Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"FROM BEHIND BARS" - A Series, Part 8

Photo - The Atlantic
This is the tenth in a series of letters written by someone who is currently in the custody of the Connecticut Department of Correction.  (Links to previous letters are at the bottom of the page.)  There are more than 50 of them, going back for a number of years.  One per day, Monday thru Friday will be published until we catch up to the present day.

Those following this series will observe that they started out rather "slow" and that as time goes by, they become more and more personal, revealing the emotional and physical distresses faced by those committed to Connecticut's prisons.  These distresses are not confined (no pun intended) to just the prisoner,  but extend to the prisoner's family and friends. 

Day 103

Most of us likely don't know anyone who is incarcerated, much less do we correspond with someone who is.  These letters are being submitted anonymously and have been, and will be, redacted to protect the privacy of the writer and the writer's family and friends.

After examining the trial transcripts and speaking extensively to others who have first hand and intimate knowledge of the matter, I am of the opinion that this person is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, his council being incompetent and ineffective.

Given that the reader has no knowledge of this person or the facts or circumstances surrounding this person's case, the editor asks that readers keep an open mind and take the letters at face value.  Because the purpose of publishing these letters is not to bring condemnation or ridicule to the parties affected, such comments will not be published.  Please keep comments civil.


To access this entire series, use the search field at the top of the page.  Enter exactly; "FROM BEHIND BARS" - A Series, then click. Then, choose "sort by date".
Part 1
Part 2 
Part 3 
Part 4
Part 5


  1. I'm hoping this series will raise awareness to the goings on withing our state prisons. Incarceration is punishment enough for most, (while some deserve death or worse) but as we all know, people are regularly wrongfully convicted (as was the letter writer) or given extreme sentences for minor offenses and victim-less crimes.

    Prisoners deserve, as human beings, to be given proper nutrition, and since they are unable to provide it for themselves, decent medical care, not to include sex change operations, and enough recreation to preserve their mental health.

    What goes on in our prisons amounts to neglect, abuse and borderline if not outright torture.

  2. Do you know of anyone dying in a CT prison because of the conditions, food or treatment? Not an inmate having an issue with another inmate or CO, a person dying from malnutrition or lack of exercise.
    Personally I don't really give a hoot about what they eat.
    I care about children, veterans, the disabled and elderly before criminals!
    All of the aforementioned's budget gets cut every fiscal year!
    From what I understand, prisons are privatized and the amount that the state gives for each prisoner, they should have decent meals and medical care. Better than our children do anyway.
    The priorities of the Insider are backwards!

  3. To anonymous at 9:14

    1) Please explain your perception of the priorities of the Insider
    2) As far as I know, prisons in CT are NOT privatized.
    3) You are right, though, what the state, (you and I) spend on each prisoner, they should have decent meals and medical care. They do not. What does that tell you about how the state manages YOUR tax dollars?
    4) Answer these questions: True or false - No one has ever been wrongfully convicted. The judicial system is perfect and all prosecutors and judges are only interested in the truth, justice and the American way.
    5) Everyone convicted of a crime deserves to be made to suffer, regardless of whether or not they were convicted justly.

  4. 1) I don't read the Insider. I was sent to this blog link(s) by a friend and asked for my opinion on your comment about how the prisoners are treated. I apologize for my blanket statement.
    2) Are they not? I hope it stays that way!
    3) What medical care are they not receiving? Isn't it a law that prisoners have to receive treatment for conditions and injuries?
    4) When did I saw this?
    Of course people are wrongfully convicted. Just recently a man received a settlement from the state for this exact thing.
    You're being dramatic and getting way off topic.
    I said no such thing.
    5) Again, I said no such thing.
    Don't put words in my mouth. Stay on topic.

    Answer me this: Do you think that prisoners should take president over school children, the elderly, disabled and veterans?
    Seeing as how I don't read your blog, can you link me to any articles YOU'VE written about this?

  5. Roughly $316.5 million of tax payer money is spent each year on prisons with $50,262 spent per inmate. 70% of that cost goes to correction officer's pay and benefits.
    My friend works as a CO and she makes most of her income on overtime alone!
    This is the major issue, in my opinion. I suggest they hire more CO's and limit the allowed overtime. I mean, can a person really perform her job at full capacity if she's been working 17 hours straight? Why should the tax payers foot the bill for CO's working limitless OT?
    And what, if anything, would the union do if the OT was limited?

    I thought more about your previous question and yes, some prisoners should be tortured for their crimes! Not by the prison staff, but I wouldn't lose sleep over other prisoners giving a child rapist or a murderer of elderly people hell everyday!

  6. To Anonymous at 10:39

    1) Apology accepted.

    2) Yes, let's hope prisons are not privatized; it has lead to corruption in other states, PA for example. There was a judge there who received kick backs from prison officials for sentencing juveniles. Absolutely horrible.

    3) Prisoners often do not receive proper medical care. The medical staff are way understaffed and many are apathetic toward the needs of the patient. Continue following this series and more details will arise.

    4/5) I'm glad you acknowledge there are flaws in the system. It isn't really off topic insofar as it is not up to prison officials to deliberately or negligently inflict suffering on prisoners beyond their loss of freedom.

    I didn't say that you said any of those things. The questions were rhetorical.

    Your question, "Do you think that prisoners should take president over school children, the elderly, disabled and veterans?" is not a question that can be answered with a simple yes or no. How do we decide which human being's needs take precedent over anothers? I say this as a veteran, father of a wounded warrior, son of elderly parents and close friend to someone totally disabled.

    America has more people in prison per capita that many totalitarian countries, i.e. China. It seems that in the land of the free, there is something wrong with that picture.

    I myself have not written any articles on this topic. These letters are presented for the purpose of providing a glimpse of life behind bars from the standpoint of this one prisoner. As is stated in the intro to the letters, I'm thoroughly convinced this man is totally innocent.

    I will provide this link to an article I wrote, though, which I think you will appreciate, given your concern for veterans, one shared by the Insider.

    Answer me this:
    Seeing as how I don't read your blog, can you link me to any articles YOU'VE written about this?

  7. To Anonymous at 10:54,

    Thank you for providing those figures. The system is broken. How do we fix it?

  8. For those who don't usually follow the Insider: While often controversial and definitely partisan, (opposing points of view are welcome) the Insider is truly committed to community service and helping those in need. It goes beyond mere reportage; we're involved, hands on. In addition to the link above, Here are a couple other links that may interest the reader:

  9. I don't have a blog. But I have volunteered in various organizations over the last 15 years that include veterans, the elderly and especially tutoring children in urban schools.

    Honestly I think if we invested more in education and community services, there would be less people going to prison. The system is broken way before people become old enough to be sent to prison or juvenile detention.

  10. I would like to comment on this subject.You will rarely ever read or hear of abuse in CT. prisons because no information of anything and I cannot state that strongly enough is allowed outside the fence.Even a small breach brings severe retribution.In almost any instance media gets no further than the gates. If one disbelieves there is abuse on every level of a prisoners life simply Google the topic and you will find horrendous events across this nation.Many times causing unnecessary suffering before death.Are we not better than this?

  11. Here is a chilling event that is becoming all too frequent in our society and most often is pushed under the rug out of sight. Google Dennis Austin Rape. Huffington Post.Beyond belief.

  12. Anonymous at 8:10:

    I did as you asked, and here are some of the results of that search (the story is shocking):

  13. To anonymous at 1:31

    I think you are on to something. We do need to "invest" more in education and community service. But the "We" must be "We the People" as individuals, not "we" as in the government. Government is inherently corrupt and inefficient, as our Founders realized. They provided a mechanism to check the system and for change, but the People have become complacent an apathetic. They seem to have abdicated their power in exchange for a false sense of security.


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