Our month long birthday celebration draws to a close. It’s been a phenomenal month for DeafInPrison.com – and for me, personally. As well as attending the stellar, Symposium for the Deaf and the Justice System, I gave birth to BitcoDavid’s BoxingBlog, attended a reunion show by one of the bands I used to mix back in Boston’s indie music heyday, built a great little single ended practice amp for a guitarist friend, and posted and wrote like Hemingway – without the monosyllabic words and general life sucks then you die, style that made him one of America’s great authors. All this, and I still got in all my ring time.
By the way – Hemingway was a Boxer, too you know – and nothing happened to his brain.
Anyway, tomorrow I’ll go into depth about all this in the March at DeafInPrison.com recap post. Following that, we’ll be back to covering the Symposium. I still have about 4 hours of video left, and I’m working on getting hold of the PowerPoints and other active content that we shared, explored and discussed at this unique and informative conference.
Now, on to today’s Digest Post.
Marsha Graham sent me this via e-mail.
Long Prison Term Is Less So Thanks to Judge’s Regrets
From the New York Times:
When Denise Dallaire was arrested at age 26 on charges of selling a few ounces of crack cocaine here a decade ago, she was sentenced to prison for more than 15 years. Last month, shackled inside the same court and facing the same judge, she received an apology and was set free.
The reversal by Judge Ronald R. Lagueux highlights how mandatory sentencing guidelines, though struck down by the Supreme Court eight years ago, continue to keep hundreds of small-time offenders behind bars for longer than many today consider appropriate.
To see the rest of this article, go to the New York Times.
NY man cleared, free after 23 years in prison
Pat Bliss sent me this link to the story of David Ranta, the New York man who was wrongfully convicted of killing a Hasidic Rabbi, and just recently freed after 23 years. The story is interesting because he was not cleared by DNA evidence. This particular link is to NBC’s PhotoBlog on the story. Lots of great pictures, as well as some good reporting, but the story has gotten coverage throughout the media.
Finally, we have the following from the ACLU, via – again – Marsha Graham:
Prisons’ Outdated Technology Prevents Those with Disabilities from Communicating with Their Loved Ones
Imagine that someone you love is in prison. And, the only way she has to communicate to the outside world – family, friends, attorneys – is through Morse Code. Tap each letter out, one word at a time, painstakingly slowly … and try to understand the response that comes back in Morse Code as well. To add insult to injury, she will be charged a dollar for each minute she is tapping away.
This is essentially the situation for prisoners who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have speech disabilities. They cannot use the standard pay phones in prison, and the only means of accessible telecommunication to the outside world is through a Text Telephone (TTY) machine. This machine has a modified keyboard, specific rules on how to use it, and it transmits each letter and word slowly.
When it was invented 50 years ago, it was useful. But its technology is so outdated that most deaf and hard of hearing households have never seen a TTY machine, much less used one.
You can click on the above link or here, to get to the rest of this story.
On a related note, one of the guest speakers at the Symposium was Massachusetts State Representative, Paul Heroux. Prior to his seat in Congress, he worked in the Prison system here in Ma. After his speech, I had a few minutes to talk with him, and I brought up the idea of using Video Relay for Deaf inmates, rather than the cumbersome and antiquated TTY. I will be reporting on our discussion as part of the upcoming coverage of that event.
Well, that about wraps ‘er up. Thank you all for helping me make March a truly awesome month, and for all your support. And thanks for all the Likes and Follows that we’ve received, as well as all the support on Twitter and FaceBook. See you in April.
BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.
- Marsha Graham’s Presentation at the Symposium (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- March 13th Digest Post (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- From H.E.A.R.D., a Tool for Tracking FCC Proceedings (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Petition for Justice Silenced Campaign (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- What, No Digest Post? (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- DeafInPrison Nominated for Liebster Award (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- March 10th Digest Post – NYT (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Symposium on the Deaf and the Justice System – Part 1 (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Marsha Graham Part 2 (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- From USABoxing – Casting Call (bitcodavidsboxingblog.com)