Posts Tagged ‘prison’

Spring Fling

April 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Spring, that little coquette, has been flirting with us. An hour’s worth of sun lures you outside but the clouds are quick behind and then you’ve got hail in your pockets. There’s cherry blossoms and baby birds chirping in the leaves. They’ll litter the ground when the next cold snap hits—we’re not out of this thing yet.

Everyone knows better but after months of being cooped up complaining about the cold and the grey no one can control themselves. Throw on some shoes, some useless thin scarf, tuck the lapdog into an old sweatshirt and go, go, go!

Our brains haven’t caught up, or maybe our brains have a better grasp on the situation than our impulses and refuse to be roused for these midday walks. A woman was dragging a baby carriage into the street while trying to guide a freewheeling toddler from corner to corner. There was a car waiting for this confused tangle to clear, allowing plenty of room for the trickeries of gravity or the momentum of plastic wheels. The woman stopped and began to wave the driver on, who wasn’t really sure how to respond. Babies in the street, not taking my foot off the brakes. But the woman kept waving and waving and finally the driver decided to inch forward, hugging the opposite curb. The woman threw her arm out to stop the car, which somehow managed to screech to a halt while rolling forward. After some confusion a window was lowered. “I was wondering if you have any napkins,” the woman asked. Read more…


Pay to Stay

October 29, 2008 6 comments

Something else to consider this upcoming election when you vote on three separate law and order initiatives. I’ve already explained to the best of my ability the reasons I oppose Propositions 6 and 9. I support Proposition 5, the attempt to improve the mechanizations of imprisonment when the convicted are non-violent drug addicts. Drug addiction is a mental disorder, nothing more or less. It’s better to help people overcome addiction so they can get out of the system and do something with their lives than to keep sending them back into the system. It’s cheaper than repeatedly imprisoning them and it’s obviously more humane. It also challenges a status quo which sees harsher penalties for possession of crack (minority) over powder cocaine (white) and the delusional society that airs commercials for alcohol dependency treatment in resort getaways during episodes of COPS where people strung out on Meth get tazered.

Photo by Monica Almeida, courtesy of the New York Times.

But it gets worse, as I’ve just learned after reading another cry from the dark. Prison Photography just blew my mind yet again. I had never heard of the “pay to stay” program where non-violent offenders can apply through the courts to, for a moderate daily fee, upgrade their prison experience to a kinder, gentler, whiter and safer one. The New York Times breaks this down in a succinct manner with a comparison price chart (circa 2007); more stunning is the City of Santa Ana official web page where prospective “clients” can learn more about skirting the system. You think the best way to deal with crime is longer sentences, more severe punishment, bring back the labor camps? You think that rehabilitative measures are too soft, we’re just letting murderers and rapist escape their just desserts? Really?