Who’s Writing About Our Prison System? #J361Beat Blog


Prison System

Prison Cell

Alcatraz Prison Cell © CC License

Personally, I believe that the different social injustices occurring around the country in our prison system is a very hot topic. There have been numerous amounts of different events that have occurred in the recent months and people have argued that there are large social implications from, for example, large overcrowding that leads to the eventual release of inmates back into our communities.

Since the beginning of the 2012 summer, this issue has been huge for Lane County. Because of an increasing number of inmates, and a decrease in funding for the prison system, the Lane County Jail released roughly 90 inmates. I want to dig into this controversial field and see what different media outlets are writing about this issue.

Budget Crisis Closes Prison

An organization that calls themselves Prison Legal News wrote a report that shows how the debt crisis for our prison systems has become so bad, that one of our prisons was forced to close for a year.

Coffee Creak Prison

Coffee Creek Prison © CC License

New York Times/Prison Section

This is honestly my favorite source for information in our country. The New York Times provides a very accurate archive of stories written throughout the nation and the world. They have dedicated an entire section to the prison system in the United States. From here, I can attempt to find the reason behind the problem of overcrowding.

Adam Liptak

Adam Liptak is a reporter working for the New York Times covering the U.S. Supreme Court. He has written several stories on conditions in different prisons, one of his most notable being about the reduction of the inmate population in California prisons. Since he has an insight into the Supreme Court, hopefully I can find some reasons as to why our government is pushing for a reduction in the inmate population.

Twitter | @adamliptak

The Oregonian/Hard Choices

The Oregonian covers stories based on the great state of Oregon. They try and pull every article they can find to cover overcrowding in the prison system, and in one article, they partially discovered where all the money is going. You’ll be surprised to believe that it goes to more places than you thought.

Register Guard/Releasing Inmates

The Register Guard is a very convenient source for information on the local community. Here, they report of a mass release of inmates, many of which incarcerated for felony offenses, over a short period of time. They also try to uncover what led to this large release.

Greg Bolt

Greg Bolt is a reporter for The Register Guard. Over the previous summer, he wrote a series of  articles covering the roughly 90 inmate release from the Lane County Jail. This release brought the number of inmates to it’s all time lowest number for the Lane County Jail.

Karen McCowan

Karen McCowan is also a reporter for The Register Guard who specializes in courts, jails, and prisons. She wrote an article last October that shows another 35 inmate reduction from the Lane County Jail. This article might help to explain the large reduction in the Oregon Correctional System.

Oregon Department of Corrections

The State of Oregon has a division set aside solely for the prison system. There has to be answer as to why there is such overcrowding in the correctional system.

Prison Talk

Prison Talk is a website that people can go to to speak their minds about the rising problems occurring in our correctional systems. I read through several articles, and peoples’ opinions on the matter are pretty incredible. I highly encourage you to take a look at what these people have to say. They pose some interesting questions in this blog.

In the above video, current Gov. John Kitzhaber proposes his budget for the 2013-2015 fiscal years, which include the budget for the Oregon Correctional System.

Through this plethora of sources, there should be plenty of evidence as to why our correctional facilities are receiving budget cuts, that are leading to higher inmate release.

Alan Sylvestre

MW 2:00-3:50

About alansylvestre

I'm a professional videographer and photographer My interests in storytelling are related to the way people interact with governing bodies, and vice versa. I find joy in telling stories around human interest. My specialties are in videography and photography.
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