Archive for the ‘Prisons’ Category

Death, assaults and sex offenses: Life behind Central New York Psychiatric Center’s walls

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

“A New York State psychiatric center operated illegally with impunity while two dead bodies, 40 assaults and 25 sex offenses triggered police responses behind its walls from 2012 to 2016, The Journal News/lohud has found.

“The newly obtained tally of violence, roughly one attack per month, is part of 210 criminal incidents at Central New York Psychiatric Center. Much of the violence involved the mentally ill men locked up there, and it unfolded without the independent monitor required by law.

“From rapes and beatings to illicit drug use and falsified treatment records, the incidents offered a rare look into problems inside the closely guarded psychiatric center, according to records obtained by The Journal News/lohud through Freedom of Information Law requests.”

Read the expoby David Robinson in The Journal News.

An Empty Manger

Monday, December 25th, 2017

A Christmas prison post from my friend, Gunther Fiek:

An Empty Manger

After 28 years wrongly imprisoned for child molestation, man’s case dismissed

Friday, December 15th, 2017

“Young also said that he harbors no anger toward his accusers — who were 5 and 6 years old when they accused him of molesting them, only to later recant and confess that it was their mother’s boyfriend who harmed them, not Young. They were afraid of the boyfriend, records show, so they accused Young instead.”

Read the article by Tresa Baidas in the Detroit Free Press.

Sex Registries as Modern-Day Witch Pyres

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

“Perhaps the most irrefutable statement that can be made about modern day America is this: we have a penchant for putting people in cages. More than any other nation on the planet, we rely on incarceration as the fix for our social ills.”

Read the article by Guy Hamilton-Smith in Injustice Today.

Please Send a Holiday Card to a Prisoner

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Anyone who knows a prisoner knows how important it is to them to receive mail, especially at this time of year. Many prisoners receive no outside support at all.

I don’t care if you send a Christmas card, a holiday card, or whatever. Neither will they.

Here is a list of prisoners who’d be delighted to get a card:

Unfortunately, New Hampshire prisoners are not allowed to receive greeting cards of any sort, picture postcards, or any typewritten or printed material. Only handwritten letters on stock paper are permitted.

-Bob Chatelle



A new prison post from my friend, Gunther Fiek

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Inside the Fence

Vermont corrections officer of the year dies in apparent suicide

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

Dalton pointed to a 2013 literature review from the U.S. Department of Justice that included research on the stress that correctional officers face. The review found, in part:

  • In 2011, about 31 percent of correctional officers reported “serious psychological distress,” twice the rate of the general public;
  • In 2012, 27 percent of correctional officers who responded to a study indicated they were suffering from PTSD;
  • “Much more research is needed to develop a better understanding of the prevalence and causes of suicide among (correctional officers).”

Read the article by Erin Mansfield in the Vermont Digger.

Prisons for Profit and Other Perversions of Justice

Friday, May 5th, 2017

One truth that I have learned is something that I wrote in a recent post: “Beneath every story is another story that brings light to what is on the surface.” This is true in the story of every prisoner I have met. There are evil people in prison. There are some who should never again be entrusted with freedom beyond these stone walls, but they are a small minority. For the vast majority of prisoners I have met, restoring justice to their lives and restoring their freedom is a singular goal. The problem is that there is very little that happens in a one-size-fits-all prison that helps bring that about, and there is a lot in prison that actually works against it.

Read the blog post by Father Gordon MacRae, an innocent man in prison.

A New Prison Post From my Friend Gunther Fiek

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

“Being a Christian and living that life in prison is certainly challenging. But who said that the Christian life would be easy? Some of us were believers before we came to prison. Some of us came to know God here in prison. Some of us might have short sentences while others might be here for a while. Whatever the case may be, I believe that being a Christian in today’s world is probably just as difficult as the persecution that Christians of the first few centuries endured. Our beliefs and what we stand for as believers are under attack by a world that seems to turn more secular every day.”

Read Gunther’s full post.

Wildfire – a New Prison Post by Gunther Fiek

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

“An accusation is like a spark that can easily start a wildfire and, if not handled or contained properly, can quickly spread out of control thus creating panic in a community. When authorities are unable to recognize in what direction the wind is blowing, they fail at the very task they were trained to do and the misused of the tools that guarantee to extinguish that wildfire become obsolete. The wind can then blow embers and ignite multiple wildfires. The media is like a gust of air that does nothing more but feed the fires by inflaming people’s passions. When it is all over, the damage is widespread and nothing will ever be the same, for anyone, as it will take time to recover — if ever. However, after all the destruction and everything has been left in ruins, one can only go through the rubble and hopefully find the pieces necessary to help you determine how it all started, what was done wrong and how another spark can be prevented.”

Read the full post by Gunther Fiek.