prisoners

ANSWER: Statistics on high school diploma or GED of women prisoners in 1970s

answer: 

A start on this major research project might be the Google search: "female inmates" "prior education", which gets 36 unique hits (of 68), including:

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Answer: How would I find out the female prison population in Massachusetts in 1971, 1972, and 1973? )

answer: 

I found a couple of reports on the Massachusetts Dept. of Corrections website that might be helpful -- one concerns commitments of women at the state level (http://www.mass.gov/Eeops/docs/doc/research_reports/237_commits.pdf), the other at the county level (http://www.mass.gov/Eeops/docs/doc/research_reports/219_commits.pdf)-- between 1970-1980, broken down by year. The state-level report mentions alternative sentencing practices, but in terms of data, the breakdown is between three types of sentences: county, reformatory, and prison. From what I can tell from my (admittedly cursory) reading, the county report mentions alternative sentencing but does not provide data about how many women received alternative sentences.

For additional data or reports published before 1976, the DOC website suggests that researchers contact the Research and Planning Division via email: research[at]doc.state.ma.us. The Division's phone number is (978) 405-6677.

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Resistance Behind Bars, new book by Victoria Law

I don't think I ever got around to this when Vikki's book first came out, but Alison Lewis's nice review in the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) Newsletter reminded me to do it now.

Basically I'm saying, "Yay! Radical Reference helped someone write a book!"

QUESTION: how would I find out the female prison population in Massachusetts in 1971, 1972, and 1973?

question / pregunta: 

How and where would I find the number of women imprisoned in Massachusetts in 1971, 1972, and 1973? (I understand that the Massachusetts Department of Corrections had planned to phase out its female prisons by April 1973. If this did indeed happen, how would I find out the number of women sentenced to prison alternatives that year?)

prevalence of AIDS in prison as opposed to prevalence on the outside?

answer: 

Dept of Health and Human Services>
CDC>Correctional Health

http://www.cdc.gov/correctionalhealth/ID_HIV.htm

Features "HIV in Prisons, 2004" report

Reports the number of female and male prisoners who were HIV positive or AIDS active, the number of AIDS-related deaths in State and Federal prisons, a profile of those inmates who died, and a comparison of AIDS rates for the general and prisoner populations.

I think that should do it or at least get you on your way.

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ANSWER: Hunger strike at FCI Talahassee in 1998

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It would be VERY difficult to prove this did not happen, but based on our searches of newspaper databases, we have to wonder if this may be an incident that happened elsewhere. Lexis Academic, as indicated in our earlier answer, gets nothing in major news sources. Even if we select "Florida News Sources", and search: tallahassee and federal correctional (dates Jan 1, 1997-Dec 31, 1999), we get 7 very unrelated articles. Even a VERY broad search: tallahassee and federal correctional and hunger and strike (all dates) gets 1 hit, with the prison in part of a news summary, and a widely separated news note on a hunger strike at Ft. Benning in 1990.

In Factiva, the search: tallahassee and "federal correctional" and hunger and strike (all dates) gets only 3 hits. The only connection to FCI Tallahassee is a mother who staged a hunger strike at a prison camp in Coleman, Florida, and got moved to FCI Tallahassee in January 2000.

So unless the person or source that gave you this information can give you more hints about it (possibly a different prison near Tallahassee?), your only recourse would be to do an investigation of potential sources of information (people) around the Tallahassee area. Possibly Florida prisoners' rights organizations could give you names of people to ask.

Jim Miller
[email protected]

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ANSWER: white prisoners

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There are several good ways that you could find journal articles that cover studies that have been done on the economic status of white prisoners. You can do exploratory searching using Google Scholar (like this one)and take note of the articles and journal names of interest - then using New York Public Library's catalog, you can look up whether the library has the journal.

Another, more targeted, approach is to go into the library (the SYBL business library branch) to use the electronic journal article data base called "Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS)" - you can plug in the phrases "*Crime and criminals - Economic aspects" and "Prisoners -- Economic conditions" as searched in the "Descriptor Field".

I tried this and got the following promising looking article from the journal "Corrections Management Quarterly":

Henry, D. Alan. "The impact of financial conditions of release on jail populations." Corrections management quarterly 3(1999):28-34.

Lastly, you can get good summary statistics of prison populations and various socioeconomic variables from this page at the US Department of Justice

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QUESTION: Dangerous prisoners

question / pregunta: 

I am taking a class in Criminal Justice and Christian Theology, and it has raised a question for me. As we discussed the question of reforming the current prison system vs. abolishing it and starting over, several class members asked "if we shut down the prisons, what would we do with all the Charles Mansons?" I am wondering how many prisoners we are really talking about. I have heard their are about 2,300,000 people in prison in the US (as of 2005). Is there any list that tells how many of those would fall into that category of prisoner that even the most liberal persons would not want out wandering the streets?

answer

answer: 

All the news stories I found addressing the Chapel Library Project have identified it as a Federal Prison regulation. State and federal facilities do not use the same rules and regulations generally: state prisons have a plethora of different book restrictions state-to-state (more on that below) but state prisons and federal prisons media restrictions do not appear to apply to one another.

Incidentally, the new policy was recently overturned in part -- though the New York Times reports that the Bureau of Prisons has "not abandoned the idea of creating such lists.", (Banerjee, N. "Prisons to restore purged religious books" New York Times 9/27/07.)

If the facility to which you are delivering ILLs houses Federal inmates, or this prison is on contract to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, federal prison rules are likely to be an issue for you. Another RadRef member found a 2003 report submitted to the Justice Department titled Governments' Management of Private Prisons, describing the use of private prisons by both state governments and the BOP. A quote from the report:

"The most usual result, regardless of who owns the facility, is the creation of one-to-one relationship between prison operator and the state prison system. That is, the state prison system is the contractor’s sole client at the facility; the only prisoners held in the facility are those under the jurisdiction of the client state agency."

Those who are interested in the basic difference between state and federal prisons -- specifically who is sent to which -- can find more information on this Federal Bureau of Prisons web page.

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Prisoner Support Resources

All of Us or None "A national organizing initiative of prisoners, former prisoners and felons, to combat the many forms of discrimination that we face as the result of felony convictions."
ACLU Prisoners Rights "The only national litigation program on behalf of prisoners."
AFSC Stopmax "To promote and support a national movement to end the use of solitary confinement and related forms of torture in US prisons."
Anarchist Black Cross Federation "In May of 1995, a small group of ABC collectives merged into a Federation whose aim was to focus on the overall support and defense of U.S. Political Prisoners/Prisoners of War."
Battered Women’s Justice Project "Provides resources for advocates, battered women, legal and justice system personnel, policymakers, and others engaged in the justice system response to domestic violence."
Books to prisoners programs in North America
Black and Pink "Black & Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and 'free world' allies who support each other."
Break the Chains "A news and discussion forum for supporters of political prisoners, prisoners of war, politicized social prisoners, and victims of police and state intimidation."
Buddhist Peace Fellowship – Transformative Justice Program "Committed to working with prisoners, their families, and all other persons associated with the prison system to address the systemic violence within the prison-industrial complex."

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