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Showing posts from June 21, 2015

My Daughter Has Felony Drug Convictions Now What?

Why Prison Reform Is Good for All of Us

David Chura
Teacher, Author, "I Don't Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup"

Suggest that the way to end recidivism is to reform the prison system, and you might be accused of caring more about criminals than the crimes they commit.

It's happened to me. Often when I write or give a talk about my work with minors in adult prison, I describe the deplorable conditions in which inmates live, and advocate for reform of those conditions. Inevitably someone comments (and not always politely) that I'm "soft on crime," that I don't care about victims. But this is how I see it.

Given our present prison system with its emphasis on punishment and retribution, everybody suffers. Inmates, correctional officers, victims, the average citizen and taxpayer.

Prisons are violent, toxic places. They are often overcrowded and smelly with the soup of open toilets, the effluence of crammed together bodies under stress with little or no physica…

Terri-Lynne McClintic Canada

My next book will be about Terri-Lynne McClintic, a Canadian version of Judith Neelley or Janeen Snyder. She, in conjunction with her boyfriend, Michael Thomas Rafferty kidnapped, raped and murdered a tiny little girl.  Terri-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. She was sentenced to life in prison in 2010.

These cases with young impressionable girls who murdered alongside much older, violent men are concerning enough but what interests me about Terri-Lynne's case is her own violent and troubling childhood.

Small, sweet Tori Stafford was only eight years old when the murderous pair abducted, sexually assaulted and killed her in 2009. “I savagely murdered that little girl,” said McClintic during her trial and she shocked the entire courtroom with her admission of guilt. Testimony abounded showing her devious ways throughout her life, including microwaving her own dog until it screamed in pain. She has very obviously been a troubled child long before she committed …