From the Inside of the Prison

Lester Holt found himself needing to address the issue of mass incarceration and found a change with his idea of the people behind bars.

These men are looking for some sort of redemption they acknowledge their crimes and realize what they have done is wrong.

What do we do when offenders may have been violent in the past but this crime happened at 16 and now the offender is still behind the bars at 45 or 50 years old?

Justice For All

Holt stayed in the prison for three days and two nights. This experience was used to bond with the people and get a story from inside a maximum security prison.

“We tried to be as unobtrusive with the cameras as possible, which allowed me to have organic conversations with people. I think we built a level of trust with those we spoke with.”

Despite the current political divide, Holt says prison reform is one issue that many Americans seem to agree on, so “this is an opportune moment” to air a program like Life Inside. 

The issue of addressing the problems is what is lacking in the system and how we address those issues going forward will determine on how we move forward with mass incarceration.

The Louisiana State Penitentiary where Lester Holt stayed

Once an inmate is in the system it is just as hard to get out. That is one of the problem with the prison system in America. American holds the highest incarceration rate and this is due to the problems within the system.

The reason for this overpopulated incarceration rate leads to many different things drug laws and bail policies that criminalize poverty, to inadequate reentry services and employment discrimination against people who have been incarcerated

That adds up to 2.2 million people behind bars in this country, including more than 11 million people who move through our local jails each year, all at a cost of $80 billion every year. 

Holt saw these people that are behind bars face to face and realized each of them had a story that needed to be told.

“I found myself getting emotional at moments and kind of wrestling with the emotions sympathy and human compassion. But at the same time, recognizing that the vast majority of these people had taken a life or more than one life.”

We, as a society, loose track that each of these people behind bars are more than just the crime they committed.

The change has to start in the community and then the reforms continue in the courtrooms and to the prison themselves.

America has to begin to change in small communities in order to create the big change of prison reform.

Kim Kardashian West Here For the People

Kim Kardashian West has made it her goal while on this journey in law school to help people that are in prison.

Kim Kardashian West has helped free 17 federal prisoners in the last three months.

West Full White House Speech

Kardashian West has a platform as an influencer so her mission to save people is only shinning the light about the prison system.

She has used their reality TV show “Keeping up with the Kardashians” to broadcast what a difference she is really making.

During season 15 KUWTK showed a special reunion between kim and one of the inmates who she helped.

Later in the episode, when Kardashian went to visit the newly freed Johnson in her hometown, Memphis, Johnson spoke to West through his wife’s phone and thanked him for his efforts. “You played a big role in this,” she said, “so thank you.”

Kardashian West is so passionate about these issues and really wants to help the people.

She felt compelled to do better and step up. She always remembered her dad helping people and this made her want to do better.

Robert Kardashian’s legacy lives on in Kim Kardashian in ways besides the strong sense of self-worth that he instilled in her. His dedication to the pursuit of justice has enabled her to take on a whole new direction in life.

Why is Kim becoming a Lawyer?

Criminal Justice Reform is one of Kardashian Wests passions and she will continue to work toward her goal of helping the American people while maintaining her image as “Kim Kardashian.”

The Huffman Jokes Continue

Felicity Huffman starting her 14 day sentence is just the beginning of her fabulous days behind bars.

The Emmy winning actress officially checked into prison on Tuesday Oct. 15 to begin her 14-day sentence for her role in the college admissions scandal. But don’t feel too bad for Inmate 77806-112 — as RadarOnline.com can reveal her comfy prison home is more sunshine than Shawshank.

The Desperate Housewives star turned herself in at a federal prison in Dublin, California – 40 miles (65km) east of San Francisco – on Tuesday.

The Top of Line Prison Stay

Huffman has received so many jokes during her trial and now entering prison. Not to mention all the jokes made at the Emmys and now her “comfy prison life.”

Those worried about Huffman should know she’s spending her days in a the all-women’s low-security prison.

In one of California’s most expensive zip codes but also “cool ocean breezes, floor to ceiling windows without bars, private rooms with televisions and computers and acres of gardens,” according to the source.

Huffmans 14 Day Stay

Operation Varsity Blues really hit hard to a lot of A list people but their time and sentence hasn’t been nearly what your average citizen would encounter.

The luxury of doing their time in grade A prisons and short sentences with higher fines is not the solution to equality in the prison system.

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are among some 50 other parents who have been charged in the scandal. Unlike Huffman, they have not pleaded guilty.

The scandal is still unfolding while parents are still denying their involvement in the admissions scandal. There is so much to come and the story is still coming out involved this scandal.

Violence is Right Around the Corner

Cyntoia Brown-Long looked at her time in prison as a moment to reflect and then give back to the community after her experience.

Brown-Long, 31, spent 15 years in prison after she was convicted of first-degree murder of Johnny Allen, a 43-year-old real estate agent, in 2004.

Brown-Long was forced into prostitution because of her “pimp” and was a victim of sex trafficking.

‘This is my boyfriend.’ And that’s exactly what I thought with Kut. I thought, ‘This is my boyfriend. I’m in a relationship. I’m his Bonnie, he’s my Clyde,’” Brown-Long said.

She thinks that sharing her story is what really is going to help the next girl who needs help in this situation.

Faith is what freed me and for a while, you know, I got lost. I became angry with the Lord,” Cyntoia said. “The prison I come from, the physical prisons, they aren’t the only prisons that people find themselves in and he can free you from all that.”

Cyntoia Brown-Long

The system is full of many different people but realizing that an inmate can have a positive effect while behind bars is life altering.

Redemption is for everyone and everyone can attain that. There are many women who are still doing this, who are still having that journey right now and they’re still stuck on the inside”

This journey of positivity behind bars is a road less traveled. An inmate simply acting upon opportunities while in the system and speaking out after their sentence might change the stigma about prisons.

What if more people were positive behind bars and had the mentality to better one another while in the system?

The Struggle of Life After Prison

The Marshall Project is a news organization that brings awareness about the criminal justice system and allows up to see the effects of prison life on inmates.

This project is a non-profit organization that addresses issues about the U.S. criminal justice system through award winning journalism and news outlets.

The struggle of adjusting to life after prison is a real issue that most inmates struggle with. The Marshall Project reports on these issues.

Short Video about the Marshal Project

In all of our work we strive to educate and enlarge the audience of people who care about the state of criminal justice.

Is there a way to make this adjustment easier? Are their resources available to inmates after they are released?

“No one should be forced to serve a life sentence after they’ve paid their debt to society,” says Koufos, adding that businesses from around the country are asking how they can tap into the talent pipeline flowing from prisons.

The odds of regaining a normal life without limitations after a prison is not something that many inmates ever see.

While I know I earned my freedom, I may be eternally undeserving of forgiveness. It’s something I continue to work toward without expectations. It’s how I live with myself.

Matthew Charles Struggle to adjust to life after prison

Matthew Charles snuggled to adjust to civilian life after being released from prison. He spent 22 years behind bars for selling crack cocaine.

Starting over isn’t easy, Charles says. But it makes a world of difference when someone is rooting for you.

The stigma and afterlife that haunts each inmate is something you cant escape but the support behind each inmate can help make the situation easier.

“Unfortunately,” Senghor said. “When people are sentenced, that sentence never ends — even when they step out of prison.”

‘Ear Hustle’ Allowing an inside edition of what daily prison life is like and the inmates life after

Central Park Five and Netflix

Netflix started releasing Prison documentaries and this tapped into a big interest of the American people.

The “Central Park Five,” as these boys became known, are the subject of Netflix’s hit true crime-based miniseries, When They See Us

These 5 young men in Central Park in 1989 one morning were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Central Park Five were Kevin Richardson, 14, Raymond Santana, 14, Antron McCray, 15, Yusef Salaam, 15, and 16-year-old Korey Wise.

These young men ended up being accused of attempted rape, assault and robbery. These young men spent over a decade in prison before the truth came out.

The reputations of the “Central Park Five” were restored when, in June of 2002, a convicted murderer and serial rapist named Matias Reyes — who was then serving a life sentence — admitted it was he who’d attacked Meili. 

When They See Us on Netflix allows the people to watch the story unfold right before our eyes.

The care about this story spoke volumes. The American people wanted an inside look at this case and When They See Us allow us to see the prison system and effect is has on people.

On June 12, the streamer said that When They See Us was its most-watched series in the U.S. every day since it premiered May 31, notable considering Netflix rarely releases its viewing data.

When They See Us was one of the most popular series on the streaming platform. Now the numbers are out, showing more than 23 million accounts worldwide have watched.

The care about real world issues is allowing these paid streaming services to tap into a new outlet for their audiences.

Prison Inmates & Kim Kardashian West

Kim Kardashian West has helped 17 people so far gain access back to civilian life after being wrongfully convicted of crimes.

Momolu Stewart is now a free man. West has worked to have Stewart’s sentence lifted and he is finally free now because of her.

Image result for D.C. PRISON
Photo of the Washington D.C. Prison

Stewart, and his co-defendant Kareem McCraney, were convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 1997 shooting death of Mark Rosebure.

Stewart though was able to take advantage of many rescues while he was in prison. He was able to take college level courses and gain a mentor. He even gained his GED while being in the prison system.

While many peoples prison experience isn’t like this, Stewart was extremely lucky.

Stewart met Kim Kardashian West in July when she visited the D.C. prison while working on a forthcoming documentary Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project. She was so moved by his story that she wrote a letter to the judge requesting his release.

“I have no doubt that if his petition is granted, that Momolu would be an asset to his community, rather than a threat to public safety,” she wrote in the letter.

This letter was the out for Stewart. This put Stewart in a place that allowed him to gain access again to his “normal” life.

Stewart will now serve 5 years probation but his prison sentence has been suspended.

Stewart told Oxygen he was honored to have Kardashian West’s support, and that he’s grateful for a second chance.

These convictions have been an asset to Kardashian West’s fame after she began her journey into Law School.

Image result for kim west
Photo of Kim Kardashian West

While Kim Kardashian West has worked hard to build an image for herself this new side has really shown that she wants to give back to her community.

Law school is not an easy task and the tasks she holds in her daily life are a lot to juggle.

“I just felt like I wanted to be able to fight for people who have paid their dues to society,” she says. “I just felt like the system could be so different, and I wanted to fight to fix it, and if I knew more, I could do more.

Kardashian West has worked to fight for what she believes in and by doing this she is helping the people in the American Prison System.

A Victory for the Innocent Man who was Killed

Amber Guyger pleaded not guilty in the case of self defense but was charged with murder and convicted of killing Botham Jean, as this is a step forward for law enforcement.

The 31-year-old Guyger, who was fired from the Dallas Police Department days after the shooting, faces a prison sentence of five to 99 years.

Guyger claims she entered the wrong apartment on accident thinking it was hers and that’s what led to this shooting. The protest really is what led to her ultimate sentencing of going to prison for life.

Guyger and Jean’s trial is something that is being looked at

“It’s okay.. I’m the same,” Guyger wrote back about the dog, just days before she fatally shot 26-year-old Botham Jean in his Dallas apartment on Sept. 6, 2018. One minute later, she texted again: “I hate everything and everyone but y’all.”

As the trial continued the evidence began to come out too. Amber was a police officer that might have mistakenly entered the wrong apartment but also race seemed to have been an issue with her.

The hurt of this family does not go unnoticed and this trial allows Guyger to be convicted is the only thing that can help their grieving.

“I have to try to keep the family together because everybody is in pain,” she said. “We had a very, very close family.”

This a trend between the Amber Guyger Trial and Botham Jean in the past 7 days

The amount of people that are looking at this case in the past 7 days, it is apparent that the people care about the trial and are happy to see that Guyger was convicted.

“It’s a signal that the tide is going to change here,” he told reporters. “Police officers are going to be held accountable for their actions and we believe that will begin to change policing culture all over the world.”

With that being said there is new hope of mending the relationship between the African American community and law enforcement.

“This is a victory for black people in America,” said civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt after the verdict was read.

The victory for the people was really what made an impact. Jean’s death was sudden, unexpected, and tragic.

His death though allowed the system to have some light in the eyes of the American people.

The Emmy Awards Address the Prison System

The Emmys spin on addressing the past and current issues in the prison system seemed to be a hot ticket conversation of the night.

The first address of the night regarding the Prison System was about the Central Park Five. This was a story addressing the 5 wrongly convicted black and hispanic teenagers who were from Harlem. These young boys ranging from ages 14-16 were wrongly convicted of a beat and rape within central park of a white woman.

Jharrel Jerome, 21, shares his glory of winning an Emmy and addresses the importance of realizing that the Central Park 5 were in attendance.

Jerome dedicated his Emmy to the five men — Wise, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana — who were seen on camera cheering, saluting and giving a standing ovation to the actor from the audience.

The Emmys allowing a story like this to be shown but also just talking about it brings a great amount of public attention to the issues within the prison system.

These 5 men who were wrongfully convicted now get to live a normal life. Only because Matias Reyes confessed to the rape and assault of Meili.

New York withdrew all charges and allowed these 5 men to go free of any further chargers. These men are now experiencing once in a lifetime oppurtunities and letting their story be heard, all while wearing designer suits.

On a lighter note, the second address of the night regarding the prison was Felicity Sanders.

The joke of the night was, Is Sanders watching from behind bars?

“The producers asked me to give a special shout-out to any of our previous lead actress winners who are watching tonight from prison,” Lennon said, while throwing to commercial. “Hopefully those two weeks are going to fly right by. Keep your chin up.”

Sanders certainly was not recognized in the lime light during this big night.

The controversy has continued with the sentencing of Felicity Sanders, yet she’s going to be spending the next 2 weeks behind bars.

Hopefully 1 out of the 6.9 million people  who took the time to tune into the Emmys learned a few things about the New York Central Park Five and Felicity Sanders case.

Let’s Talk: Privilege within the Prison System

Earlier this week an outbreak of the Varsity Blues broke out and Felicity Huffman’s charges just don’t seem to add up the common offender.

How is it fair that a common women, Tonya McDowell, was sentence to a 5-year prison sentence and a celebrity, Felicity Huffman, was sentenced a 14-day sentence?

The Varsity Blues case is regarding the parents who are facing charges due to the college admissions scandal.

Operation Varsity Blues

Prosecutors allege dozens of parents, test administrators and college coaches were involved in a widespread effort to rig the college admissions process for children whose parents were willing to pay bribes and now those parents have entered in please.

There are currently 33 people who are being accused in the “Varsity Blues” case and that it just the beginning.

Huffman’s sentence consisted of 14 days in prison, serve one year of probation, perform 250 hours of community service and pay a $30,000 fine.

This video explains the sentence of Felicity Huffman and her case.

Going back to 2011 this scandal began with other people, Tonya McDowell, was sentenced to 5 years in prison. While the differences in the cases is Tonya’s case involved drug the sentences are substantially different.

Prison systems and the disparities between the communities are being shown and people are talking about it.

Critics pointed out the stark contrast in the consequences between these two cases, arguing that it exemplified a disparity that continues to put underprivileged communities at a disadvantage.

Controversy is on the rise regarding the Varsity Blues. Huffman’s status and privilege are being brought up as explanations to the scandal and their not doing her any favors.

This scandal has brought to center stage the noticeable difference how privilege is allowing sentencing to vary based off of financial circumstances. Not only is the sentencing different but the treatment behind bars varies as well.

The question that should be asked in every court room —

was this verdict fair for every party involved?

Another question to keep in mind —

does it benefit and protect the general public?