Tag Archives: prison

SHU Basics for the Crime Writer

Recently, I attended ThrillerFest in New York and the Public Safety Writers Association Conference in Las Vegas. Both great venues for talking the craft of writing and picking up a few tips on making your crime fiction true to life. During conversations at both of these very different gatherings, the topic of solitary confinement and […]

So You Married a Murderer

I met with a group of wonderful ladies at a Shalom Women’s Group this week and talked about crime fiction, Sacramento’s dark history of violent crime, and some of our more notorious serial killers. We had a wonderful discussion and the attendees asked some great questions. One question, and it’s a subject that comes up […]

Private Prisons in Crime Fiction

Build it and they shall come… Private prisons have been a popular recurring theme in crime fiction and television drama. Most of the stories I’ve come across involve some smoky backroom deal between a corrupt judge and a private prison operator. Newly sentenced offenders, often kids, are portrayed as victims who wouldn’t have come to […]

Prison Facts: A Lethal First

Recently, at the Left Coast Crime convention in Reno, I held a round of Nevada-centered prison trivia. Prison lore and operation play a role in my books, particularly in the most recent, Bury The Past. Folks seem to enjoy finding out if they have what it takes to survive behind the walls. One of the […]

Spiraling Prison Costs

It’s no great state secret that maintaining a prison system is expensive. Since California has the largest prison system in the nation, it should also be no surprise that it is the most costly. The official state budget for the operation of the California prison system is teetering on $12 Billion annually–nearly $2 Billion more […]

Prison Trivia

Those of us who worked in prison, or out on the street managing parole or probation caseloads, know a few things. Things we took for granted as we went about our daily grind. Some things, we try to forget. Others are simply hard to explain. But, having left that world of bars, walls, and wire, […]

Prison to the Page Newsletter

I know secretly, deep down in your lizard brain, you’ve always wanted to belong. You want to be part of something bigger. Something where you are among people just like you. Something like a prison gang. Wut? We’re starting our own little gang here and unlike the versions behind the walls, this one doesn’t require […]

Prison Break–Doin’ Life in Assisted Living

I had a flashback to my old prison days this week. For a moment, it seemed like I was on the yard and I spotted a convict passing a knife for another con to use. Something was about to go down. But this flashback was actually in a memory care unit for seniors. Okay, let […]

Bedrock – The Violence Control Unit

From the outside, the goings on in prison are invisible. If you live close enough to one, you might catch a glimpse of concrete walls and high mast yard lighting. If the wind is just right, you could hear the shrill buzz of an alarm in the distance. For most people, that’s the only thought–a […]

Getting Your Hands Dirty–Prison Reform

You hear the expression all the time–“Getting your hands dirty.” A yuppie call to get in the trenches and act like you’re doing the work, just like the common folk. It’s a trite little phrase used frequently by the likes of Martha Stewart, political figures, and CEO’s who haven’t looked at an assembly line since […]