7 Prison Documentaries That Will Blow Your Mind
Published Jan 18, 2021 I think it goes without saying that many people fear the possibility of going to prison. I surely don’t speak for myself in saying that I am deathly afraid of what could happen to me if I ever end up behind bars. Likewise, nobody ever wants to experience the rigid confinement of being locked up in a cell for a part of their lives that they’ll never get back. But it does make you wonder what really goes on in prison facilities and how prison life is like. To give us different perspectives about prisons and the justice system, we’ve come up with a list of several documentaries sure to blow your mind. 7 PRISON DOCUMENTARIES THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND 13TH 13th gets its title from the 13th amendment of the US Constitution. It mainly revolves around the pitfalls or loopholes in the amendment, which transformed slavery from a legal business model to criminals’ punishment. This documentary takes a well-educated approach to dissect the criminal justice system and mass incarceration problem in America. 13th also tackles the unsettling nature of systemic racism that’s been going on for centuries and is more relevant today than ever before. Be warned: […]
What You Should Know About the Honest Services Mail Fraud
Honest services mail fraud is far more common than you might believe. In this article, we define what it is, along with its penalties and examples.
What’s a Bail Bond? And How Do They Work?
It’s crucial to know the ins and outs of the criminal justice system in case you get tangled up in it. Read here all about bail bonds and how they work.
Probation vs. Parole: What’s The Difference?
Many people interchangeably use the terms probation and parole, but they aren’t the same thing. Here, we discuss the differences of probation vs. parole.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Court Date for Felony?
The entire criminal procedure can be taxing. In here, we answer how long it takes to get a court date for a felony along with other things you should know.
Can You Get Arrested For Having Sex In Public?
Did you know that having sex in public isn’t exactly legal? In this article we discuss the laws you might be breaking with public sex and their penalties.
What Happens When You Violate Your Parole
Parole is the conditional release and freedom of a prison inmate. Once a prison inmate enters into parole, he becomes a “parolee,” subject to a parole officer’s supervision. The purpose of parole is to reintegrate a parolee back into society, both socially and economically. But while doing so, the parolee is to abide by specific conditions of his parole. A violation of which could have serious consequences, including having one’s parole revoked. In this article, we’ll be talking about the typical conditions of parole, the consequences of violating it, and the process of handling a violation. How to avoid a parole violation Parole is a privilege, not a right. Not all prisoners will be eligible for parole. The parole board officers will start considering someone for parole after they’ve elapsed a specific amount of time in their sentence. Eligibility hinges on the type of offense and the behavior the inmate has shown behind bars. If they see that you won’t likely be a danger in society, you could very well be eligible. The best way to avoid a parole violation is by being educated on the conditions by which you must abide. The conditions will likely vary on a case-to-case […]
What is Unsupervised Probation and Will You Qualify For It?
When an offender is found guilty of a charge, the most they can hope for is getting probation. And if they can negotiate unsupervised probation, then luck is indeed on their side. By definition, probation is the release of an offender from prison subject to certain conditions. Instead of spending their sentence behind bars, the offender can go back to living their life in the outside world. It operates under the notion of prioritizing rehabilitation over punishment. But probation doesn’t mean the court is letting the offender get away with his/her crimes. Most probations have a lot of conditions attached to it which the offender must follow. Any violations can almost certainly lead to jail time or steep penalties. Depending on the severity of the crime, probation conditions usually include: an order to pay a finerestitution to the victimrendering community servicecounselingparticipating in alcoholism or anger management programsparticipating in addiction rehabilitation programsweekly or monthly meeting with the probation officer Probation also varies in severity depending on how likely the offender will run away or re-offend. In extreme cases, the offender is put on home detention and a GPS monitoring device is attached to their ankles. On the other end of that […]
These 10 US States Are Locking Up More People Than The Rest Of The Country
Originally published on July 29, 2020 Did you know that the United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world? As we speak, around 2.2 million of the country’s citizens sit behind bars. For every 100,000 residents in the U.S., 655 are sent to prison. This number represents the highest one among large industrialized nations. But there’s some good news. In recent years, incarceration rates have been steadily declining. In a 2018 study, the population of inmates has gone down by a decent 14.9%. From 2017 to 2018 alone, that number went down by 2.4%. Some states have significantly higher incarceration rates than others. To highlight that, here are the ten states with the highest incarceration rates (number of residents imprisoned for every 100,000 state residents). Louisiana – 695Oklahoma – 693Mississippi – 626Arkansas – 589Arizona – 559Texas – 549Kentuck – 523Georgia – 501Missouri – 495Florida – 454 Among those states, Louisiana has the highest rate of male prisoners, while Oklahoma has the highest female ones. The first six states showed an alarming number of male imprisonments, each having over 1,000 (per 100,000 male residents). The same research also studied incarceration by race. The number of Black and Hispanic prisoners has […]
Age of Consent in New York: On Statutory Rape and its Punishments
Originally published on Sept 22, 2020 Under the law, the age of consent refers to the age by which a person can legally consent to sexual intercourse. This usually varies per state. In New York, the age of consent is 17 years old. This means that if you engage in sexual intercourse with anyone below 17, you’re essentially committing statutory rape – even if it’s consensual. Though the punishments vary depending on the circumstances, jail time is almost always a part of it. What Constitutes Statutory Rape? To protect minors from unknowingly consenting to sexual predators, statutory rape laws are created. They are based on the assumption that minors are not capable of giving informed consent to sexual activities. In New York, statutory rape can be classified into several sexual abuse charges depending on the circumstances. Some of them are: 1. Second Degree Sexual Abuse An offender commits second-degree sexual abuse when he/she engages in sexual contact with a victim who is: below 14 years oldabove 17 but is incapable of giving consent for any other reason. 2. First Degree Sexual Abuse This is when sexual contact happens between: a victim who is less than 13 years old and an […]
A Quick Guide to Florida’s Drug Laws
Published September 09, 2020 Florida and the United States, in general, take a tough stance against illegal drugs. In fact, 48.9% of federal convictions in Florida in 2001 alone are drug-related. The state’s proximity to drug-producing countries makes it a hotbed for the illegal drug trade. This is also why Florida’s drug laws are pretty strict. Even the simple mistake of carrying marijuana without medical prescription can land you up to a year in prison and or a $1,000 fine. The punishment, however, generally depends on which drug you are caught with. FLORIDA’S DRUG SCHEDULE Not all illegal drug convictions in Florida have the same prison time. The state maintains a drug schedule that classifies controlled substances based on their medical value and likelihood of abuse. SCHEDULE I: Substances under this schedule have no proven medical value and have a high likelihood of abuse. This includes: Acetyl-alpha-methylfentanylBenzylfentanylBetamethadolPhenadoxoneFentanyl Derivatives SCHEDULE II: These are substances with high potential for abuse and have currently accepted but severely restricted medical uses. The abuse of these substances can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. This includes: Opium or any salt, compound, or a derivative thereof;Any part of the opium poppy plantOxycodoneMorphineCocaine or EcgonaineMethamphetamine SCHEDULE III: Substances […]
What Really Goes On Inside a Minimum Security Prison
Originally Published August 20, 2020 In the US, a minimum-security prison is a dorm-type federal facility that resembles a college camp more than a prison. They are usually reserved for non-violent offenders, most of whom are white-collar criminals. Thus, minimum security prisons are also referred to as “Club Fed”. But contrary to popular belief, life inside a minimum security prison is far from luxurious. Yes, minimum-security inmates may have it better than most in some aspects. But the problems that inmates face in other facilities also exist in minimum-security prisons. Former inmates have reported incidents of abuse by jail guards. And although the population is classified as “non-violent”, riots and murders still do happen. Albeit, at a lesser frequency than higher security prisons. So, the rumor that inmates are living the time of their life in these prisons is all a myth. To give you a better perspective of what really goes on inside a minimum-security prison, we dug into official statistics and inmate testimonies. Here’s what we found. PRISONERS As mentioned, minimum-security prisons are reserved for non-violent offenders. In other words, those people who have committed crimes of non-violent nature. This is why most white-collar criminals end up in […]
Are You Committing a “Serious Felony” in California?
Originally Published August 20, 2020 Each state has different laws when dealing with crimes. In California, some felony offenses can have serious consequences. The state’s Penal Code 1192.7 provides that certain crimes are automatically considered as a strike offense. This usually applies to serious felony charges. But simple misdemeanors may also count as a strike offense depending on the aggravating circumstances. Under California’s three-strikes law, the more strike offenses you commit, the longer your prison term will be. If you are convicted of a strike offense and have had a prior conviction for a serious felony, your prison term will be doubled. If you are convicted of a strike offense for the third time, expect a sentence of at least 25 years to life imprisonment. SERIOUS FELONY UNDER PENAL CODE 1192.7 Not all felony charges are considered as a strike offense. Penal Code 1192.7 specifically mentions the following crimes as a serious felony and shall be treated as a strike offense: murder or voluntary manslaughter;attempted murder;arson;mayhem;rape;commission of rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person;kidnapping;carjacking;sodomy or oral intercourse by force, violence, duress, menace, the threat of great bodily injury, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another […]
Federal vs. State Prison: Which is Better?
Originally Published August 14, 2020 The United States is infamous for imprisoning the most people in the world. For every five prisoners globally, one of them is American. With over 2.2 million inmates, the US incarcerates about 0.7% of its population. To put that statistic into perspective, around 7 in every 1000 Americans is put behind bars. But not all prisons are the same. There are 122 federal prisons and 1,719 state ones. Where you end up depends on many different factors like where you did the crime and what laws you violated. WHEN CAN YOU BE SENT TO STATE PRISON, AND WHEN CAN YOU BE SENT TO A FEDERAL ONE? The main distinction is that violation of state laws send you to state prisons, while violation of federal laws can send you to federal ones. The nature of crimes that violate state laws is generally more violent than the ones that violate federal laws. These crimes can include murder, rape, and gun-related offenses. These are violations done in one state only and are handled by that state’s authorities. Violations against federal laws, or federal crimes, comprise of crimes committed across state borders and against government institutions and agents. Other violations include white-collar crimes, like money laundering, fraud, and racketeering. Some crimes can be both state and federal crimes, depending […]
Prison Love: Romantic Poems For Your Boyfriend in Jail
Originally Published August 14, 2020 Loving someone whom you can’t be with physically takes courage and determination. Even more so if that one person who makes your heart beat is struggling behind prison bars. You yearn to be with them, hold them tight, and hear their laughter. But aside from a few phone calls, you’ll have to content yourself with letters that usually take days to arrive. At least until you can be with them again. This is why what you write in that letter is very important. It’s one of the few ways you can express how you feel. It’s how you can make them feel loved and reassure them that someone is waiting for their return. If you’re struggling to put emotions into words, sending them a love poem or two can also do the trick. Here are some samples of romantic poems you can send to your boyfriend in jail. MY PRAYER by: Tina Fortner The words in this poem sum up the struggle, anxiety, sadness, and desperation of someone with a loved one in prison. Excerpt: I feel a tear run down my face As I sit in this quiet, lonely place. I think of you […]
10 Famous Prisons That Left a Mark in History
Originally Published July 29, 2020 Walls tell stories. People remember buildings for many different things. Some people remember them for their unique architecture, but more often than not, it’s the stories that stick. Prisons are riddled with unbelievable tales of bloodshed, conspiracy, and great escapes. These tales have made them famous, earning them a place in the history books. These are 10 of The Most Famous Prisons That Left a Mark in History. ALCATRAZ ISLAND Also known as The Rock, Alcatraz is one of the most fortified prisons in the world, located in San Francisco Bay, California. If you’re a prisoner planning to escape, the security is only the beginning of your concerns. This island is surrounded by treacherous waters that reach temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If that isn’t enough to trouble you, the currents are incredibly strong, sometimes bringing you out towards the Pacific. In the mid-1900s, it housed some of the most notorious civilian prisoners. Among these prisoners were Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and “Birdman” Robert Stroud. The prison was later abandoned in 1963, following problems with transporting freshwater. Nowadays, Alcatraz serves as a famous tourist spot, open to the public. DEVIL’S ISLAND To say this prison has […]
The Different Types of Prisons in the US Explained
Originally Published July 16, 2020 Not all crimes deserve harsh punishments. In the same vein, not everyone who broke the law deserves to be treated as savage criminals. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), there are over 2.2 million inmates in the US as of 2016. About 80% of whom were convicted crimes of varying severity. While the remainder is still awaiting their trial. Of the entire inmate population, only about 39% are charged with violent crimes. A large percentage committed crimes ranging from driving under the influence (DUI) to simple burglary and car theft. With these numbers, it’s obvious that these people have different needs when it comes to security and punishment. Fortunately, the government has realized this in the past few decades. They figured out that incarceration should focus more on rehabilitation and punishment. As such, mixing non-violent criminals with violent ones will only make the former more indoctrinated. Instead of giving them a proper environment for rehabilitation, you’ll just be exposing them to violent behavior. This goes for young offenders too. Putting them in adult prison can reduce their chances of reintegrating successfully back into society. This is why there are various types of correctional facilities in the US. […]
How Incarceration Affects Child Custody
Originally Published July 16, 2020 Getting convicted of a crime is never easy, especially when you’re a parent responsible for more than your own life. Incarceration significantly changes the entire balance of both your life and your child’s. It affects child support, visitation, and custody for the incarcerated parent. IF ONE PARENT GOES TO JAIL, DOES THE OTHER PARENT AUTOMATICALLY GET CUSTODY? Custody can depend on several factors. The first is if any arrangements were made after the parent was convicted. The court then proceeds with the prior agreements if they’re in the best interest of the child. Here’s a list of guide questions as to what “best interest” means. If none were made, the other parent could claim custody rights if the court sees them fit. Should the other parent be unfit, the court may assign the child to another relative or place them in foster care. DOES INCARCERATION TERMINATE THE INCARCERATED PARENT’S CUSTODY RIGHTS? Not necessarily. Depending on the gravity of the conviction, the court could temporarily suspend the parent’s rights until they finish their term. The length of the incarcerated parent is also crucial in determining custody rights. These two factors generally determine whether the incarcerated parent may keep custody. WHAT CAN TERMINATE THE INCARCERATED […]
Second-Degree Rape: Definition and Punishment
Yes, Children Can Go to Jail in the US
Originally Published July 9, 2020 We tend to think of children as naive and guileless. Even when they commit mischiefs, most of us would just shrug it off and blame it on their youth. But what happens when they commit a heinous crime? Depending on their age and the crime they’ve committed, they can be called either delinquents or criminals. Either which, one thing is for sure: they’ll be incarcerated. Delinquents will go to juvenile detention centers. While criminals go to adult prisons. Strictly speaking, a juvenile detention center is more like a camp than a prison. The conditions are much more humane and the focus is on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The children also receive various interventions to make them better members of society. Still, it curtails their freedom and separates them from their family and friends. In some cases, the children spend years inside the detention centers. And if they’ve committed a particularly heinous crime, they continue serving their sentence in adult prisons once they come of age. In essence, they are still prisoners albeit much better treated. THE DEFENSE OF INFANCY Around the world, many countries have laws that follow the doctrine of doli incapax. Under this, children […]