Monday, May 02, 2005

Penalogical Interest


I don't post much about my job here - none of us do - but occassionally you bump into something that's so outrageous, you have to tell the world.

On the phone with a juvenile client at the local kiddie prison. We're talking about my last correspondence with him and he tells me that the guards had removed some of my letter to him. The letter was attached to copies of the evidence (discovery) in his case. Enraged, I spoke with the director of security for the facility. He tells me that they have a "penological interest" in preventing contraband in getting to the kids through the mail.

"What, in heavens name, could possibly be considered contraband in privileged correspondence from his attorney?" I asked so drily that three bottles of vermouth recoiled in horror.

"Well, the package contained a picture of the victim (a guard) and his home address. That's not information that we give out to the kids. They could use that to harm the guards or their families when they get out."

My next three questions were all answered with the phrase "penalogical interest" so I terminated the phone call. Motion and Demand for Injunctive Relief to follow.

Oh, and the guard's home address? It's in the fucking phone book.

Nobody familiar with the penal system was surprised by the abuses at Abu Ghraib:

[Judge] Pohl asked if she [Pfc. England] thought the leash was a legitimate way to control the detainee.

"I assumed it was OK" because he was an MP, England said of Graner. "He had a background as a corrections officer."

Pat Robertson said something monumentally stupid today - but that's no longer blogworthy.

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