Wednesday, April 28, 2021

PRISONS :: Video link to a new effort for prison inmates.

This is  a link to a Gordon Ramsay video about creating a bakery in a prison... It was too rough from the start for me, but you may want to watch it.  Lots of people have already viewed it -- from the numbers on the page.  Let me know what you think about it, and any non-profane parts I might want to hear about.

I added a long reply about prison issues, but am not sure I want to post it here.  I have trouble with my posts being tampered with.  I need to check it.

How to change the system... it's a challenge for everyone who wants to see it happen..

I'm doing a lot of updates today... the end of the month!  So sorry.  I just keep getting "distracted" by other things, and I am praying about some other issues -- that keeps my mind struggling toward GOD.  

I will try to post once a month at least... more if I can.

In Christ,

 Deb Martin

Friday, November 20, 2020

PRISONS :: Food resources in economically challenging times

I am sure I have written about this before... where in this blog I don't know... but I have been thinking a lot about food issues, surviving on little, all the people out in the world who are having hard times with food access, and then wondering about prisons.  I have one son still in an OREGON prison.

For years I have been advocating that prisons need to raise as much of their own food as possible, as a hedge between a bad economy, budget restrictions, and disasters unknown to us at this time... like an EMP or other forms of terrorism.  Waiting until it has already happened isn't a good solution for a prison.

I also came across a book about women in farming and sent it to someone in prison as a possible option for her prison.  I suggested she start a farm there, for the prison, for inmates to buy from their own Farmer's Markets, for something to keep her busy until her release, with a great resume point.

When I was sharing with this female inmate, I started talking about gardens, then I realized every prison could grow enough chickens for their egg supplies (2 chickens for one person over the course of a year) and cooked chicken food needs.  I understand it takes about six months from chick to butchering size for the chickens we eat, and egg layers take some prep before they start laying eggs to eat.  

Egg layers only provide eggs for a few years I think.  I remember when I was younger they had "boiling chickens" at the markets, and I think they were the old egg layers.  Since big pots of soup are a good thing, and since you can boil a chicken for hours and hours and hours if you want, until it gets more tender, it could be a soup broth and a frozen prepped food option for later use.

I do remember reading somewhere that the two kinds of chickens are very different, so you have to buy them for what you need them to provide.

After I realized about chickens, I also realized you could add some turkeys for Thanksgiving and some pork for Christmas and other times of the year... bacon, sausage, loin, ham, rinds, and whatever else they make from hogs.  You could add at least one cow a year, or grow a small reproducing herd for the ongoing supply.

The idea is to make it a part of the prison... use it as a teaching tool, work experience, and helping inmates to grow their resume options.  Mentoring could happen on the way.  If you create a Farmer's Market option, inmates will learn the details of operating their own business INSIDE the prison, selling to other inmates as an event, and selling to their own commissary for everyone.  They could even negotiate contracts with their prison kitchen.

These could be the starting point, and the experience of staff and inmates could create even more opportunities.

  • Gardens
  • Chickens
  • Turkeys
  • Hogs
  • Cows

You could add some occasional meats like sheep and goats, too.  It depends on the individual prison and what they will make room for.

We don't know the future, but our government is struggling in a zillion ways.  I don't think it would cost too much to start something that would be ready for an emergency and save food money down the line.  It would be part of the normal food budget anyway.

We don't want to have prisons without food in any kind of crisis... or even in their regular daily operations.

I hope someone will see this and think about it seriously.

In Christ,

Deborah Martin

and more...

Sunday, October 18, 2020

PRISONS :: My NEW effort to post more often... recent thoughts.

It is hard to know what to say about prisons...  there are so many issues, and they exist in all prisons, even in the USA.  Prisons outside of the US seem to be MUCH worse, from what I have seen so far.  :-(

I have been watching some YouTube videos about prison issues, including Juvenile programs to try to keep kids out of the system.  It becomes a lifestyle if you don't reach them soon enough.  One program said it costs over $200K to incarcerate one person, and that the average sentence is 3-5 years.  A juvenile intervention program is trying to keep kids out of the justice system by putting them through an introductory process with a challenge to stay out of trouble, then paying those who make it $1000 a month for up to 9 months if they stay out of trouble.  School and job options are always a part of any government or non-profit program for kids at risk.  Mentoring is also so critical.  Family structures are destroyed in our time, and the kids pay a big price for the lack of good leadership in their homes.  The lack of those teen value items, like shoes or clothes or other things, is socially crippling when you don't have them.  Poverty pushes these vulnerable kids into the drug culture to get them.  Missing education keeps them on a wrong path.  It's such a complicated problem, for families and communities.

There was an article in the Yahoo News feed about a man who was sentenced for LIFE because he was angry and stole a hedge clippers -- in the South.  He was recently released after about 24 years --  but not by the courts, by the parole board (I think it was).  It's hard to imagine that man's time in prison.

Terrible sentencing events in the past have been in the news lately.  People being innocent and not able to defend themselves... put in prison for other issues.  I don't think any amount of money can compensate a human being for this loss of their life... but it helps to find your way as a free person.  I think it takes a lot of years to finally collect, so it doesn't help the immediate time after release.  Imagine living in your bathroom for tons of years and then having to fit into a new world with technology and other social changes.  It would be so hard.  I hope they have some kind of family help.

INC magazine has a current voting option for a new van.  There are four finalists.  You watch the videos and then choose the one you want to receive the van.  I chose the one called GANG FREE, INC -- a group that works in a project somewhere.  I hope this group is able to save the futures of many, many kids and their families.  In three of the four videos the  people shared their outreach efforts into their communities because of the VIRUS CRISIS we are all stuck in.  FOOD is always and issue in poor communities.  One needed the van to bring kids to their community programs.  Transportation that can be relied on is an important issue in any poverty program.  Poor people don't own good vehicles.  I guess that is why drug dealers like to have them and flaunt them.

I tried to find the other YouTube videos that were about prison issues, but there was only one... an HBO production about being RAISED IN THE SYSTEM.  If you have time to watch it, there are many moments to remember.

What I found were a lot of related topics, like poverty, government, debt, national disasters like the Great Depression.  I tend to see these as important parts of the bigger problem/s.

I am filling out my ballot today and tomorrow.  Legalizing drugs, raising taxes, and other issues are on my county ballot.  I don't know what government hopes to accomplish with legalizing the drug culture.  Drug destroy lives.  They make people incapable.  Drug addictions do NOTHING good for the world.  They help the pimps, the dealers, and the criminal elements of our world.  I keep saying the bill for this will choice will come due one day, probably sooner than anyone thinks.

I think sentencing and rehab options need to be improved.  But saying drugs are OK is not a good deal for anyone.

One issue on the ballot here is making vaping and e-cigarettes taxable.  I don't see why they are a separate category... seems to me they should already fit into the cigarette and cigar category for taxes.

Government is a strange force.

Sometimes so necessary, sometimes a foolish and corrupt organization.  How to make it into an honest and worthwhile protector of our nation, that is the goal and the challenge.

Until next time,

In Christ,

Deborah Martin

and more...