and otherwise highly regarded sources of knowledge, pertaining to various theories, beliefs and concepts such as the “Fear Factor” and Existentialism” to name a few.
    With all this in mind I have chosen to believe that there is in fact a God and that in the event I am wrong, not only I have absolutely nothing to lose in my beliefs, but on the contrary I have everything to gain because my beliefs as Father Russ puts it “Chains the Beast” within me! it gives me a desire to live a certain way, and the way i live is like a civilized human being instead of a savage dopefiend or frustrated dry drunk in and out of anger rages.
    Why can’t I just do this without a God? I tried for many years, and now I am trying with God, and I like these results much better. I am much more at peace with myself and others, and I am experiencing a certain wholeness, for the first time in many years. I strongly attribute this to my ability to not expect anything in return for having faith and belief. Which makes sense. Imagine having a friend who you always rely on, always expect things from, and are always trying to charge that person for you quality time, not to forget that things go wrong… anything…you blame that friend. That friendship isn’t gonna work, and it is also a very selfish, one sided friendship isn’t it?

  • Thyrone Magloire

    God always has a purpose for everything. Being able to write such a story after so many years of suffering is truly a gift. Its purpose is to go further than just the prison walls.

    What has been done to Mr. Blake is cruel in our human eyes. But just imagine what Jesus went through for our salvation from the real hell. Repentance and forgiveness is the key to unlock the prison gates and be free for ever. There is hope for us all.
    My focus at this moment is not the (human) judge but Mr. Blake and his work and guide for those that are in the same situation as he is (but soon no longer will be, depending on his following steps).

    I would recommend getting in contact with Mr. Mike Barber (Mike Barber Ministries)
    Tel.: 972-223-3131
    Fax: 972-223-3838

    Box 1086
    United States

    The Bible teaches us “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come”. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    Mr. Blake knows how he got to where he is now. Jesus knows where he will be next and Jesus wants him (just like all of us) to be in peace and in His Kingdom now. We have done wrong in our past, but what Jesus did on the cross can free us from the consequences of our wrong doing. By repenting from what we did and asking God for forgiveness He will forgive us as we also forgive those who have done us wrong. We must allow God to speak to our heart and mind to receive His invitation to be part of His family. He will guide us through hardship, more so than what He has already done. It is not always that we are aware of his presence in our life, but He IS there all the time.

    May God keep on blessing you Mr. Blake and may His dream for your life be realized according to His perfect plan.

  • @Anders: Only a fool would believe such a story… Has little or nothing to do with my own belief system between good and evil… But this site is not for Theology… Believe what you will… I suggested a book to you about a man who survived the Holocaust and how he did that… Our prisons are much like German concentration camps… My interest is that my brothers/sisters survive them.. I really do not care about you what so ever, you are out… Apparently free… We do not bullshit talk about change, we are out attempting to bring change… Guys like yourself or girls (I am not sure which you are) just have month it seems to me… I have great respect for many that are out on a daily basis trying to free their brothers and sisters, even if I disagree with them, even if I may have attendances to hate them. I love them for their discipline and attempted at relieving others pain… Where you seem only to bring pain.. You sound like you just want to fight… (I can be up for that in another place.)

  • Your problem (if I may interject) is the assumption that someone is asserting to you that there is a God? And that my very well be that your assumption may be right; however it is not me. I never have said one thing about God to you. (Nada) I never assert, to any one what they should or should not believe. Not Anyone! What I believe, like if I believed in the tea-pot, that is my own beliefs; and I would not have to prove that to one soul… If I am nuts, than that is fine and none of anyones business; unless I am selling my belief to them… I do not nor have ever done such a thing…
    So stay cool… I am not interested in what you do or do not beleave.. May be some other on here care, I do not…

  • anders

    @ Fr. Russ (March 31, 2013 at 3:23 pm)

    Keep me out of this abject, utterly cruel, barbarian, monstrous figment of a father who would send his son or daughter out into the world to get itself slaughtered by dawning, burning at stake, stoning or crucifixion.

  • Allen t,

    Victor Frankl he writes about “Existentialism”…what a book. I enjoyed that. Highly recommended!

  • anders

    In an article titled “Is There a God?” commissioned, but never published, by Illustrated magazine in 1952, Bertrand Russell wrote:

    Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.[1]

    Russell’s teapot, sometimes called the celestial teapot or cosmic teapot, is an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making scientifically unfalsifiable claims rather than shifting the burden of proof to others, specifically in the case of religion.

  • @Anders: A suggestion if you do not mind: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Dr. Victor E. Frankl one of the best books I ever read as a prisoner in my life… It is an easy read… (from one was a long time Atheist. I hated religion and every religious out there.) I know I can hear you, and now the call me father, well if you had 11 children they may call you father or dad also… :-) Stay cool…

  • anders

    @Allen T. at 7:44 pm – Your response gives a very interesting ´inside´ observation, how people react towards deprivation of freedom, forced to deal with people one might not had chosen otherwise. What you write about your position regarding religion – it’s not my intention to get you into any discussion. Dealing with the phenomenon ‘religion’ is important to me as it unfortunately demands to be a major factor; it’s puzzling how much extreme irrationality is out there and popping up (like in the Middle-East, in Africa and this Arabian spring, which to my humble opinion is a freezing winter). The effects are on such a big scale that it’s also inflicting Western European countries. Probably it’s much less urgent, not that tangible in the US. With regard to all those kind of issues I was happy to get some guidance at a certain moment in my life by reading books, dealing with for example logic; and as a lot of philosophers are mathematicians it was a complete new point of departure to look; some specific discoveries enabled me to stop the oppression I had to face for years by that family I was forced to live with and their religious terror which nearly killed me.

  • @Alan: I would bow to Allen T, if he wanted to do a thread, I would contribute. I’d also have Ralph send out stuff to contribute see (freeralphhamm.org) Ralph is a prolific writer and is on his 45th. year in the MA prison System… His book “Manumission” is one that anyone in this business should read.. He was a major contributor to the book “When The Prisoners Ran Walpole” and that book should be mandatory for again anyone who is working for change in our system: presently, I am trying to get Yale Law schools, justice program to make it required reading… Not that I agree with everything but it gives a snap shot of what was going on.. Far more history, is needed on the “Walpole-Norfolk” organizing of prisoners, ex-prisoners and their family and friends… Our prison and political movement of the time, impacted, not only Ma but the whole New England region; the power that be, would like it to be forgotten… We are the ones that need to educate ourselves, and come together, we can effect this system; we have effected this system; but to do that you have to forget about ego, not give much shit about who gets the credit, coalition with anyone working to humanize the dam place, even if you have to deal with the devil himself; then struggle in poverty for the rest of your damned life… (you may before you die get a glimpse of change?) not a guaranty.. Oh yes, least I forgot; many of your brothers and sisters may hate you along the way… But, that is the price of doing the right thing in this struggle for Justice…

  • On Easter day; I do not celebrate Easter like many. Even though for me my Jesus has risen and is off the cross; however for many of my brothers and sisters I left so long ago in prison and for those struggling out here in the streets with no job; and no or very little hope. Jesus has not risen for them, he has failed them and in many case it was not or is not for their want of trying to touch Jesus. Why the failure? I do not know it is beyond my comprehension, like many Spiritual questions I have no answer. I morn today rather than Celebrate. I see the Cross of Jesus as the destruction of society convicting and punishing an innocent man.
    Today reminds me of the Struggle for Justice which I pursue and the inevitable of failure in that Struggle. You, see failure, in your work and struggle Fr. Russ?
    I most certainly do; for if Christ could not change things in the two thousand plus years the Cross has stood and nothing has changed; and in some case it is today worse than when he walked the earth; what can I, or others like me do, but follow him to the Cross of failure… For those who see our work and even join us in our failure, they need understand, that all we or can be in our own weakness; is a reminder to the greater society there was a man/women who came along and cared about their brothers and sisters. In our weakness as human being it is all we can do… And maybe hope one day society in general gets it?

  • @Alan: I was in the hole for a thirty and a sixty: joke time… I was isolated in the jail in AZ for four months..(Again no big deal)…

  • Allen T.

    When I was in Emira back in the very early 80’s I was picked from the reception inmates to feed the guys on Keeplock. i just had that real “White Boy” look! LOL! So, one day they slided this big steel door aside and it was real Dark on the other side and the CO told me go feed them, and I was like real apprehensive. It was a Box they used on the A block side. It was like they were isolated from the world. One day I seen the CO with a Salt Shaker putting lotts and lotts of salt on the food trays. I told him I wouldn’t hand it out, he had me lock in and got another inmate to do it. There is always one that will do it. After that they hosed me down in my cell a couple of times. There was a CO there with burn marks around his neck rumor was they hung him during the Attica Riots? There was a CO with Tattoos of little Black Babies on his arm and a saying? The Administration never said nothing to him, that I know about? Elmira has always been a disciplinary Jail, the place that other don’t want to go. Nasty ass place…Walpole, I’m fairly sure Elmira is romper room compared to Walpole. Happy Easter also. Since the guys inside don’t get a Holiday off, figured I wouldn’t take one either.

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    A powerful testament!

    You and Allen should write a post on here from the view point of a ex-con with nothing to gain. I imagine many people are skeptical when it comes from those still held in the hole. Take old Blake as an example.

    I think I am the only one that has written on here that has done any time in the hole and my experience is nada compared to what others have done and are doing.


  • Our message and who we are remains the same; we have been in this struggle fifty years and you or anyone can trace our history and come and visit, we do not run we do not hide; we have studied all the systems in the World that we could get access to and I changed my view from reformer to Abolitionist in 1974 – 75 as you can note or look up in research: Alan, Allen T and Anders be safe a nice thread… Got job Allen T on why folks go to solitary voluntarily: Here is a bit of history on myself and my associates views:
    Empowering Prisoners

    People who support the prison movement still need to understand what self‑help and self‑determination are, because these are the basic philosophies we operate under. They simply mean that prisoners are helped by prisoners. And organizations concerned with prisoners should be run by and for prisoners.
    ‑Russ Carmichael, NEPA News, April/May 1975

    It seems strange to me that convicts or excon‑victs are never consulted about prison matters, nor even considered for consultation, when they are what prison is all about and the only true professional.
    ‑Robin E. Riggs, The Outlaw, March/April 1975

    I think the prison leadership has to come from the people suffering from the serious plight of prison. There are many people in our ghettos thruout the country who are in minimum security type prisons where the walls are not visible. I think that a lot of people can support our movement, but I do definitely believe that the movement must be initiated by the people who are oppressed the most by those particular possibilities or plights.
    ‑Arnold Coles, NEPA News, April/May1975

    A national priority was discussed. The most obvious one came out‑convicts speaking for themselves; not sociologists, counselors, administrators, etc., but convicts. The most important national priority is the convict voice in their own destiny.
    ‑Stephanie Riegel, “The National Prisoner Union Conference,” The Outlaw, June/July 1975

    Last spring when the guards went out on strike, the prisoners ran Walpole for nine weeks. Aside from the day to day running of the prison, including the kitchen, educational and vocational programs, prison industries and daily counts, the prisoners took care of their own internal problems. There were no rapes or killings.
    The movie “3,000 Years and Life” was filmed at this time. It shows Jerry explaining how wrongdoers are corrected by persuasion and embarrassment in front of peers. He said that if one con steals from another, the men tell him, “You’re a pig. Just like the System.” The brother gets embarrassed. Then the men say, “It’s no big deal, we know it won’t happen again.” Then they pat him on the back, give him a cigarette, and it’s over.
    When the guards returned exactly a year ago today, as I write, Jerry and Bobby Dellelo … were stripped, beaten, run naked across broken glass and thrown in the hole. The administration doesn’t want the prisoners to exercise responsibility, but when the prisoners had the responsibility of running the prison, the prisoners virtually ended violence at Walpole, and generally ran the prison better than it had ever been run before.
    Superintendant Vinzant has a different perspective on prisoner solidarity. “All prisoner solidarity does is to foster disrespect, tension, and abuse between the prisoners and the guards .
    ‑Donna Parker, NEPA News, June 1974

    Prisoners’ demands are no secret. Whether prisoners are bursting from their cages in anger and frustration or coolly presenting carefully drawn manifestos, their message is the same:

  • Allen T

    Anders when I did my undergrad work in college I was exposed to many philosophers and their theories. I do remember Bertrand Russell, and his teachings. I am like the last one in the world to question anyones Religious beliefs, or how they feel about God, the Church, etc.
    While I was in prison I seen white guys turn Muslim admittedly for protection, I seen Rapists flock to the Church in different claims of faith Catholic, Baptist, whatever have we may, some ran to the Rabbi and became Jewish because they claimed their Mother was Jewish, this entitled them to kosher food and bags of goodies during Jewish Holidays. Much of this disgusted me. So personally I have seen quite a bit.
    I make it a point not to debate Religion if I can avoid it. I still haven’t quite figured out the part about walking on water and the staff becoming a snake. Yet if I was to sit around every day and focus on these things, I would just be a matter of time again before I stopped believing God and started to believe in heroin and whores, and everything else that made me such a great piece of shit. While I’m far from perfect, and I still do things that make me wonder about myself, I have things in my life today that Bertrand Russell and his best thinking could not have made possible for me, and while i would like to blame God, for my Mother dying while I was in prison for robbing a drug dealer who pressed charges. While I would like to Blame God for when I was homeless, and for my wife being in a wheel chair, he has nothing to do with none of that. Today I realize these things, it wasn’t always like that.
    It is my belief in God, not a particular Religion, just God, that helps me through each day and keeps me safe, first and foremost from myself. Because all these years I was my own worst enemy, and I got in my own way much more than any cop did, and they were forever arresting me for some stupid shit!
    I do admire some intellectuals, i think it is a great hobby and time well spent to further educate oneself. In my spare time i collect vintage sports cards and nobody could make me stop.
    however, what I have seen happen with many intellectuals, is that they become so smart, so wordly endowed with knowledge and wisdom, that they start to think and act if they were God themselves, or at the least that they have no use for him.
    I myself always have a use for him, and I pray daily for various things and people and it makes me whole, gives me a positive feeling and I never feel alone.

  • anders

    @ Alan CYA # 65085 (at 5:31 pm) – okay, thnx

  • anders

    @Allan T. (at 4:13 pm) – Who is Betrand Russell: he was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century (the most important with regard to analytical logics); he was imprisoned twice, wrote lots of very interesting books, got a Noble Price.

    Who is Christopher Hitchens: he was a journalist and writer. He contributed to New Statesman, The Nation, The Atlantic, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Slate Magazine, Free Inquiry, Vanity Fair and wrote several books.

    Like Russell,he spoke against nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War. He spoke about the allegedly harmful nature and influence of religion on the personal and public life.

    You asked for some info about who is writing ‘this’ – I did read books of both authors, do read a lot, try to follow the news, watch documentaries, movies and sometimes comment on issues which are important to me. I’m the owner of a public library card, that’s all; I write on behalf of myself, not for any organization.

    Some more about Hitchens:
    Hitchens often spoke out against the three Abrahamic religions, or the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He said: “The real axis of evil is formed by Christianity, Judaism and Islam.” In his book ‘God Is Not Great’ Hitchens expanded his criticism to include all religions, including Hinduism and neo-paganism. God Is Not Great was nominated for a National Book Award on 10 October 2007.

    Hitchens argued that organized religion is “the main source of hatred in the world”. Organized religion is “violent, irrational, intolerant, encourages racism, tribalism, and bigotry, it invests in ignorance, in hostile to free inquiry, is contemptuous towards women and imposes itself from childhood”.

    He was an honorary member (Honorary Associate) of the National Secular Society and was on the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America, a lobbying group for atheists and humanists in Washington, DC. In 2007, Hitchens has written a series of debates with Christian theologian Douglas Wilson, published in Christianity Today magazine. The series began with the question: “Is Christianity Good for the World?” The discussion was published in 2008 with this question as a title. The tour for the book was filmed by Darren Doane who produced the film Collision: “Is Christianity GOOD for the World?” which was released on October 27, 2009.

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    Yes we are talking about crazy fellows. I’m not one but they are out there or so I’ve been warned.


    I think you have shown a lot of intelligence and thoughtfulness on here. Thank you for the definition of CG I never heard that one. I’m being serious. On the article.

    First I thought you’d like the article (it was voted one of the best reads of the week) secondly as a person that has been down more than once I thought you’d feel a bit vulnerable that you could be sent away for life over a pair of socks. Yes your right he wrote both articles. This is his last paragraph:

    “People get so hung up on the concept of innocence,” says Mills. “But it’s intellectually uninteresting. What does matter is how we treat the guilty, and that’s where we still have work to do.”

    As I’ve said before it is a paradox as far as what is the solution. All I know is this ultra long term use of Isolation is fairly new and we had fewer prisoners before it was instated. Something is amiss there in my opinion. Even the governor of Colorado said something like “They are too dangerous for the general population yet we release them right out to the street.” It doesn’t make me feel safe, how about you?

    We should all just go out and have some fun like those kids. Peace.

  • anders

    @Alan CYA # 65085 (at 1:07 pm) – Thank you for your response, nevertheless no idea what to think about those warnings of yours. Do you want to say that the first amendment of the US (freedom of expression) does only apply for certain people and not for anybody? That would mean that some people are more equal than others. With regard to that ‘killing’ that would mean that some people not only would ‘die’ for their religion, they also would ‘kill’ for it. In that case we are talking about crazy fellows.

  • Allen T.

    I was just looking out my back window, I live in Spanish Harlem in NYC. These young African American kids are playing Football on the concrete and one of the real little ones fell and was slow getting up he abraised his hands on the concrete and skinned his knee when he fell. I felt sorry for him, not actually because he fell, that’s all part of the game, I felt sorry because they have no grass play on.
    What I am trying to say is sometimes I question myself, my thoughts, how I spend my leisure time. Here I am debating with a bunch of grown men over who has the biggest war chest of knowledge, and how I can help out convicted felons, many of whom definitely knew the price to pay if they got caught. that part is never a mystery, everyone, just about, knows the penalty if caught…Yet these kids playing football in the Projects I live in, they haven’t harmed anybody, and they don’t even have grass to play on!
    Sometimes I wonder what is important and what isn’t?

  • Allen T.

    Anders I looked at the link you sent, scanned the bibliography info, but didn’t read none of it. I’m still curious who you are? The reason I ask is because you ask of me to look at certain literature, to open my mind to certain beliefs that don’t correspond with my beliefs, but I don’t make a habbit of following strangers. Are you affiliated with any organizations? Do you reprent any type of mission or cause? Are you a celebrated person in your place of origin. Do you have references? Your real name, where you live, your social security number I care less. But I do like to know who I am trusting my thoughts and feeling with. I do know that I like to be able to have cause or reason to follow someones advise.

  • Allen T.

    Alright… so this guy was a robbery look out, this what the article says. was someone killed in the robberies, was he a suspect in other things? this is what the article don’t tell us plus many more things.
    I also heard one years ago about a guy who got life for stealing a slice of pizza. Absolutely horrible.
    However, in many states the three strikes isn’t even considered. was this guy offered a cop out of a year in jail? was this after a $100.000 dollar trial? There are so many facts we don’t know. there are certain countries that will chop your hand off for stealing, depending on what you stole maybe chop your head off. All of sudden 20 years sounds good. Do i agree with any of this no!
    Now what can we do about helping the guys out who are in long term keep lock? The ones that haven’t made a home of the place?

  • Allen T.

    Let me get on my tippy toes now…I have a habbit of mispelling words, abusing commas, and run on sentences. Just in case we start with the spell check Grammer Police stuff..I plead guity!

  • Allen T.

    The third strike was for a pair of socks what were the first two for? Can you answer me that? Is it possible they were for Rape? News articles, the media, don’t sell me none. I have been trying little by little all day to create a format that isn’t about who’s right who’s wrong as much as who has thoughts. I like information from people I am talking to. I can read a book or turn on the news anytime. This is why with the Three Strikes I specifically said Based upon the individual facts surrounding EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE” did I not say that? So spare me the this one’s right, this ones wrong, For every article you can show me for something, I can show you two against something, some of them even written by the same person, Do you realise this?

  • Alan CYA # 65085


    A RollingStone Article

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Shame of Three Strikes Laws

    While Wall Street crooks walk, thousands sit in California prisons for life over crimes as trivial as stealing socks

    by: Matt Taibbi

    Life in prison over a $2:50 pair of tube socks while “Too Big to Jail” bankers go free?

    Anders has a point there.

  • Allen T.

    There is a big difference between being an anonymous person who engages in a conversation, and a computer gangster. You don’t enter the definition of being a computer Gangster until you start to insult others, curse and demean others, and do so under either an assumed identity or with the comfort of knowing that others will never know who you truly are, so in effect you feel you have a license to trash talk others…To me, that’s cowardly. Like calling someone on the phone and disguising your voice while you curse at them.
    My thing is if your gonna pop off at the lip at someone…Say who are, be a standup up guy own your statements. I always likened it to when their was a crowd around and someone was talking under under their breath and when confronted with the old “ok who said that” all of a sudden everything gets quiet. Be a man… step up say ‘I said it! Otherwise shut your mouth.
    Did I explain this computer gangster thing a little better. it has nothing to do with posting your social securitty number. Just own what’s yours!

  • Allen T.

    NYSDOCS “SHU” first and foremost I am against long term keeplock, SHU and other forms of solitary. In order to get at the truth of the matter only honesty will enable others to see why many of the horrible conditions exist. The roaches and mice seemed to have been a problem throughout the entire Prison in most places I had been, not just “SHU”. The Plexiglass that covers the cells openings were initially installed in response to feces and urine being thrown at Correction Officers, employees and other inmates. Prior to the then Governor George Pataki making amendments to Correction Law, making it a felony to “assault” staff with feces, urine, spit, and other concoctions, it was a daily occurence for someone to get “Blasted” with the aforementioned. Inmates were known to take plastic containers like what the honey, or mayo came in and make “squirt guns” , mixing all the substances together and squirting employees, or other inmates that walked past their cell doors.
    Instead of getting up and going to school or a vocational shop, some inmates opted for keeplock as a way of doing their time in Isolation without any type of responsibility. They simply preferred to sleep all day, read books at night and work out in their cell, never coming in contact with other inmates.
    Some inmates would be subject to daily misbehavior reports which would accumulate into “long Term keeplock”.
    Some inmates enjoyed the protection of being away from General population.
    There are dozens of stories that explain why inmates go to SHU willingly. My point being, that many of the inmate who are in SHU want to be there. In my heart I feel for those that have been placed in SHU in an abuse of discretion and power, those that are subjected to the inmates who have made a home out of SHU and create an environment that is hostile, rebellious and unsanitary.
    However, before anyone can say SHU is inhumane or unsanitary because this is the way the administration has made it…We must know the whole history of SHU, the inmate population it houses, and the reason that individual inmates are housed there! I am going to run out of thread. I just felt a little thought given to issues that may not be thought of is in order. How can anyone make an educated, informed decision without all the facts? It is always easy to Blame, the system, the administration and our Goverment. Yet, a certain amount of responsibilty for the way thing are, and why they are this way, easilly escapes all parties attention when the facts are not all available. why this only represents a couple of paragraphs of information…a book could be written on the Truth of the matter.