By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Revolving doors: I am an inmate in the TDCJ system, in a state jail in Dallas for fraudulent use of ID or using a fake name at a traffic stop. I have done two years this October and I have seen the changes take place firsthand that were talked about in this article ["Prison Break," by Scott Nowell, July 17].
All drug programs were also eliminated, teachers got pink slips; 75 percent of this jail population doesn't have a GED. Although those classes weren't cut, there is sometimes a waiting list that exceeds the offender's stay, since most sentences are six or nine months. The recidivism rate for drug offenders is incredible. I know of one gal who is on her third sentence (in two years). Without treatment, she'll be back again, too.
They also are not giving psychiatric medications as they claim they are too expensive. There is a massive effort to privatize all of the units. They barely serve each offender enough food to get by. They have no intentions of rehabilitation for the offender, just sell out to whoever will keep the cattle flowing. When inmates get out -- still not educated, still addicted and nowhere to go -- they will go right back to drugs.
It's very sad to think that this is our system.
Name withheld by request
Bad call: After reading article after article about the budget deficit and cuts to prison spending, I am appalled that both the Governor and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice turned away approximately $40 million annually that would be brought into the general revenue fund by allowing correctional phone systems into TDCJ. This venture would offer no out-of-pocket expense for the state. Virtually every other state in the country has one in place.
Texas would rather cut jobs, services, and close facilities instead of offering this service that would promote family relationships, reduce recidivism and be a huge step in reducing the deficit.
Lisa Luna, board of directors
Texas Inmate Families Association
Sinners and Spinners
Hypocrisy over gays: Is it just my imagination, or does society think that homosexuality is the only "sin" in the Bible [Hair Balls, July 10]? I thought that pride, greed, anger, lust, gluttony, envy and sloth were kind of important, too.
Isn't the latest Bush quote -- "bring 'em on" -- a prideful schoolyard-like taunt from the bully who eventually gets beaten up because of his overblown ego? As far as greed, where do $10,000-a-plate fund-raisers come in? Over 30 years ago, Lenny Bruce declared these types of things more obscene than homosexuality. People still can't handle the truth in free speech. Point the finger at everyone else. It's easier.
Lust is not always sexual. It is defined as desire out of control. Like Bill Bennett: It's okay for him to gamble away millions because he makes more. Convoluted logic rules. A book I read stated that people always draw the line in accordance to their beliefs, always act in their own self-interest and define situations according to their perception. All these may not be true, but that doesn't matter. What is important is to feel superior in life and convince yourself that everyone else needs to change. I believe that is happening now.
Be as gluttonous as you want. Quench your desires. Be prideful and greedy. But make sure to deny it and spin it if you ever get called on it. And for god sakes, divert the attention to those perverted homosexuals who are ruining the country.
To George Bush: Quit worrying about everyone else's genitals and control your alcoholic, ungrounded daughters. Maybe then I will listen to you telling everyone else how to run their families.
Whoops. There's someone at the door. I hope it's not Homeland Security.
Don't defile the bay: I would like to thank this gentleman for speaking out about the Bayport project [Letters, "Baying at Bayport," July 17]. I have been working with The Galveston Bay Conservation and Preservation Association fighting against this project.
Once, at the GBCPA booth at the Seabrook Music Festival, a man wagged his finger in my face and said "it doesn't matter what you do, who you tell, how much money you spend -- it's going to happen anyway." I asked him "who the hell are you?" He tells me he's one of the directors at the Port. Now mind you, we aren't saying don't have a port; just change your location to a more feasible site for this project so it will not destroy our last remaining natural resource on the bay.
Take a drive along 146/225 and see what they have done to that area, port improvements and environmental enhancements bullshit! It's a travesty and an eyesore and they say it's to generate jobs? Big business and politics once again will win because they have the money (our money). People, wake up and read what's really going on, at www.gbcpa.org.
Besmirching Mel: I didn't much like the hatchet job done on Hutton Gibson ["Holy Father," by Wendy Grossman, July 24], but what else should I expect from a reporter named Grossman?