Jets playing in the sunset - I took the dogs out to the western fields to let them have a good run and I was watching the jets from the air base playing in the last of the light. It must be a glorious view from up there above the clouds. It was a pretty glorious view from my spot too.
Leave a Dollar, Become Immortal - never fogotten
A friend has a ramada in the backyard and everyone that visits is welcomed to leave their dollar behind so they will be remembered. I told them it is also a good way to know you will never be broke. I thought it was a pretty cool tradition and we put our dollars up and now we, too, are “immortal.”
Tiny Garden, Big Yield - just a small piece of the yard turned into a garden for cooler months. During the summer, this is where the above-ground pool goes. Fresh snap peas and chili peppers, and some squash.
The stark change in landscape, from the islands to the desert, is just part of the shock for prisoners like him. Time and again, studies have shown that contact with friends and family helps to lower recidivism rates but for many of these Hawaiian prisoners, visitations are an impossibility; a $2,000 trip to a desert penitentiary is a hard financial pill to swallow for most prisoners’ families.
Kaiana Haili has observed the struggles of native Hawaiian prisoners like Delbert firsthand. Every year, he travels to Eloy to conduct Makahiki (Hawaiian new year), and was instrumental in getting Hawaiian language and hula classes into Arizona prisons, which he believes helps the Hawaiians on the mainland cope and improves their chances of staying out of trouble when released. In spite of this, he says that the lack of contact with families, coupled with historical lack of access to opportunities, makes rehabilitation for mainland-bound native Hawaiians particularly problematic.
In part because of these issues, Hawaiian Governor Neil Abercrombie promised in December 2010 to bring all Hawaiian prisoners from the mainland back to Hawaii. The out-of-state system “destroys families. It is dysfunctional all the way around — socially, economically, politically and morally,” he said. But in June 2011 he approved a three-year, $136.5 million contract with the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) to keep about 2,000 prisoners on the mainland.
This feature will explore the hidden human costs of prison outsourcing — fractured families, loss of cultural identity, increased likelihood of recidivism — and weigh them against the fiscal benefits of the practice. We’ll follow Delbert Wakinekona on his journey through the prison system, and discover where he ended up on the other side.
HH: Something a lot of people are unaware of is that other states ship their prisoners to Arizona. Point in fact, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands don’t have many prisons, so they are shipped away. A lot of the families just move to Nevada and Arizona so they can visit their family members in prisons.
Privatization turns AZ prison system into human rights nightmare.
Salon: A new report alleges illegal and deadly mistreatment of Arizona inmates whose medical care the state contracted out to the country’s largest private prison health care provider.
The report, released last week by the American Friends Service Committee, a progressive Quaker group, comes as an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Corrections awaits an appeals court ruling over the state’s challenge to its class action status. The ACLU alleges “grossly inadequate” care that creates “grave danger” for inmates, including “critically ill” people who were told to “be patient” or “pray” for healing, or that “it’s all in your head.”
Shortly before that lawsuit was filed in March 2013, the state contracted with its current for-profit health provider, Corizon, to replace the departed company Wexford. But the AFSC charges that “Correspondence from prisoners; analysis of medical records, autopsy reports, and investigations; and interviews with anonymous prison staff and outside experts indicate that, if anything, things have gotten worse.” Among the allegations: “delays and denials of care, lack of timely emergency treatment, failure to provide medication and medical devices, low staffing levels, failure to provide care and protection from infectious disease, denial of specialty care and referrals, and insufficient health treatment…”
Asked about the report, Corizon sent astatement saying that since March, it has “increased the number and skill level of our healthcare staff with the goal of continually improving patient outcomes.” Corizon said that its facilities are accredited and subject to internal audits, and that “ADC inmate patients receive care that meets their healthcare needs and satisfies constitutional requirements.” It added that “As with any large healthcare provider, litigation does arise from time to time. However, the vast majority of lawsuits filed against Corizon are without merit and are dismissed or settled with no findings of wrongdoing.” The Arizona Governor’s office did not immediately respond to an early morning Wednesday inquiry.
Part of the problem is that the prison-industrial complex is ripe for abuse. When you mention “people in prison,” people’s brains short circuit and they hear “people who deserve it.” For some reason, they imagine these sorts of things happening to rapists, murderers, or child molesters and forget that other, less terrifying people are in prison too.
The other part is that privatization is largely a scam. Prison health was the province of government for decades, with medical staff being employees of the Department of Corrections with the occasional visiting doctor from private practice.. The idea that corporations can do things cheaper than government is an offense to simple math, since government is non-profit and corporations are for-profit. Government can — and does — provide services at cost, while the private sector needs cost-plus-profit.
But that’s just your standard “everybody does it” level of government corruption, where you rip off taxpayers to send some easy business someone’s way and they help you out around election time. This is not that — or rather, it is that and much, much more. It’s not hyperbole to call this evil. People should go to the prisons they’ve turned into nightmares over this. The Justice Department should step in and shake out the prisons and the Arizona government and prosecute anyone and everyone remotely responsible for, or even aware of, this monstrosity. This isn’t some penny ante government corruption, this is a human rights abuse case.
HH: Lots of cronyism in a huge corrupt system. Most of the prisons are built in far distant areas where no one sees them, which makes it easier to have it run rampant.
Thinking there are so many problemds in the state right now, it is easy to run the shell game.
Watching the birds in the sky - it’s been raining for three days in the desert, so I had to trudge through some mud in the fields today, but I was watching the skies and the birds seemed happy to be flying free now that the rain stopped.