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Criminal Law

: The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog

Maine: A former guard calls for prison reform

By Real Cost of Prisons Project (The Sentencing Project)

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Time for a clean sweep? A former guard calls for prison reform By LANCE TAPLEY | July 23, 2008 In early 2007, Rhonda Dawson, a thoughtful, candid, 45-year-old African-American guard at the Maine State Prison in Warren, quit her job after four years because, she says, of racist taunting from her fellow correctional officers. She was fed up, too, she says, with a guard culture nourished by the prison leadership that encourages the degradation and other abuse of both guards and prisoners, black and white. Some officers turned against her, she thinks, because she wanted to help the prisoners. But reforming inmates is not the prison program, she says. Punishment is. After she quit, Dawson wrote Governor John Baldacci ? she shared the letter with the Phoenix ? describing the ?racially harassing phone messages? that had been programmed to pop up on the telephone display in front of her while she was the receptionist in the prison lobby...continue to full post

Full post as published by The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog on July 26, 2008 (boomark / email).

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