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Hey everybody out there,

I just got done facilitating a class.  I have another class at 9:30 to 11:30.  Then the rain closet.

I just want to talk about some stuff to try to sell on the internet so I can get some money.  I need money in the worst way, too.  My boss is on  leav4e for a while and I am trying to save the stamps and phone time untill next month.  She didn’t put in 9our hours or anything so I don’t even know if we are going to be getting paid the whopping twentyfive hours I got in July.  Fucking sucks.  Got a raise to 80 cents and hour,  but, 35% comes off the top before I even see any of it.

Sorry.  I am bitching again.  Just stressing about stuff, you know.  As far as selling stuff I have: a paintings on canvas: “tulips,”  “space,”  “chickadees,”  “a spooky tree with an evil moon in back,”  “a big eyeball with yin-hang for the pupil,”  “a city scape at night reflecting on the water,” and, last one: “a shack on ocean front with clouds.”

I can also crochet stuff.  Like, to order.  I can bang out hats in two hours with stuff grafted onto them.  Actually, everyone wants hats with their MDOC# on them.  Also with their children’s names on them.

We get two free mailing a week here, but that’s about it.

Hope to hear from someone soon.

Love: Arline

arline.july.2017

CCI08092017

Well,

No one’s been killed yet.  No, I have not padlocked or stabbed anyone.  I heard there’s a lot of people in here with hepatitis C and I don’t want any part of that at all.  If it comes down to it, I’ll either hit somebody with a chair or kick them in the manhood.

Anyway, during the lock-down they took our padlocks away and they found quite a few weapons in other pods.  Our pod was the last one they searched, so everybody got ample time to get rid of their weapons,.  Lots of flushing was going on during the lock-down.

Been looking at the town populations somebody sent me.  It’s hard to believe that “Hardshell” only has a population of twelve people.  Must be located in a remote place (really remote.)  Now you got me curious about the history of Hardshell.  I might end up changing the name to “Hardsell,” as in it’s a hard-sell to get people to live there and put it on the farthest frontier island, probably just make it an old hideout for certain people or a place of exile.  Plus “Nooseneck: and “Pelican Point” would be it’s nearest neighbors (30 miles away.)

So Monhegan Island has seventy -five people on it?  Thought it had more.  Guess they don’t get many tourists in the summer.  Sounds like a great place to get away from it all, being so far away from the mainland..

Well, goodnight, everyone.   Can’t believe it’s almost August.

Kenneth McDonald

kenny

Hey, Circle,

Today would have been my Bampi’s birthday.  But, since he has passed on, I guess he won’t be getting older, huh?  I called you guys around 7:30 pm earlier, but no answer.  Don’t know if there is a specific time I should call or what, but I tried and I will again in a day or so.

When I didn’t hear from anyone for a few days I was worried that I had did something to piss you guys off.  But, thank God, just a big worry wart, I guess.

As far as writing goes, I do, or did take writing classes, but I have always loved to write, even before I got arrested.  I am working on a memoir of the Arline Lawless story.

My son, Damien, is doing good.  He starts tutoring on the 11th.  He is a little handsome devil.  He looks just like me.  When I get rich and famous I will send you guys a picture of our visit in May.

I have P.T.S.D.  When a door slams, it sends me into a panic attack.  Guess that has to do with the gunshot wound to the face, but hey, I am also afraid to get into a relationship for fear that the same thing will happen.  I talk to mental health a lot.  I think I might have sensory problems too.

What do you think of that?

Love,

Arline

arline.july.2017

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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Body camera video produced Wednesday appears to show a Baltimore police officer plant drugs in late January, an act that later resulted in a criminal arrest.

The 90-second Baltimore police body camera video, which was made public by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, belongs to Officer Richard Pinheiro, who appears to hide and later “find” drugs among trash strewn on a plot next to a Baltimore residence. Two other officers appear to be with the Pinheiro as he hides the drugs.

Play

 Body Camera Shows Baltimore Police Officer Allegedly Planting Evidence 1:53

“I’m gonna go check here,” Pinheiro announces in the video from a morning in late January. He then picks up a can in which he placed a plastic bag of pills earlier in the video and retrieves them.

“This is a serious allegation of police misconduct,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. “There is nothing that deteriorates the trust of any community more than thinking for one second that police officers … would plant evidence of crimes on citizens.”

One of the officers has been suspended, and two others have been placed on “nonpublic contact” administrative duty, Davis told reporters.

Police said the Office of Professional Responsibility Ethics Section was investigating.

Pinheiro is a witness in about 53 active cases, and he was even called to testify in a case earlier this week, the Public Defender’s Office said.

The new video has led to that case’s dismissal after an assistant public defender forwarded it to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, according to the Public Defender’s Office.

Melba Saunders, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, said the prosecutor took “immediate and appropriate actions” and dropped the case against the man who was charged.

“Currently, this case is under investigation and has been referred to internal affairs of the Baltimore Police Department,” she added.

Debbie Katz Levi, head of the Baltimore Public Defender’s Special Litigation Section, said that Baltimore police have long had a problem with officer misconduct but that the city does not hold individuals accountable.

Play

 Public Defender Says Bodycam Shows Baltimore Cop Planting Drugs 2:31

“We have long supported the use of police body cameras to help identify police misconduct, but such footage is meaningless if prosecutors continue to rely on these officers, especially if they do so without disclosing their bad acts,” Levi said.

Police played four other videos for the media on Wednesday afternoon to provide additional context.

In the first two videos, officers procure two gel capsules of heroin. The third video has officers approaching the alleged seller of the heroin and shows them arresting the man on whom they found marijuana and a gel capsule of heroin, police said.

In the fourth video, officers undertake an extensive search of a yard identified by the dealer for more drugs. Police said they recovered a plastic bag with 25 gel capsules of heroin.

Davis and Deputy Police Commissioner Jason Johnson suggested that it implied that they were re-enacting the recovery of drugs for the body camera — which is also inappropriate, Davis said.

“The release of [this body camera video] tells me and hopefully [the public] that there was a little more to this,” Davis told reporters.

Johnson and Davis told reporters that there was a four- to five-minute gap in the video.

According to police policy, officers are required to record all activities that are “investigative or enforcement in nature.”

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, a component of the U.S. Justice Department, concluded in a 296-page report that there is not enough research to understand the impact of body cameras but that “the ultimate purpose of these cameras should be to help officers protect and serve the people in their communities.”

Davis said the department would get to the bottom of the matter because he fears the effect it would have on the community.

“Perception is reality,” Davis said. “If our community thinks that there are officers planting evidence in the course of their duty, that is something that will keep me up at night.”

Hi, Circle.

Here’s more on stress here, and ways of coping.

We have a gym here, the only downside to that is there is only space for about three people to do a workout video.  There is also exercise equipment, you know, like the elliptical, bicycles, tread climber, and of course yoga mats and exercise balls.  Once again, there is not enough room for more than three to four people to work out in there at a time unless you are over in the corner on one of the machines.  We have some very dedicated women who work out faithfully everyday here.  Which is fine, but what about people who want to try to get their body back and just try to be as healthy as they can be?  There is neither time not space for them to do that, and if they work, the net day working out at ten o’clock at night is just not really in the cards for them.

We also have a rec yard.  You have to walk to circle twenty six times to have walked a mile.  WE have a volleyball net and a basketball net.  I like to play volleyball and basketball on the outside but not on the inside.  See, I don’t like to go outside because we are fenced in and we have barbed wire on the top of the fence.  I imagine that it is like that in other prisons (!) However, when you have twenty-five years or so left it can be a little depressing.  We can also play cards and buy our own decks, but how many times can you play spades or cribbage?  I mean, it is fine for the time being, but playing it repeatedly can get a little monotonous.  Don’t get me wrong though, I like to play card games.  We even make up our own card games.

We also have a library where people can take out up to four books at a time.  I have read a good amount of books since I have been here.  I have a big reading list also, but many of the books on my list cost money, which is something that I don’t have for such frivolous items.  Women here have televisions, radios, CD players, and of course there are that few that have Play Station 2s.  Once again, I am not one of those lucky women.  I have a radio, but that’s about it.

I love to crochet; in fact, I was in the process of making thread bags with little pictures graphed into them.  I made blankets with pictures, or words graphed into them also.  However,the thing that I like the most is graphing with thread.  I really like a challenge; the more difficult the task is the more I tend to like it.  That’s a big stress reliever for me.  I am trying to do independent study so I can have a career when I am released.  I love to learn new things (I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a nerd.)  I would love to study ornithology and maybe someday get to work with birds.

Lastly, the ways that most women cope with stress here is keeping contact with the outside world.  I know that I try to keep contact with the outside world a lot.  I just wan to know that someone on the outside is still thinking about me.  It seems like to most women here that they are forgotten about most of the time.  That is why a lot of women look for pen pals to correspond with; that way they can feel like they are still loved and that people actually care about them.  I know that having a pen-pal that would like to get to know me and maybe even go further when I get out has made my stress level decrease a hell of a lot.

Write me!

Love,

Arline

arline.july.2017

Hello, Circle.

Well, you probably heard by now that we got locked down at the Maine State Prison.  Recently we have had a spree of stabbings and padlockings (hit with a padlock) of inmates in other pods – not in this pod, thankfully.  They did some major searching in all the pods and came up with a lot of weapons.  We are supposed to come out this Sunday afternoon, as long as no one gets stuck on stupid.  Who knows, it might be a sign of Armageddon.

So, has anyone gone to see the new Spiderman movie yet?!  They changed it a bit”  Flash Thompson is Asian and a nerd, not an athlete, I heard, but he still bullies Peter Parker around.  You guys should really see the Vulture’s costume.

Well, good night.  Hopefully we will be out and about by Sunday afternoon.

Kenneth McDonald

b.jpg

Hey, Circle,

Where can I start about the sources of stress in here?  There are so many forms of stress from the guards screaming at the top of their lungs to your family not being able to come and see you because they were two minutes late for the check in.  That is complete bullshit.  If you as me especially when your family drives two and a half hours to see you.  In fact, there are a few women in here where their family  members drive over seven hours to come and see them and they were denied because they were late.

I can tell you that it is like antelope in mating season here now.  We just got eleven new people that came up from the pods.  That may not seem like a whole lot of people but when there is just over eighty women up here in the women’s enter and 10% of those women that you are used to seeing everyday leave for pre-release or get to go home on home confinement or are just released can cause a whole lot of stress.

Some women here are still in segregation because they can’t handle all the stress here.  I was one of those women, only I was not put into segregation.  I just stayed in my room and never came out except for meds and sometimes meals.  I am here for a good chunk of time and I decided that when I first got here that I was going to sleep my bid away.  This worked for almost two years.  However, there were some women here that I am so glad to have met, just wish that it were under different circumstances they would come to my door and bang on it and yell, “You get out of that bed right now and you come out here and play spades with us.”

I can tell you that that really boosted my confidence that there were women here that actually gave a shit about me.  See, we are like a family here.  There are a few women that you want to get to know, and then there are a few that you can either take or leave.  Lastly, there are the few that NOBODY can stand to be around because these women are so negative all the time and are evil manipulating bitches, if you will.

Well, got way off track,there but ways that we cope with stress is crocheting or knitting.  That is not something that we are able to do as of now, because they took everything in the last raid that we had in the beginning of April. Some short timers here took it into their own hands to say that their roommate was threatening them with crochet needles.  Mind you that there has not been a problem here in over 14 years with the crocheting and knitting.  I guess it just takes one person to screw it all up for all of us, huh?

  • To be continued.

Love,

Arline

arline.june.2017

Hey, Circle,
So how are you doing these days? Summer has sprung and I’m seeing lots of fresh grass. It’s nice out.
Well, here’s the map of the prison, and I found a couple of things in a National Geographic I was reading. Thought you could think up a couple of ideas for these gemstones. Let me know what you come up with.
Well, I hope you got yourself to the comic book store on the 5th, for “Free Comic Book Day.” Each Comic Book Day you get a free bag of goodies. Zimmie’s in Lewiston is back open, I heard a few years ago on the news and Casablanca Comics has two stores, one in either Windham or Topsham, and the one in Portland and there are a few other places and don’t forget, this summer there’s Free Role-Playing Game Day. You can look it up on the internet and find out when it actually is.
So, have you been watching a show called “Riverdale” yet? It’s on Thursday nights at 9pm, on the CW, channel 12. It’s about Archie and Jughead and all the gang, although it’s a drama, not a comedy. Check it out; only two episodes left to go before the first season ends. It’s actually a good show.
Tell Melanie I said hello.
Well, good night.
Excelsior to you, my friends!
Kenneth McDonald

kenny

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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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