This Saturday, March 17, 2012, Think Outside the Cage having two special guests, Kenneth Hartman and Jane Dorotik.
Kenneth E. Hartman has served 32 continuous years of a life without the possibility of parole sentence for killing a man in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight. He is the author of the memoir Mother California: A Story of Redemption Behind Bars, (Atlas & Co. 2009), winner of the 2010 Eric Hoffer Book Award for memoir and a silver medallist winner of the 2010 Nautilus Book Award. He has been published widely, including in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian, the Vacaville Reporter and the National Catholic Reporter, writing about prison life and prison reform. His magazine articles have appeared in Notre Dame Magazine, Topic Magazine, the East Bay Monthly, Whole Life Times, High Times and Prison Life.
He wrote the proposal that helped to initiate the Honor Program at the prison in Lancaster. He currently leads a prisoner-initiated and organized effort to end the sentence of life without the possibility of parole and currently lead a prisoner-initiated and organized effort to end the sentence of life without the possibility of parole, The Other Death Penalty.
His email address is kennethehartman.com
For more information on The Other Death Penalty (Life Without the Possibility of Parole), please visit: http://www.theotherdeathpenalty.org/
Writer, activist Kenneth Hartman is on the Advisory Board of Californians United for a Responsible Budget - CURB
Our next guest, Jane Dorotik, serving a life sentence in California Institution for Women.We firmly believe that Jane is one of many people serving life sentences for crimes they did not commit. She is an Organizer, a humanitarian and a brilliant thinker, whose reach exceeds the walls which contain her. Jane is a Board Member of Justice Now and active with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. She is on the Advisory Board of Californians United for a Responsible Budget - CURB.
Ms. Dorotik has developed a relevant, reasonable, well thought out approach to reducing the numbers of people in prison and to saving the taxpayers potential billions on a yearly basis. Her proposal is for an Elderly & Elderly-Lifer Aternative Custody Program.
Please see the letter below and consider emailing it to your local legislator. Jane has written extensively about the conditions of women prisoners in California.
To find his/her name, go to: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/legislators/your_legislator.html and look under Find Your Legislator
Now that the prison system is slowly reducing the population and realignment is shifting responsibility to the countries, there may be greater hope for real rehabilitation of offenders so that the recidivism rate can be decreased.
Federal oversight of prisoner healthcare also finally has an end in sight and this can free up funds for education and social supports in our communities.
Spending for prisoner healthcare increased from $948 million before the receiver was appointed, to $2.3 billion by 2008, according to the Dept of Finance. The state has doubled the amount spent on inmate healthcare over the last five years, to more than $15,000 per inmate annually. Most of this is because of the growing numbers of individuals who have grown old in prison, with over 55 prisoners now taking up 38% of prison healthcare beds.
Keeping older prisoners behind bars is three times more costly (an average annual cost of $138,000 per prisoner over 55) than younger offenders, and the vast majority of then are no longer any risk to public safety. Older prisoners are not eligible for federal health insurance programs for the elderly – Medicare and Medicaid – and so the state must pick up the tab,
Isn’t it time to consider alternatives to expensive prison beds for these elderly individuals?
Ankle bracelet custody makes a lot of sense morally, fiscally, socially and in every way.