38 Responses to Hannibal Mammogram: Frog Gravy 10

  1. Vicky says:

    CS, your writing is a pleasure to read. Thanks you for sharing your stories, thoughts and insights. Your truly are an inspiration. I also wanted to check in on you and let you know I hope things are settling down. I miss reading your unique remarks and responses.

  2. KA says:

    I was thinking something this morning generally about the issues with women (and maybe men) and incarceration.

    The children we have adopted all come from pretty depraved situations where the needs of request/response were not me consistently for so long, they have to be taught, even at older ages the concept of cause/effect. Most corrective parenting theories have as a base assumption that all children at a given age understand action/consequence. I think this is what makes these children so difficult to parent/teach and, hence, the reason for the high disruption rate once placed.

    I was dealing with a “situation” this morning with one of our kids that most parents with only biological children would probably not understand. We were discussing a certain school issue that had come to our attention about our 11 year old, and the “fix” for him was so easy but it required him to do the most elementary form of problem solving. He is a smart child with a mid/high IQ and has been home from the orphanage for over 7 years now. He can solve an entire 3X3 Rubiks cube in less than 50 seconds (regardless of condition) just to give an example.

    He has been doing very well over the past 6 months in behavior so this “problem” at school surprised us and we sat to talk to him about it. He went into “toddler mode”, refused to talk or think through the situation.

    Anyway after two/three hour conversation we had to baby step him into the process of problem solving while understanding and taking into consideration to his own weaknesses (in this case was simply writing down homework to overcome perpetual forgetfulness).

    While we were doing it I was thinking about the women you have written about. Some of the dynamics of the conversation reminded me of the thought process or actions (on a different level of course) of many of the women. It is not about being child like in it, but more like “impaired” about basic elements of problem solving, decision making, action/consequence, and accountability (and in some cases the framework of conscience).

    I guess I say all this to ask if you agreed with this, and secondly if there is any kind of training available in problem solving, decision making, and the like to assist with some foundation of this in women that may have had, such as our children, a very difficult childhood.

    It seems to me that a “living skills” class should not only include how to go grocery shopping or keep an apartment, basic literacy as so many do but also the components of making a conscience decision with understanding of all variables in a given situation.

    If there are many typos and grammatical errors,….I typically write anything here whilst being interrupted 10 times…

  3. aussie says:

    I just read the comments on the story TruthBTold linked to.

    The HATE there .you could cut it with a knife. How can people so full of hate manage to feel superiror enough to feel that hate is justified? Can’t they see how evil it makes them?

    • Two sides to a story says:

      One of my favorite comments at that story is by jerbear12: “All it takes is an accusation to get a person locked up these days, after that, it depends on how much money you have to defend yourself.”

      It’s a “catch-22” conundrum. Clearly, one’s sterling behavior may not be enough to avoid contact with our legal system. You may find yourself falsely accused . . . Almost any US lawyer will tell you we have a legal system, not a justice system.

  4. aussie says:

    There never will be a justice system, while
    judges
    prosecutors
    chiefs of police
    are ELECTED.

    They must be beholden to the people/social group/party etc that funded their campaigns, and they must “uphold the law” to meet the prejudices of those people.

    These positions should be appointed, on merit, and police should not be stationed in the small towns they grew up in. State-wide forces would also be vastly better trained, and small “local” corruption could not be swept under the rug.

    Then it would also help, even with elected officials, if the “underclass” was not prevented from voting, either by making it impossible to register or outright refusing them the vote (eg as Florida does for anyone who’s been in prison – disenfranchised for life).

    It would also help to get rid of the deeply fundamentalist idea that a person just accused of a crime if a SINNER and therefore deserves to be cast out, marked for life and treated as not quite human. What happened to all that being settled on Judgement Day?

  5. Sandra E. Graham says:

    I sort have had an idea about what being an inmate may be like. But the experience is fascinating coming from someone who has actually made a written record of a very difficult time in their lives. i was a witness in a case. My room mate put a subpoena to appear in a kitchen drawer while I was away on holidays. She should not have received in the first place. Complete surprise, missed the court date and I I was hauled into jail. Arrest now, ask questions later. That was terrifying enough for me and nothing close to yours, of course. I hope to share your story with my god-daughter – they call it scared straight, don’t they.

  6. TruthBTold says:

    Crane,

    I am at your site now. I just read and started from “Released on Parole By Mistake.” I see that there are two older entries. I am going to start from the beginning. I have my water, probably get a yogurt, hunker down, and come into your experience. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Oh, Lord, well if you have trouble finding stuff, just ask! I have to google my own articles. I kid you not! There is a ton of stuff on the legal case. For the incarceration story by itself, go to the tags and click Frog Gravy instead of Frog Gravy Legal Case.

      • TruthBTold says:

        LOL. Okay. That’s what I clicked on, the Frog Gravy Legal Case. I am reading 38; Grand Jury. I know I will be reading both. Should I read one over the other? No right, it doesn’t really matter.

      • KA says:

        Everytime I get a sec to focus and I reading another one. It is quite addictive.

        Not in the “chocolate” addictive way which makes you feel good, but more of the “addicted to information” (good or bad) way. They are well written to the point of fully grasping the “scene” by the end. The sign of an exceptional writer.

        The only problem with having such an exceptional writer with these stories is that some of those scenes are so heart wrenching I cannot get it out of my head. For me, it was the pregnancy one.

        Even 3 or 4 days later, it is still bothering me.

  7. TruthBTold says:

    Crane,

    Please take a look at this as we focus on various issues as it relates to incarceration. Thanks.

    http://tinyurl.com/9np7c8l

    • I am not in the least bit surprised. The overcrowding in prisons is mind-boggling. Now, the article is about men’s prison. I did not see anything like this, but when I was in prison, for example, the other women’s prison in KY, the privately owned one, was off the chain, and finally closed to women due to guard-inmate sexual misconduct, security breaches like one where a guard brought a loaded gun into the prison and committed suicide and so on.

      No doubt abuse is rampant. We do not hear about it enough. I think the passing public is entitled to full transparency around the jails and the prisons in this country.

      Thank you for the link. Tragic situation.

  8. TM says:

    Crane-Station, This is amazing to read and have the opportunity to understand something most of us are totally unfamiliar with. I did read Professor today and found that you had been attacked. Also I inquired as to how those of us who stand beside your positive gifts to our mental knowledge, how we can come against, and who these someone’s are that are out to do you harm. As I said there it left me a little confused but inquiring because I care.

    Back to your post, when you have been face to face as you describe some incarcerated who have “murdered” do you receive anything different, for instance looking into their eyes, do you actually see hatred, or would you say if you had met them out on the street, would you know that they had experienced doing whatever any one of them did to be there. Were you at all protected from those who were dangerous at least during hours you were all supposed to be sleeping. This is the time I just don’t think I could ever close my eyes in there.

    Also, what is the purpose of shaving pubic hair, if they don’t make them shave the hair on the heads. Are the guards (women) who are mostly capable of “using” for a better word, the inmates for personal gratification.

    • The shaving was my choice! There is no regulation about it, I just felt at the time, I guess, that I could never quite get clean, especially in the jails.

      I did not see hatred at all in the women I knew who had murdered, with few exceptions, like this one:

      http://froggravy.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/peace-peace-frog-gravy-14/

      It is probably worth mentioning that often times women kill their batterers, for example. I did not encounter that many women with violence charges, honestly. Also, once people are in prison, there is not a lot of detailed talk about why everyone is there. Often, the subject never came up. Once you’re there, you’re there all the same, shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone else.
      I found quite honestly, that there is much more good than one would ever expect in that environment. I tried to look for that, for the good. I tried to avoid the ones like in the post above.

      At no time during my incarceration did I ever feel like I was in any danger at all.

      • TM says:

        Crane-Station, I most certainly have not been checking everything before I speak here. Please pass my ignorance and lack of attention to what has already been explained. I just for the first time read Frog-Gravy and now fully understand your position and admire you for your diligence in offering constructive overview of women incarcerated.

  9. Two sides to a story says:

    Ah-ha CommonSenseForChange, like many people who have never been arrested, you assume that one always gets arrested because one has fallen from the primrose path and done something illegal. I can’t speak for Mrs. L., but there are plenty of people who are sucked into the system who are falsely accused and convicted and / or have done something but are overcharged and held without good reason for victimless “crimes.” It can happen to you, and this is not necessarily entirely avoidable in some cases. I was radicalized and my eyes opened when it happened to me on a more minor level.

    One can help by educating oneself on prison politics in America and by speaking out and supporting organizations who are working with this problem.

    • CommonSenseForChange says:

      Your assumptions are false. Please don’t speak for me. Although I’ve never been arrested or incarcerated, I’ve been accused and near it. I also have relatives that were arrested, convicted and some made national news because their crimes were so heinous (a/k/a newsworthy).

      I already know that the system is rigged towards business interests in their ability to incarcerate the perceived weaklings. That’s partly WHY it _ain’t_ gonna happen to me. I’m double skilled in f*cked up law and reading f*cked up people’s motives.

      If you have something to add by way of

      (1) offering by way of experience to other young women what may help them to avoid your experience, or

      (2) offering insight to those already incarcerated a lesson towards reachieving their freedom,

      I’d welcome it. Again, experience is what I see as the way forward.

      Not a ding to you (and hopefully you won’t take it that way). But I’m not willing to be put down as a no-nothing just because I haven’t been arrested or incarcerated. Is your goal to see more people incarcerated?

      • Two sides to a story says:

        Why would you think it’s my goal to see more people incarcerated? That’s hardly the case. I meant no offense, but many people ARE rather naive and think there’s no possibility of having this happen to them if they’ve done nothing to deserve it and so I sometimes get on my little soapbox. Again, there are many organizations one can connect to online to learn what the statistics and problems are with incarceration in the US and how people can support others. We have a legal system, but we do not have a justice system at this time.

      • CommonSenseForChange says:

        My point is it is not necessarily naive to think one can avoid incarceration. Lessons from others that have first-hand experience could help others — just as those that haven’t experienced lockups can if they’ve experienced the pain of others that have.

      • CommonSenseForChange says:

        Agree… We don’t have a perfected justice system.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        “Agree… We don’t have a perfected justice system.”

        Yes, and I’m sure you’ll get a kind and thoughtful answer from Crane Station, whom your questions were directed at in the first place, and who has more extensive experience than me. My slammer experience was a few nights in the county jig, enough to make me never, ever ever want to get near any sort of lock-up again. I can see why Native Americans reportedly died quickly in jail in previous centuries. I do not live without light and air. Even the opportunity to meditate and write there do not attract me. I went into total hibernation . . .

      • On the first question, and by the way I am sorry to hear of your relatives and their situation, I would say that for anyone who struggles with addiction, to never give up and give in. You might want to read an essay I wrote about addiction also at the site but sort of hard to find:

        http://froggravy.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/the-bridge-of-sighs-original/

        I would say stick with a program or find something that brings joy, just do whatever it takes to put the struggle into the rear view mirror. For me, I write. I also think the world of AA.

    • CommonSenseForChange says:

      @Crane-Station –

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I will check out your blog on this topic.

      “For me, I write.”

      I wish more people would write! We’ve gotten away from writing as a society.

      My relatives that were able to free themselves took a chance at learning and understanding the law or putting forth a fairness argument on their own behalf when the lawyers treated them as a “sale”. I see them as good people that got caught up in or fell victim to the “money system”, but they had enough belief in their own goodness and were determined that they will defeat any and all forms of enslavement when they’d done nothing wrong.

      The one that is addicted is still addicted and mostly the family chose to self-preserve and cut off communications. We were a crutch to her. She went through every “program” there was that was available. For a while, she got her life together and then reverted to her old ways. Her children, however, are determined to NOT suffer her doom — even as they make similar mistakes.

      The heinous act one is dead. He did both drugs and alcohol. But that wasn’t what ate him out from the inside.

      @2 sides –

      “My slammer experience was a few nights in the county jig, enough to make me never, ever ever want to get near any sort of lock-up again.”

      That’s exactly why I asked. People don’t want to be locked up, so the natural thought for me is how to help them avoid it and if their already in that predicament, how to help them get out of that pickle. At one time, the U.S. favored rehabilitation — even went as far as educating criminals and providing trades. Now, for some reason, the U.S. favors punishment. Is it to support the privatized prison system and the businesses that support privatized prisons?

      • Two sides to a story says:

        @CommonSense – “Now, for some reason, the U.S. favors punishment. Is it to support the privatized prison system and the businesses that support privatized prisons?”

        Of course. This trend is big business for law firms as well . . . of course, some legal beagles do what they can to support reform and fight this, but others clearly prosper and take advantage of it . . . it’s an ugly business, as is that fundamentalist idea, as @Aussie says, that a person accused is a SINNER. There is also a trend for anything and everything to be criminalized today – many situations that were once handled as misdemeanors or even simply negotiated in conciliation situations are now Class 6 felonies in many states, and defendants are quickly plea bargained into submission because defendants who go to trial risk having additional charges added if juries find them guilty (and of course, if you’re innocent, or there are circumstances in which a defendant feels that a better outcome might be obtained, there’s the natural impetus to seek a jury of peers to review the case – but it’s dangerous!! Prosecutors now have more power in the courtroom than judges, whose hands are tied and cannot intervene with overcharging and unfair sentencing rules . . . Crazy, crazy stuff.

  10. TruthBTold says:

    Crane wrote,

    “I keep telling myself, “The prison is in the mind.” ”

    Yes Crane, yes.

  11. CommonSenseForChange says:

    If I’m not being too nosey… why were you incarcerated? Since you’re obviously no longer incarcerated, what

    (1) can you offer by way of experience to other young women that may help them to avoid your experience?

    (2) can you offer to those already incarcerated as a lesson towards reachieving their freedom?

    • I was incarcerated on a drug charge, a related charge, and a DUI. The details of my legal case are all at my site, including the lab results from the night of my arrest, all hearings, briefs, opinions, sentence, stuff like that. All at the site.

      froggravy.wordpress.com

      If you go to the tag cloud on the left hand side of the page, and click on Frog Gravy Legal Case, you can surf from there.

      I still have an active appeal that currently sits in the US Supreme Court at the moment, so I cannot comment much more about what to do to avoid my personal experience. The US petition for Certiorari is also at the site in pdf format.

      To re-achieve freedom, let’s see, I did write about requesting and being granted parole here (with the letter I wrote to the board):

      https://froggravy.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/letter-to-the-parole-board-requesting-parole-frog-gravy-81/

      Achieving freedom is a real mixed bag. I would say maintain a clean institutional record, and have a solid plan in place for release ahead of time, that includes not associating with anyone who drinks or uses, following up with any required mental health care, being in a stable and sober home, and so on (detailed in the post). This is usually good for nonviolent drug offenders (Class Ds), but just my observation here- the parole board will generally defer a parole-eligible person who is incarcerated on any sort of violence charges: robbery, assault, sex offenses, murder- those sorts of things. Deferment, otherwise known as a ‘flop,’ is continued incarceration after a parole-eligible date. In the news, for example, Mark David Chapman will be parole eligible this week.

      Once on parole, follow everything in the papers to the letter. You would be surprised how many people show up at the parole office obviously impaired, for example. Follow the instructions, pay the required fees on time, just whatever they tell you on those papers- do it.

      If you look around at the documents and have further questions, I am happy to answer if I can!

      Thank you for reading and for commenting- good questions!

      • KA says:

        I apologize, I did not see that you posted on this and did not want to speak for you.

        We must have hit the “post” button at the same time.

        Great essay as usual. The apparent humiliation of the event is just unfathomable.

        I rarely ever swear (on here or in life), but all I kept thinking while reading this was “What a load of horse shit..”

        I could not edit it any other way in my head..

      • Two sides to a story says:

        And I’m sure you don’t forget a small omission in your wonderful reply – no matter the situation, you need to get the best representation that money can buy. There is no justice without it, whether you’re dealing with a civil misdemanor and you’re not incarcerated, or whether you’re dealing with a serious felony or felonies and the stakes are high. Follow the rules to a T, but fight a good, ferocious legal battle.

        • A very, very good point. Unfortunately, we did not have any money though! But, you are absolutely right. Now, that said, I will say this: In very serious charges like murder, for example, the public defender team is often excellent. They may include private counsel with the team, in some cases, but some places have excellent public defenders (not where I live, lol), such as Washington DC, Seattle, some of the larger cities- good lawyers with excellent investigation teams, for real.

          • Two sides to a story says:

            Yes, theoretically a public defender should work well anywhere, but in many places they are far too burdened to do an effective job even if they work hard and it is their intention to help you. I had to hire a big-city attorney after the fact to help deal with some clean-up after a public defender and what a HUGE difference in in results . . .

        • PS If I had money and I were George Zimmerman I’d hire
          Gerry Spence. All day long.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Spence

    • KA says:

      I will not speak for Crane, but wanted to jump in and say when I read some of the motions around her case, I was truly aghast that she was stopped, arrested, or charged with a felony. There are those in our communities that hold unquestioned power.

      It is surely unfair and not close to violent. The treatment of her as depicted in this essay is quite appalling and disgraceful…

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