Prison rarely changes one’s life for the better. That much we know to be true. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that about three quarters of former inmates are re-arrested within five years of their parole.
As metal gates swung open and then shut behind him, Are Høidal, the warden of Norway’s Halden prison, peered down the long, echoing main corridor of the State Correctional Institution-Chester, a medium-security prison a half-hour outside Philadelphia. Coming from what has been called the world’s most humane prison, Høidal said practices here in Pennsylvania can at times seem unaccountably harsh.
Twenty-four hours a day for 10 weeks, inmates in maroon uniforms with “D.O.C.” stamped on the backs held a death vigil over Frank Rodriguez. His colon cancer was terminal, but he refused to die – not behind the barbed wire and bars of Graterford Prison.
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• Pennsylvania training mentally ill inmates to help others on the cellblock
Read it now: The Reentry Project Weekly: August 11, 2017
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Way up in Northeastern Pennsylvania near the New York state border, SCI Waymart houses the state’s most seriously mentally ill prisoners – those serving time while suffering with schizophrenia, major depression and other disorders. If you go through the metal detectors and down a winding series of hot, echoing hallways in the Wayne County prison, eventually, you’ll find a classroom.
The Beyond the Walls: Prison Healthcare and Reentry Summit brings together the communities that are affected by the parallel crises of HIV and mass imprisonment. These are the stories of those affected by the prison healthcare system.