Category prison population

Prison and Literature

Lord of the Flies The social aspects of what goes on behind prison walls are really kind of fascinating. For those who worked there, we recognize the yard dynamics are something out of William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies. In the 1954 novel, a group of boys are stranded on an island and quickly devolve into savage […]

Is Life Really Life?

Life in prison. The judge hands down the sentence and most people think that’s the end of it. The convicted man (or woman) will spend the balance of their natural life behind bars. Life sentences are reserved for the worst crimes–kidnapping, murder and habitual criminals. well…maybe. I recall, early in my career, going into a […]

In Prison — Seeing Is Believing

What happens in prison usually stays in prison. Kinda like a bad Las Vegas honeymoon. Nobody wants to know the depths of the debauchery that goes on in either place. When I worked as a department of corrections administrator, we were often burnt at the stake when a criminal decided to do a bad thing. […]

Prison Lingo

Every culture has a language unto itself, phrases or words that mean something completely different because of where they are spoken. Prison is one of those places. The world on the inside has a culture and language driven by life in confined spaces, honed by decades of control and restricted freedoms. I’ve mentioned before that time […]

Prison and Politics – Part III

The success of any criminal justice initiative is judged on outcome. You and I think in terms of safer communities and prisons. That seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Policies, programs and sentencing strategies all woven together to reduce crime and allow for safe prison operations. The problem with this idea is that politicians aren’t normal folk, […]