Monday, November 30, 2009

Prison Hospice Programs

According to Carol McAdoo, a coordinating consultant with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, over 3,000 inmates die each year in prison. More than 75 state and federal prisons now have hospice programs where inmates are trained to give compassionate care to the dying.

Read the full article by Rick Jervis of USA Today at:

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Parents Behind Bars

An estimated 2.4 million children in the United States have a parent behind bars. These children have done nothing wrong, yet they suffer from the consequences of their parent's incarceration.

Incarceration places a strain on family relationships as relatives and spouses struggle to take on the role of parenting. Parents and children may find it difficult to remain connected during the parent's prison sentence. Parents are often incarcerated far from home making visits costly and difficult. Prisons and jail charge 10 times the standard rate for collect phone calls - sometimes the only contact available to families.

Read more in the article "Children Of Prisoners."

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Can We Produce Fewer Criminals?

Florida's Coalition for smart justice which met this week discussed the following options for reducing Florida's 33 percent recidivism rate:

• "Re-entry" programs that begin to prepare inmates for their return to society as the end of their sentence approaches.

• Treatment for mental health issues or substance abuse, which affect a large percentage of the prison population.

• "Character-based" programs based on broad networks of community volunteers working with inmates in a structured curriculum."

Read the full article by Howard Troxler in The St. Petersburg Times, Instead of Building More Prisons, Why Not Produce Fewer Criminals?

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Elderly In Prison

"Elderly prisoners constitute the fastest growing segment of prison populations." according to an article by Stephanie Chen of CNN.

A study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, indicates the US male prison population (over age 55) grew by 82 per cent between 1999 and 2007.

Some prisons have nursing home and medical units which provide complex medical care to elderly individuals suffering from such ailments as kidney disease, Alzheimers dementia, and diabetes. As a result, states are required to provide more frequent and costlier treatment to this population of aging inmates.

Read the article: Prison Health Care Costs Rise as Inmates Grow Older and Sicker

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Vets Need Drug Treatment, Not Jail

"Treatment, not incarceration, should be the first option for veterans who commit nonviolent drug-related offenses.."
According to a recent article by William McMichael of the Navy Times, "substance abuse is the single greatest predictive factor in the incarceration of veterans. There are no solid numbers on how many veterans suffer from drug addiction — just as there are none that nail down the number of veterans currently in prison and county jails."

Read this story at:

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More about women in prison at: http//

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Every Woman

The other night, at jail ministry, we were discussing a work by writer Pamela Redmond Satran. It was originally published in Glamour Magazine under the title: "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know By The Time She's 30." Pamela admits it's her most famous piece as it has traveled around the internet and been attributed to persons such as Maya Angelou and Hillary Clinton. You can read the original article here:

The women of Block 12 added a few of their own thoughts:

Every Woman Should Know
  • How to recognize when she needs a break from the current stressful situation before she gets overwhelmed.
  • How not to set her goals too high so she doesn't get discouraged - but high enough to feel success.
  • You can't trust everyone you encounter.
  • There is a better purpose in life than being incarcerated.
  • When she needs a man and when she needs space. When she needs someone to do for her and when she can do for herself.
  • Who she is, what she wants and a plan to get it.
  • It's okay to make mistakes but even better to admit them.
  • She's not the only one who's had a broken heart, but she's the only one who can overcome it and move forward.
  • It's all right to need friendship - no one likes to be lonely- but you are never alone.
  • Her husband may not stand beside her 'til death do us part.'
  • Who she is and be secure within her own skin before seeking a permanent relationship.
  • When to say 'yes' and when to say 'no.'
  • How to let go of things that happened in the past.
  • How to forgive herself.
  • How to love herself.
Every Woman Should Have
  • Stability in her life.
  • Goals for her future.
  • Patience.
  • Enough resources of her own without always having to rely on another person.
  • Enough guts to go for any position she wants if she's qualified to do so.
  • A companion when needed, but a spiritual side that's hers alone.
  • A dog or cat. They keep your secrets.
  • Time alone to pat herself on the back and know she's appreciated.
For more information about jail ministry visit:

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