UPDATED 12/31/17 : Judge Richard Posner  – one of America’s greatest and most quoted jurists – confirmed what I had already discovered in his exit interview upon leaving the federal bench: Judges do not even read documents – cases – filed by those without counsel. Now keep in mind that more than half of such cases are filed by inmates, many complaining of significant abuses. Need I say more about massive indifference?!

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When I got out of prison one of my first phone calls was to 60 Minutes in NY. I got an associate producer who asked me what topic I was calling about. When I said “prison abuse” he said “nobody wants to hear about that”!  I said “BINGO” and he hung up.

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I have SEEN far too many officials with their heads in the sand concerning the problem of prison abuse. Some actually think: “they’re (inmates) just criminals, they deserve anything they get”. The indifference and the “they deserve it” attitude are both tragic mistakes. The main reason why these abuses persist is NO ACCOUNTABILITY, due to this massive indifference!

Another is that many do not know.  So get your butt busy for 20 minutes once a month and send a LETTER TO THE EDITOR! Click on that tab and see dozens of examples and simple instructions! 

Judges who otherwise are good judges, will not acknowledge and correct the abuses in our prisons. They routinely ignore the law and often misstated the facts to make these cases “go away” = dismiss them! It is nothing short of outrageous, and details will be in my book.

Read It’s Not About What They Did to Me

 

You should care; things should change, and here is why:

 

The rule of law is what makes this country respected and revered around the world – the notion that the law, its criminal laws and its freedoms (the Constitution), applies to everyone. Watergate was a dramatic example of these principles at work. What goes on in our prisons is a dramatic example of these principles being ignored. The law must apply, and BE applied, inside those walls.

The abuses are counterproductive: (a) they are unnecessary (there are ample systems and procedures in place to properly and lawfully handle the worst inmates!) (b) Inmates who repeatedly witness crimes by “officers”, with their conduct going unpunished, lose respect for the law. Indeed, as I have seen, some develop a deep disrespect hatred for officers. (c) Is this making prisoners less dangerous when they emerge? The opposite. We recently saw the men in Sussex County and in MD shooting into homes where they saw police cars parked because “they came out of prison angry at cops”! In L A, police shootings are at an all time high – I understand why.

If you put a gorilla in a cage, tormented it every day, do you think it is going to come out and give you a friendly hug? Hell no.

It could be anyone – your sister, son, daughter, niece etc. in there for a DUI offense or for having a joint in their pocket.

How about – IT IS JUST PLAIN HORRIBLY WRONG!

 

Failure to prosecute and imprison offenders – any group of criminals, only encourages them to keep committing crimes!
It costs taxpayers a fortune – tens of millions of dollars – in the constant hiring and training of COs because many who want no part of what they see quit, and in the defense of scores of lawsuits filed annually by abused inmates. The AG’s office here in Delaware has at least 4 or 5 lawyers who work full time to make these cases “go away”. On top of that add all the court costs etc. Of course, the AG should be prosecuting the very scoundrels his office defends! The office defends them because DOC is a state agency; nevertheless, this is a blatant conflict of interest.

 

Constantly ignoring this problem makes no sense, is doing more harm than good, and is unsound public policy! For many reasons, the massive indifference is a massive mistake.

“Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world, that only dimly enters our awareness…….When prisoners emerge from the shadows to press a Constitutional claim; they invoke no alien set of principles drawn from a distant culture. Rather, they speak the charter upon which all of us rely to hold official power accountable. They ask us to acknowledge that power exercised in the shadows (I add: against virtually helpless individuals!) must be restrained at least as diligently as power that acts in the sunlight “ Olene v, Estate of Shabazz, 482 US 342,354-355, 107 S. CT. 2400, 96 L.Ed. 282 (1987)

Sincerely,

Ken Abraham, Former Prosecutor 1974-1979, 430 Kings Hwy, Dover, DE 19901 302-423-4067

 

Make no mistake about it; medical neglect, often done so maliciously, is a form of prison abuse.

 

WATCH THIS EXCELLENT 4 MINUTE CBS VIDEO

CBS News video on “Health Care” in our Prisons

I am a phone call away; 302-423-4067

I have SEEN far too many officials with their heads in the sand concerning the problem of prison abuse. Some actually think: they’re (inmates) just criminals, they deserve anything they get. The indifference and the “they deserve it” attitude are both tragic mistakes. The main reason why these abuses persist is NO ACCOUNTABILITY, due to this massive indifference!

Another is that many do not know.  So get your butt busy for 20 minutes once a month and send a LETTER TO THE EDITOR! Click on that tab and see dozens of examples and simple instructions! 

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I get lots of letters published, and ghost write for others. The keys to getting your Letter published are:
1. Keep it to 250 words or fewer.
2. Do not make it about “poor little old me”. Describe the problem as one which not only affects the individual, but is a senseless or ineffective measure, policy, or law which also harms communities and society. For example, with reentry, the obstacles make it unnecessarily difficult for the individual, but also harm society by making it hard to become productive, spending money and paying taxes in the community, and they cause increased recidivism = increased crime.
3. Speak from your heart.
4. Google any facts you are not sure about.
5. Do not name-call.
Do what works: Write that Letter!
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Letter to Editor – sign name, town, state, and your phone number (they often call to verify that you sent it), and “Member of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE” if you like – shows you are part of a large group.
Send the email to yourself, and put on the “bcc” bar the email addresses for Letters to the Editor for the top ten newspapers in your state and several national ones – The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, U S A Today (google the Letter to Editor email addresses). Any questions, CALL me at 302-423-4067!
Need a Letter on some criminal justice issue and not a great letter writer? NO EXCUSE! Email me a rough draft and call me and I’ll polish it up! kenabraham3138@gmail.com .
ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME AT 302-423-4067.

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