Prison Talk

We firmly believe that even though a prisoner's body is locked up, their mind can always be free to travel the world and learn about anything they are interested through the magic or books.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lack of Treatment In Lock-up Proves Costly to All

Getting locked up can make it difficult to seek treatment for an addiction, and that lack of help can prove costly for us all.

Lack of Treatment In Lock-up Proves Costly to All

Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) recently released a comprehensive report on the cost and consequences of untreated substance abuse disorders in the nation’s correctional system and the findings are disturbing. The 144-page report, Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population, shows that 65 percent of inmates behind bars today in the U.S. meet the medical criteria for a substance use disorder, but only 11 percent get treatment while incarcerated.

The same study also found that 1.5 million of the nation’s 2.3 million inmates meet the DSM-IV criteria for substance abuse or addiction, and an additional 458,000 prisoners either have histories of substance abuse or their crimes were related to drug or alcohol use. Combined, those two groups represent a whopping 85 percent of the U.S. prison population, and before you write this off as not your problem, read on.

Those stats also represent individuals in need of treatment. They also represent cold, hard cash it will cost our country in the future. That’s why is adamant that the cost of treatment is far less than the cost of forgoing programs to help inmates struggling with addiction. “A large study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed that the return on investing in treatment for this population may be more than $12 for every dollar spent on treatment,” the organization reported.

Another study showed that $74 billion dollars is spent every year in our criminal justice system coping with the consequences of our failure to prevent and treat addiction. That doesn’t even factor in the hidden long-term costs that include children who lose their parents to prison and the risk it puts those children at for future substance abuse issues.

“We just want to underscore the fact that addiction is a disease, that risky substance use is a public health problem, addiction is a treatable medical problem, and we know that these things can be treated effectively in the context of the justice system,” CASA said of the report.

Addiction Treatment at La Paloma

If you or someone you love is battling an addiction, call La Paloma at the toll-free number. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Maurice Clarett looking for move to correctional facility

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Former Ohio State football player Maurice Clarett is in county jail and awaiting a judge's decision on Wednesday that would release him to a community-based correction facility after spending 3½ years in prison.

Clarett, 26, was convicted on charges of aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that Clarett, who led the Buckeyes to the national championship in 2002, was moved from a Toledo prison to the county jail in Columbus on Monday and would meet on Wednesday afternoon with Judge David Fais, who handled his original case.

O'Brien said he expected the judge to allow the former tailback to be transferred to a secure facility in Columbus where he would be evaluated for possible release within six months. O'Brien described the facility as one which has barbed-wire and is residential, but is not a lock-down institution.

Clarett pleaded guilty in September 2006 to having a gun hidden in his SUV and holding up two people outside a Columbus bar in a separate case. He was sentenced to 7½ years in prison with possible release in 3½ years.

Messages seeking comment from Clarett's attorney, Michael Hoague, were not immediately returned after business hours Tuesday.

A star as a freshman at Ohio State, Clarett, a standout running back from Warren, Ohio, was declared ineligible after one season for receiving extra benefits that were brought to light after he filed a false theft report about a car break-in. He never played another college game after scoring the winning touchdown in Ohio State's 31-24 double-overtime win over Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, the Buckeyes' first national title since 1968.

After he was ruled ineligible, Clarett sued the NFL in September 2003 to be permitted to enter the league's draft. At issue was the NFL's rule denying anyone to be drafted who has not been out of high school for three years. After an initial court victory, Clarett lost on appeal.

He eventually was drafted in the third round of the 2005 draft by the Denver Broncos, but was cut before the season started.

On Jan. 1, 2006, Clarett was charged with aggravated robbery after police said he flashed a gun at people outside a bar and robbed them of a cell phone. Then, on Aug. 9, Clarett was arrested after a chase when police said that they tried to stop him for a traffic violation.

O'Brien said he had no doubt that Judge Fais would release Clarett to the community-based facility because of the conditions of Clarett's guilty plea and his good behavior at Toledo Correctional Institution the past 3½ years. O'Brien also said he would not oppose Clarett's move.

A typical assessment at the facility takes a maximum of six months, and at that time if Clarett had met employment, housing and other requirements he would most likely be released into the general public, O'Brien said.

Clarett has been taking college-credit courses in the Toledo prison, where he was confined to a single cell but was not isolated from other inmates. He was able to exercise and eat with other inmates.

At the time of his plea, Hoague said of his client, "He was up here," raising his arm to eye level. "He got down here," he said, lowering his arm to his waist. "And he's going to be back up here again."

Read More:
Get a free NFL Team Jacket and Tee with SI Subscription

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How to Email Someone in Prison

Prisons in every state have a different policy. The policies in every prison vary. The person you are trying to reach will need to have the information you are looking for or you will need to request it from the office. This is one of many ways of locating whether or not you can contact a person by an email.


1. Step 1

Go to the prison and request for the email address of the inmate. Most inmates will have identification numbers that may be required. Make sure you have all required information that will allow you to receive the email. Some prisons require you to be on the friend list for information, significant partner, and immediate family. It is always good to speak to the inmate first for information regarding his/her rights for you to request their email if they are allowed to have one. Ask your inmate to ask his/her lawyer to receive this information if you are unable to get the clerk to cooperate. You can go on to a search engine and find office phone numbers, emails and addresses for the front desk for assistance.

2. Step 2

Speak to the front desk clerk allow them time to give you their policies on what you can write or cannot write in submission of your written correspondences. It is good to have them copy your rights as an inmate visitor who is writing the inmate. Of course, the clerk may forget to give you detail information on what is allowed, so ask questions, extensively like can you send photos, what kind of photos, how many emails can you send, is there a limit. After speaking with the clerk if you are satisfied, proceed from there, and use the email address accordingly. Otherwise, seek legal counsel or check with other offices for direction.

3. Step 3

Go to a prison locator's on the Internet if all fails. After trying to speak with clerks, inmate and lawyer, and you feel that information is not given according to policy or would like a change of policy speak to your legislature. Seek an organization that will assist you in contacting your inmate via email or mail. Keep contacting people requesting email information until you run out of options then resort to mailing your inmate. Some prisons are still behind times, so they may not honestly have that capability. The inmate would enjoy a letter regardless of the delivery, so go ahead and follow whatever procedures they require even if that excludes emailing.