SPEAK OUT FOR JUSTICE
HOME | MIKE CAIN | WILLIE HOGAN | MANUELA THIESS
This site contains first-hand accounts of daily prison life from the perspective of the people who staff America's prisons. Some are former and some are current prison personnel from across America. Whether they are Correctional Officers or Chaplains, Secretaries or Food Service Workers, each of them has elected to sit down and share with you their perspectives of the institutions in which America incarcerates more than two million of our fellow human beings.
Some of these noble people have decided that they can no longer continue to spend a large portion of their lives helping support penal systems which brutalize and de-humanize people under the guise of public safety, while some struggle on, making small differences where they can to alleviate the wanton destruction of human lives and counting the days to their retirement.
Despite the differences in their jobs and the states in which they serve, they have two things in common: they have been employed by US to oversee the administration of our confinement facilities, and they have seen with their own eyes the events of which they write.
The people bearing witness here have decided that it's their moral responsibility to speak out about the deplorable conditions under which we Americans deny even the basic rights of the men, women and children we incarcerate.
You will read about routine senseless brutality and rape visted upon prisoners as "punishment" for infractions of facility rules by violent and brutal staff members.
You will read about murder of prisoners committed by gangs of Correctional Officer thugs.
You will read about needless suffering and death due to denial of medical care.
You will read about the garbage scavanged from train and truck wrecks, the years out-of-date packaged foods lacking in nutrition and the sick animals prisoners are fed daily.
You will read about the denial of religious freedom imposed upon non-Christian prisoners.
You will read about the smuggling into prisons of drugs, weapons and other contraband and the selling of sex by prison staff.
You will read about things even I have not yet imagined.
Some of these accounts will be given by people who are now free to speak out openly, and whose names will appear on the buttons on the left of the pages of this site. Some accounts are given anonymously because these people are still working for the prisons, and their lives as well as the lives of their families would be jeopardized by speaking out openly. These people will only be identified by the state in which they work.
In whatever way they have chosen to present their true accounts of the horrors of America's prisons, I salute them! They have the compassion and moral decency we wish ALL of the personnel employed in America's prisons had. They are the Prison Professionals who chose a career they believed would benefit mankind and learned to their sorrow that they had become part of a Dark and Evil World, completely alien to a free society.
We have made every attempt to assure the authenticity of these essays and articles, by requiring documentation from writers not personally known to us. You can therefore believe every word is true.
The people who have given their time and effort to this site have done so because they realize that prison reform is about EVERYBODY. Yes, it will benefit prisoners and their families, but it will also benefit the prison workers whose jobs will be made less dangerous and stressful in humanitarian institutions of rehabilitation. The most profound benefit will be to all of us because we live in the communities into which 90% of America's incarcerated will oneday return, made either better or worse by their confinement.
It's our taxes which pay to continue to re-incarcerate people who are forced to learn better criminal skills in order to survive their incarcerations, rather than being provided whatever skills they may need to lead successful, productive lives outside of prison. And remember that in order to get back into prison they have to victimize someone else.
It's OUR system - OUR responsibility - OUR money! Let's make it work FOR US rather than continue to work AGAINST US! The planned recidivism philosophy of our revolving door prisons MUST be reformed. We cannot incarcerate everyone forever, so we have to realize that it's OUR BUSINESS to assure that people are rehabilitated rather than dehumanized by incarceration in America's prisons, and take action NOW!