Jan 152015

There are now about 2.2 million adults incarcerated in our prisons and jails. About twice this many people are also on parole. About 1% of these inmates, or about 20,000 men and 2,000 women, are infected with the AIDS/HIV virus. Most of these inmates acquired this disease in the community and not while incarcerated. However, inmates have a higher virus transmission rate compared to those not incarcerated. This is due to higher levels of injected-drug use, tattoos and unsafe sex. Advocates say these inmates may receive some treatment while in jail but often have difficulty accessing HIV medications when released.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.895 – Stop AIDS in Prison Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current inmate health policy and wish to defeat H.R.895

I support a comprehensive policy to provide HIV testing, treatment, and prevention for inmates in federal prisons and upon reentry into the community, including testing inmates upon intake and counseling, and providing HIV/AIDS prevention education, HIV testing of prisoners annually upon request or upon exposure to HIV, HIV testing of pregnant inmates, confidential counseling on managing their medical condition and preventing its transmission to other persons, and wish to pass H.R.895

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

Prison and jail mental health statistics show that about half of all inmates have a mental health problem. These problems are considered severe in about 15% of these people. Serious mental disorders include bipolar, schizophrenia, psychotic and delusional disorders. Health care advocates say many of these people are in prison because there are not enough mental hospitals available for treatment. They say that since the mental health industry began deinstitutionalizing patients several decades ago, our mentally ill have few places to go for treatment. Consequently, many get into trouble with the law. Mental health advocates claim that many inmates in jail today could conceivably be patients in mental hospitals if this option still existed. They claim many of these patient/inmates are caught in a “revolving door,” repeatedly entering and exiting overcrowded hospitals, jails and the community.

Pending Legislations:

S.162 & H.R.401 – Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current inmate mental health policy and wish to defeat S.162 & H.R.401

I support awarding grants to identify and screen for mentally ill inmates, plan and provide assessments of inmate needs and appropriate treatment and services that address mental health and substance abuse needs; developing, implementing, and enhancing post-release transition plans that coordinate services and public benefits; mental health screening and treatment for inmates placed in solitary confinement or segregated housing; and training employees in identifying and responding to incidents involving inmates with mental health disorders or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, and wish to pass S.162 & H.R.401

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

With more than 2 million people incarcerated, our nation holds more people behind bars than Russia and China combined. Our prison inmate population has more than tripled since 1987. This incarceration effort requires an industry that employs more than 800,000 people. We have decided to “sub-contract” some of these jail-keeper services to private companies. The new prisons and medical facilities these corporations have constructed now house nearly 10% of all prison inmates, and this number is growing. Supporters claim privatized prisons are cheaper and more efficient than prisons operated by our government. They claim these jails can be built quickly, are equipped with the latest technology, are less crowded, and provide jobs for local communities. However, opponents believe that allowing the profit motive into the prison equation does not save money – it only encourages these companies to provide low-paying dangerous jobs for these communities. Private prison employees receive about half of what federal corrections officers are paid. Critics say this is why there are few, if any, economic benefits to communities where these facilities are located. They also say that privatizing prisons has given these corporations and their unions an incentive to lobby against reducing prison populations. Advocates claim that for-profit prison corporations are one of the biggest voices for longer prison sentences, and for more people to be incarcerated.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current prison privatization policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to reduce, phase out and discontinue the practice of sub-contracting prison services to private companies

 Posted by at 12:00 am