In 1994, Congress passed a crime bill that strengthened penalties for drug offenses and earmarked billions of dollars for new prison construction. Prison populations across the country boomed as a result, with recidivism rates remaining high. Drug offenses became the leading reason for incarceration, but prisons nationwide struggled to provide programming capable of breaking the cycle of incarceration, release, and rearrest.
What is the image that comes to mind when you think of a prison warden?
Katherine Thompson recently served as a policy intern with Justice Fellowship. A version of the following article originally appeared on the House of Margaret Thatcher website, and is used here with permission.
If I could attend church in prison every week, I would.
In recent years, California’s prisons have seen intense overcrowding — to the point that federal judges ruled the quality of life in violation of prisoners’ civil rights.
In 2011, Governor Brown introduced a reduction plan that included moving prisoners with nonviolent charges to county jails and probation centers.
“15 Years In Environment Of Constant Fear Somehow Fails To Rehabilitate Prisoner,” proclaims the headline. The subsequent article tells the story of Terry Raney, a recent parolee who has been reincarerated for assault and battery.
Albert Gunderson, warden of the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, seems baffled by Raney’s return to prison.