This Saturday, March 17, 2012, Think Outside the Cage having two special guests, Kenneth Hartman and Jane Dorotik.
Kenneth Hartman, at age 19, killed a man in fist fight while being both drunk and drugged-up. He is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Over the past years Kenneth has been moved about to six different prisons and is currently in California State Prison –Los Angeles in Lancaster.
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, currently in prison, is an Organizer serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Women. 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.