Last Christmas didn’t look promising for two young brothers whose lives consisted of living on the streets, drug deals, and gang initiations. Up until nine months ago, the brothers whom we will call Troy and Devon only had a 10th-grade education and no hope for the future. As a consequence of having a mother hooked…

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By: Jon & Michael Flinner

Prisoners are fated to spend their days in earthly purgatory, exiled from society by their own actions in most cases. It can be said that the population behind the walls and fences of the nation’s correctional facilities represent significant destructive forces, and through individual “deeds”, lives and property have been destroyed and or lost.

At the same time in the greater world, there’s an existential crisis looming for more than 100,000 Americans. These people live on “borrowed time”, clinging to life in the face of unspeakable pain and horror, simply waiting for the gift of a life-saving organ transplant.

The government has an absolute duty to protect its citizenry. After all, that’s the rationale for the imprisonment of so many, well…that and the concept of repayment of societal debt, rehabilitation, restitution, and punishment for transgression. The word “penitentiary” says it all — a place to learn penitence. Right?

Why then if the government protects its citizens and the objective of imprisonment is to shape positive outcomes in the prisoner, that with a population exceeding 2.3 million incarcerated, that those in the free world awaiting organ and tissue transplants are deprived willing donors?

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By Christopher Zoukis  Day Two of the Arctic Snow Bombardment — at least, that’s how it probably seems for the birds — has left icy snow covering the ground.  All last night, pigeons displaced due to the snow, huddled together wherever they could find a dry spot out of the wind.  Many congregated under outdoor…

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As many Prison Education News readers are aware, PrisonLawBlog.com is our sister website which focuses on prisoners’ rights and prison law.  It is another property of Middle Street Publishing.  Recently the Prison Law Blog launched a new project called the FCI Petersburg Pigeon Project.  This project consists of taking care of the wild pigeon population…

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It’s with great pride that the Prison Law Blog today publicly acknowledges a thus far private project: the FCI Petersburg Pigeon Project.  For the past six years, the founders of the Prison Law Blog have worked hard to care for the feral pigeon population at FCI Petersburg, a medium-security federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia.  This…

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By Dianne Frazee-Walker It was the morning of May 23rd, 2012.  Sharletta Evans and her older son, Hurd, wereapprehensive when they walked into the prison to meet the man who murdered her three-year-old son and Hurd’s little brother 17 years ago. Raymond Johnson stood up from where he was sitting and solemnly lowered his head in…

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Today has been a very long day.  It started with someone in my prison’s housing unit — the F-North housing unit at FCI Petersburg — yelling about pedophiles hogging the TRULINCS computers (the people to which this comment was made were most certainly not hogging anything), continued with scoffs at a transgender prisoner in the…

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During my seven years of incarceration, I have rarely seen much in the way of kindness and the human spirit.  There have been a few surprise moments.  These usually revolve around a surprise birthday meal, a Christmas gift from an unexpected source, or the unexpected dispensation of compassion to someone truly in need.  But, for…

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In today’s deeply entrenched political climate, I was amazed to see that a longtime Republican politician had announced that he now supports gay marriage, making him the only sitting GOP Senator to affirm such a position. Senator Bob Portman of Ohio, who had voted in support of the Defense of Marriage Act as a member of…

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