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Incarceration in the United States is the main form of punishment for the commission of a crime. The United States has the largest prison population in the world, and the second-highest per-capita incarceration rate, behind Seychelles (a tiny island country off the coast of East Africa, which in 2014 had a total prison population of 735 out of a population of around 92,000). 

In 2013 in the US, there were 698 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population, with (According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics ) 2,220,300 adults incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and county jails.  That’s one out of every 110 citizens of the United States, or  about 0.91% of our adult population.  That’s not counting the 4,751,400 adults in 2013 (1 in 51) on probation or on parole!  In total, 6,899,000 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2013 – about 2.8% of the adults (1 in 35) in the U.S. 

Oh, almost forgot: there were also 54,148 juveniles in jail (“juvenile detention”) in 2013.

According to a 2014 Human Rights Watch report, “tough-on-crime” laws adopted since the 1980s, most especially Bill Clinton’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (the largest crime bill in the history of the United States and consisted of 356 pages that provided for 100,000 new police officers, $9.7 billion in funding for prisons and $6.1 billion in funding for prevention programs, which were designed with significant input from experienced police officers) have filled U.S. prisons with mostly nonviolent offenders. This insane policy has completely failed to rehabilitate prisoners and many are worse on release than before incarceration.

Rehabilitation programs for offenders can be more cost effective than prison.  According to a 2016 analysis of federal data by the U.S. Education Department, state and local spending on incarceration has grown three times as much as spending on public education since 1980.

Why? Watch the Netflix documentary “13.”

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Dear Circle:

For a while I wasn’t doing too good.  I’ve had four relapses.  Broke out twice in handcuffs.  Now, I’m out on bail and have to go to the police station every night to get tested.  Next week I have a screening for an I.O.P. at the hospital.  I’m excited.

I finally got rid of Micky.  He’d come to me, then he’d go back to Michelle.  One time when he was here when he left I was in bed and he shit in my shower!  What a pig.

I have a job interview at a hotel.  The job market sucks up here in central maine.

Miss Linda

misslinda

Circle,

Boy this place is getting bad, none of the officers are on the right page.  They gave me another roommate and she’s a little bitch.  She’s young.  She’s got her own t.v. and she won’t put it on the table so that I can see it.  So now I have a roommate that has a t.v. I can’t get a loaner.  This place is turning into a joke, they only build you up so they can bring you down.  They don’t solve anything at these town meetings.  It’s just a wrap session.  They never seem (staff, unit manager) to agree to anything.

I’m going to two A.A. meetings a week that my sponsor does. I’m on step four.

Maybe if you guys would like, I’d bus down and spend the weekend with you guys and go to meetings and Circles.  I’m going to be going to a lot of meetings, and doing counseling.  I don’t want to end up back, I have a lot of time hanging; nine years, four years of probation.  So I’ve really got to buckle down.  I like bow these women only go to the meetings, bi8ble study, just for the check mark.  I go to claim my seat and plus, I’m an alcoholic!

The ladies are having a hissy fit because when commissary came there was no cigs.  Circle, I don’t mean or want to sound like I’m begging, but could you guys please send me some  money? I really need hygiene.  I don’t like using Bob Barker toothpaste, deo, soap.

Boy am I tired.  I think I’ve only slept one night as long as I’ve been in.  I get up once a night, but if I”m up twice I have a hard time getting in gear in the morning.

I guess that the cook is going to go a long with a ham boiled dinner, tonight.  I think that the women here will enjoy that.

Miss Linda

misslinda

Thanks for getting right back to me.  It’s 6:12am and I’m waiting for count.  I just finished my readings that I do every morning: Daily Bread, Daily reflections, as Bill Sees It.  This morning there is a big book meeting that just started where an outsider comes in.

We don’t get the new catalog for the care package until the end of next month, and then I’d have to fill it out and Circle would have to call it in.  But, you guys would need a credit card.  But we do have a very good commissary.  And no, I don’t have any fines or restitution.

The reason why I didn’t want Kennebec County time is because the food was awful, the guards were cocky, the place was filthy.  As far as Pete , he’s go about a year and a half and he can retire.

I’m taking eight different classes.

Hey, you guys told me that Rage’s birthday was happening, but you didn’t say when.  I turned 54 in November.

If you don’t mind, could you guys send me some money for commissary, plus, we can smoke.  $5.84 for 1839s.  I have to bum cigarettes and it’s so hard to find one.

What ever happened to Isaac on Sunday mornings at WMPG?  You guys turned me on to him and he was great, but now he’s gone.

Love,

Miss Linda

misslinda

Well,

I’m almost done this bid.  112 days left.

Boy, there’s a lot of bullying and saving seats in here.  It’s like kindergarten with these people.  I’m still going to meetings and groups.  I started a writing class; it’s alright.  A little boring.  The one I really enjoyed which we graduated from about two weeks ago was Houses of Healing, a very intense group where you try to find your inner self.  I’ve got about three more classes in Moving oOn, I’ll be graduating the GEAR group.  I’ve got about six more classes in codependency group.  “They” put me in the 18th, I’ll be starting “Seeking Safety”.  I’m in

Sarssm group untill May.  That’s a really good group about trauma.  I’ve got a really great sponsor; she’s got 35 years of sobriety.  She’s taking through this book called “the steps we took.”  She also comes in on Sundays and she’s taking everyone through the Big Book.  April 13th will be my big first year of Sobriety.

Hope to hear from you guys soon.

Miss Linda

Well,

I got written up, so I'[m now on cell restriction.  I had my D-board yesterday, and I got four days cell restriction, no loss of good time, plus, I can go to my groups, and meetings.  I got it for passing and recieving.

There’s nothing that i like about Augusta and Kennebec County Jail.  Officer Morrisette was my favorite officer.  All the other guards I really didn’t know.  They hired some.  Officer Cote was alright.  She did the female trustees.  She put me in laundry.  they were good to me when I got my good time.  I had five months in and they gave me 165 days.

I get out, I’m hoping, the first week of June.

Love,

Miss Linda

Hi!

I’m taking eight different classes.  I turned 54 in November.  If you people don’t mind, and can would you please send me some money for commissary, plus we can smoke, $5.84 for 1839 and I have to bum cigarettes and it’s so hard to find one.

Last weekend during visits a girl had some pills brought in so we all had to go to our rooms and weren’t allowed to go to the bathroom until you were drug tested.  They were taking so long that my room ate and I used our waste can.  They also brought a dog in.  Four women got sent back to Windham Prison for being dirty.

Love,

Linda

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

In collaboration with the Holistic Recovery Project, the Political Prisoners Blog provides a prisoner's view into what's happening at Maine's correctional facilities.

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