- Where we're at in America is that we fancy the notion of rehabilitation. But what touches our feelings and our approach to managing the criminal justice system is really punishment.
- How about treating sex offenders like humans?
- What You Need to Know About the New Federal Prisoner Release
Maurice Chammah, Vice
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Inmates attending a yoga class at Heidering prison, on the outskirts of Berlin. Photos by Julian Röder
September 25, 2015 | Last year, Gregg Marcantel, the secretary of New Mexico's Corrections Department, voluntarily placed himself in solitary confinement for 48 hours. He was one of a rare few who could choose to do such a thing, and it was a very Gregg thing to do—dramatic, physically demanding, good for a story. Since taking the job a few years before, Marcantel had worked to reduce the number of prisoners held in their cells for 23 hours a day, and he wanted to better understand what these prisoners actually experienced. He told a reporter, "There are just things sometimes that you gotta feel, you gotta taste, and you gotta hear, and you gotta smell."
The video footage of his two days in a 12-by-7-foot cell has an eerie intimacy. Wearing standard-issue yellow scrubs and a bright orange beanie, Marcantel, a former cop who resembles a bodybuilder, looms around the cell. He listens to the shouting and clanging outside his door, writes in a notebook, and picks at some rubbery breakfast meat. His face alternates between boredom and curiosity. He reads Night, the Holocaust memoir by Elie Wiesel, and a business book called Boundaries for Leaders.
Maurice Chammah is currently a staff writer at The Marshall Project. He has written for Atlantic, New York Times, Slate, VICE, Texas Monthly, Texas Observer, Guernica, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Full story …
How about treating sex offenders like humans? Gail Rosenblum, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune
- Many Minnesotans wonder if, finally, it’s safe to dream that a loved one will be released from the embattled Minnesota Sex Offender Program.
- Retribution and revenge do not promote public safety.
- John Oliver Gives America The Medically Accurate Sex Education It Needs.
What You Need to Know About the New Federal Prisoner Release, The Marshall Project
- Five reasons it is (and is not) a big deal.
- Prison Without Punishment