By Mike Brodheim and Alex Friedmann WITH SEVEN FACILITIES THAT HOUSE from 15,000 to 18,000 prisoners, Los Angeles County’s jail system is the nation’s largest – and, arguably, among the most dangerous in terms of staff-on-prisoner violence. The jail system, operated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), is facing an investigation by the
By Kelsey Davis
The learning experience is as life altering for the professors as it is for the pupils when the classrooms are set in prisons across central and northern Alabama.
Seeds for The Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project were planted in 2001 when Kyes Stevens, founder and director, received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to begin the program.
After Stevens received the grant, she began teaching poetry in a correctional facility, and quickly developed a passion for her incarcerated students.
“Just think to yourself, what’s the worst thing you’ve ever done in your life?” said Stevens. “Would you want to be measured by that for all of eternity? That’s not the sum total of who you are, it isn’t for all of these people.
“They’re mothers, they’re fathers, they’re brothers, they’re sisters. They like Christmas, they want to be at their kids’ birthdays, to go to their mother’s funeral, to be around their family. They want the same things we want. They’re not different.”
The New York Times recently published an editorial piece in their Sunday Review entitled “Unfair Punishments: Denying ex-offenders food stamps and welfare encourages dangerous behavior like prostitution” (Sunday, March 17, 2013). The editorial discussed the link between restricting food stamps and welfare from felons and their engaging in high-risk behaviors like prostitution in an attempt