Steve Finley

Steve Finley

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 16:13

Ministry offers ex-inmates avenue for change

The former roadhouse does more than house people needing a place to stay. It's a 10-month stopping point for many former prison inmates wanting to turn their lives around.

"Every man deserves a second chance," says Peter Schneider, director of Jesus is the Way Prison Ministries.

The ministry works with paroled prison inmates and attempts to give them not only new skills for life but a change from the inside out. "The real satisfaction to me is seeing a man's life changed," Schneider said.

He visits eight Illinois prisons, including one federal prison, and intermittently four county jails on a regular basis — not trying to drum up business but to tell inmates something many have never heard before, about the way of salvation through Christ. "We don't take offerings in the joint. We rely on donations from outside," including a fundraising banquet, Schneider said.

The men can't just show up at the door and ask for a room. Inmates must be paroled to the ministry after an intense application and interview process.

Roger Adkins of Pontiac was one of those who was accepted after initially being turned down. He soon realized the place wasn't for him.

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 16:11

Federal prison in McRae set to expand

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011
By AMY LEIGH WOMACK

McRae Federal Prison in McRae Georgia

The federal prison in McRae Georgia is set to expand.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has entered into a contract to expand the McRae Correctional Center, in Georgia, according to a news release.

CCA, a nationwide company that builds, designs and manages prisons, has entered into a four-year management agreement that will result in the facility’s 1,524 inmate capacity increasing to 2,275. The agreement allows for three two-year renewals, according to the release.
McRae Correctional Center, located in McRae, houses male minimum security inmates. CCA has managed the prison since 2000, according to the release.
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 15:46

Prison Co. Finds Way Around Taxes With Cows

Prison Co. Finds Way Around Taxes With Cows
Blog by Bob Norman
POSTED: Wednesday, October 26, 2011
UPDATED: 4:07 pm EDT October 28, 2011

The plan to build an 1,800-bed private immigration prison in Southwest Ranches has been met with protests and controversy, but town council members say the prison is needed to bring the town new revenues. Too bad it hasn't reaped much from the prison firm, Nashville-based CCA, yet. The company has gotten off dirt cheap on property taxes, paying less on the 22 acre property it bought to build the prison back in 1998 than most nearby homeowners.

By Brent Rose
Oct 24, 2011 12:00 PM

Do prison inmates surf the Internet? Do they have gadgets? Do they make gadgets? Do they make weapons? Where do they get their porn and booze?

On the outside, we enjoy lives built around the fruits of modernity. But what about prisoners? San Quentin sits on the San Francisco Bay, minutes away from the most technologically famous valley in the world, so we went to prison to find out how much of our 21st-century techno-culture has made it behind bars.

San Quentin Prison in San Quentin California

San Quentin State Prison is the stuff of legend. Hell, Johnny Cash wrote a song about it. A lot has changed since The Man in Black visited, but even more striking is what hasn't changed. Recently, Gizmodo had the rare opportunity to get inside this notorious prison. To say that it was enlightening is a serious understatement.

There are a lot of rules when you visit the slam: You can't wear blue, grey, or orange. Not a stitch: Those colors are reserved for inmates only—blue and grey for the full-time residents, and orange for guys who were still being processed and might well end up in a higher security prison. (They kept us far away from the guys in orange.) You also can't bring in a cell phone, a very coveted piece of contraband. And you most definitely cannot bring in anything that could be used as a weapon; not that they're hurting for weapons, as you'll find out tomorrow.

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 15:41

Dorn: Mentoring: caring adults and safe places

11:00 PM, Oct. 22, 2011 |
Jeffrey Dorn, Director of Shapes Mentoring Program in Missouri
Jeffrey Dorn
Tom had only been mentoring for a few short weeks and was already convinced that he was a failure. He felt this way because his mentee fell asleep in the car the moment he got picked up for this weekly outing. Tom assumed that his mentee, Robert, was bored with him and was really not interested in "hanging out" with him.

Upon some inquiries from program staff it was determined that Robert's sleeping was, in fact, not a result of boredom, but because he was in a place he felt safe.

Robert, age 5, was a mentee in the Shapes Mentoring Program. Shapes provides caring adult mentors to children of inmates living in southwest Missouri. Robert was one of these children. His father was in a Missouri prison, partially due to the fact that he abused his children.

The father would come home late at night. He would typically be intoxicated and he would enter Robert's room and hit him. Robert had learned that it was not safe to sleep through the night. Even though dad was no longer in the home, Robert's sleep patterns were still affected.

Why was Robert sleeping in Tom's car? Because he felt safe with Tom. He knew that Tom was there for him, to be a friend, confidant and mentor.

Throughout the United States there are approximately 2.7 million children who have a parent in prison.

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 15:40

Book Club for Youth in Federal Prison

Book Club for Youth in Federal Prison

Summary

Has a book ever changed your life? This project, "Books Across the Miles" will help youth charged as adults in federal prison transform their lives through books and writing. Through a "virtual book club" that explores the ways that books and writing are relevant and offers concrete tools to build on new visions, "Books Across the Miles" will help the young men of Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop choose positive futures and a success reentry.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop introduces the life-changing power of books and writing to youth charged and incarcerated as adults in Washington, DC. Because Washington, DC inmates are transferred to federal prisons across the country, books, and connections built through books, become even more vital.

How will this project solve this problem?

"Books Across the Miles" utilizes Free Minds' proven book club model to continue cultivating a strong love for reading among young inmates, allowing them to interact and discuss what they are reading with each other in a way that increases their understanding and appreciation of the book. In this program, members read the same book and engage in a written dialogue through our monthly newsletter, building a network of positive peer support as well as increased motivation for learning.

Potential Long Term Impact

When youth return home from prison with a passionate desire for education rather than the street life, the community is strengthened. "Books Across the Miles" is an innovative tool in lowering recidivism and building safer, more connected communities.

Project Message

"Thank you for donating money for books and helping us grow!! Reading has literally changed my life, and the Free Minds Book Club has played a very significant role in my personal transformation."
- Jonas, Free Minds Book Club member in Federal Prison

Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:13

Senate rejects Webb's prison reform plan

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb's proposal to form a commission to recommend widespread reforms to the criminal justice system lost a key vote Thursday in the Senate.

Webb has argued that changes are long overdue - the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, the bill notes, and half of prisoners will return to prison within three years of release. A disproportionately large share of minorities are behind bars.

Mom & Daughter With Grandson In Prison
Tammy Lohman, 39 (left), and her daughter Nikki, 20, are inmates at the Washington Corrections Center for Women. Nikki has her eight-month-old son Logan with her.Photograph by: Leah Hennel, Calgary Herald

A prison hardly seems like an ideal place to raise a baby. The barbed wire and the potential for drugs and violence aren't exactly a Disney-like environment.

Canada's federal prison system allows eligible women to keep their children for up to four years, as the Herald's Laura Stone recently reported in our Michelle Lang Fellowship series, Women Behind Bars. Detractors of the program say it exposes children to dangerous criminals. Crime victims argue it's not right, especially in cases where violent women have robbed someone else of a family member.

Except in the cases of exceptionally violent crime, and in crimes involving sexual offences or crimes against children, we disagree with those opposed to babies in jail. In the U.S., which has much more experience with mother-infant programs, researchers say it reduces crime and is ultimately better for the child.

Joseph Carlson, a criminal justice professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, completed a 10-year study on the issue and published his findings in the journal Corrections Compendium in 2009. According to a report at the time in the Daily Beast online news site, he thought such programs were "strange" when he began his research. He now believes they are "a win-win situation" for mothers and babies by reducing crime and helping inmates to reform.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 15:38

City Tele Coin

City Tele Coin

Everything you need to know about City Tele Coin. Below  CheapJailCalls.com customers can find the information they will need to use our service at facilities where the phone calls are governed by City Tele Coin. Feel free to contact us at 1.800.526.1170 for any information that can not be found here.

Like with all inmate telephone service providers the cost of the calls with City Tele Coin will vary depending on the location and kind of facility. Federal, State & County facilities have different rates and set- up rules. CheapJailCalls.com can help you save money by providing a local number to the facility where the inmate calls are originated thus avoiding the high cost of long distance collect calls if you were to set an account with City Tele Coin.  If after reviewing this information you still wish to create an account with this provider you can do so using the following option:

Prepaid Inmate Calls

By using this plan called Direct Pay you deposit funds for the inmate so that you can receive calls. You can do so online through their website or by calling them at 1-800-682-0707

Payment Methods

City Tele Coin will accept payments using Visa, MasterCard or Discover or by mail using only Money Orders. Please allow 7 to 10 business days for mailed in payments to be processed.

Mail Payments to:

City Tele Coin
4501 Marlena St.
Bossier City, La, 71111

 

Blocked Call Resolution

Some of the reasons your call might be blocked include:

  • City Tele Coin might not have a billing contract with your local telephone service provider preventing you from receiving collect calls.
  • Your local telephone service provider has a block on the line.
  • Your local telephone service provider does not allow collect calls.
  • Your prepaid collect call account has run out of funds and you need to add more

 

Dropped Calls

It is possible that your call could be dropped during a call from jail or prison. City Tele Coin does not issue credit for any calls that are dropped due to a 3-way attempt.  Some of the reasons a call would be considered a 3-way attempt and dropped by City Tele Coin include:

  • Setting the phone down hard.
  • Static on the line.
  • Pushing a dial button.
  • Allowing someone to pick up another phone connected to the line you are on.
  • Accepting a call and then trying to forward it to another number.
  • Taking an incoming call.

 

Monday, 17 October 2011 17:44

Reliance Telephone

Reliance Telephone

Everything you need to know about Reliance Telephone. Below CheapJailCalls.com customers can find the information they will need to use our service at facilities where the phone calls are governed by Reliance Telephone. Feel free to contact us at 1.800.526.1170 for any information that can not be found here.

Like with all inmate telephone service providers the cost of the calls will vary depending on the location and kind of facility. Federal, State & County facilities have different rates and set- up rule CheapJailCalls.com can help you save money by providing a local number to the facility where the inmate is housed thus avoiding the high cost of long distance collect calls that will result if you use this provider phone service. If after reviewing this information you still wish to create an account with this provider you can do so using one of the following 2 options:

Direct Billing Collect Calls

Inmate calls placed to approved telephone numbers by the correctional facility are billed to the receiving party through their regular phone bill. There is a ceiling placed by carriers as to the amount of collect calls you can receive. It varies from carrier to carrier and if you exceed the limit you are at risk of being blocked for future inmate calls.

Prepaid Collect Call Account

If they are unable to bill your inmate collect calls through your local telephone provider you must set up a prepayment account with Reliance to accept calls. When you make a payment on a telephone account we must verify your current address and billing information prior to activating the account. Please call 1-800-896-3201.

Payments Method

  • Cash/Check/Money order mailed in or dropped off
  • Visa/Mastercard/Discover/American Express by phone or mail
  • Moneygram Express Payment
  • Western Union QuickCollect
  • Wire transfer - call for details
  • Debit card (with Visa/Mastercard logo)
  • Check card (with Visa/Mastercard logo)
  • 

Moneygram Express Payment Information

  • Locate a Moneygram Agent: 1-800-555-3133 (or at any Walmart)
  • Use the Moneygram Express Payment form
  • The Receive Code is 3019
  • Your account number is the phone number you recieve calls at
  • The City and State is East Grand Forks, MN
  • You must bring cash. Moneygram's fee is $7.95 ($7.50 at Walmart)
  • You may also set up an account with Moneygram to make these payments online
  • 

Western Union QuickCollect

  • Locate a Western Union Agent: 1-800-325-6000
  • Use the Quick Collect form
  • Payment to Reliance Telephone Systems
  • Code city is INMATE
  • State is MN
  • Your account number is the phone number you recieve calls at
  • You must bring cash. The fee is usually $12.95
  • You may also set up an account with Western Union to make these payments online

Collect Call Costs

Reliance Telephone collect call costs are less that 1/2 the cost of ATT. Their rates are as follows.
Local Call: 15 minute talk time is $2.95/ call
Domestic Long Distance Call: $3.00 Surcharge for collect call and $0.37 cost per minute
Phone Card: $0.40 or $0.50 dependent on which jail the person is incarcerated at.

Blocked Call Resolution

Some of the reasons your call might be blocked include:

  • Reliance might not have a billing contract with your local telephone service provider preventing you from receiving collect calls.
  • Your local telephone service provider has a block on the line.
  • Your local telephone service provider does not allow collect calls.
  • Your prepaid collect call account has run out of funds and you need to add more

 Dropped Calls

It is possible that your call could be dropped during a call from jail or prison. Reliance does not issue credit for any calls that are dropped due to a 3-way attempt.  Some of the reasons a call would be considered a 3-way attempt and dropped by Reliance include:

  • Setting the phone down hard.
  • Static on the line.
  • Pushing a dial button.
  • Allowing someone to pick up another phone connected to the line you are on.
  • Accepting a call and then trying to forward it to another number.
  • Taking an incoming call.