The court system

mail.ids.net (homey@ids.net)
Tue, 27 Apr 1999 07:19:12 -0400


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I have always felt that the largest homeless shelter in our state was =
the Adult Correctional Institute..aka nickname the Cranston Hilton.  =
Many folks are imprisoned for failing to pay their court fines or due to =
their long-term standing addictions.  As usual jail does nothing to help =
rehab these folks it just spits them back out into society with little =
to no hope of a future.

If one has money for a good defense attorney, then perhaps one stands a =
chance of not doing time.  At this point I have yet to meet a homeless =
person who could afford their own attorney.  Most of the one's who end =
up at the Cranston Hilton that I know of are not there for major =
offenses like rape, robbery or murder.  I often ponder if life for these =
folks would be different if our state and government put more effort =
into assisting these individuals to become part of a community than =
locking them up inside jail.  All to often roaming in and out of jail =
becomes a pattern of life, it's hard to switch gears once you have given =
up on yourself and society has deemed you unworthy.

There are no easy answers, we have met with some prison officials to =
advocate for more outreach to settle folks into the community once they =
get out of jail.  I have seen many folks just let out of jail in their =
prison garb, with no place to go but the streets.  Many do not make it =
and fall into their old patterns due to the fact their record precludes =
them from getting a job or government assistance. =20

The simple fact remains as far as I am concerned that the court system =
does not work! =20

Catalina


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I have always felt that the largest = homeless=20 shelter in our state was the Adult Correctional Institute..aka nickname = the=20 Cranston Hilton.  Many folks are imprisoned for failing to pay = their court=20 fines or due to their long-term standing addictions.  As usual jail = does=20 nothing to help rehab these folks it just spits them back out into = society with=20 little to no hope of a future.
 
If one has money for a good defense = attorney,=20 then perhaps one stands a chance of not doing time.  At this point = I have=20 yet to meet a homeless person who could afford their own attorney.  = Most of=20 the one's who end up at the Cranston Hilton that I know of are not there = for=20 major offenses like rape, robbery or murder.  I often ponder if = life for=20 these folks would be different if our state and government put more = effort into=20 assisting these individuals to become part of a community than locking = them up=20 inside jail.  All to often roaming in and out of jail becomes a = pattern of=20 life, it's hard to switch gears once you have given up on yourself and = society=20 has deemed you unworthy.
 
There are no easy answers, we have = met with some=20 prison officials to advocate for more outreach to settle folks into the=20 community once they get out of jail.  I have seen many folks just = let out=20 of jail in their prison garb, with no place to go but the streets.  = Many do=20 not make it and fall into their old patterns due to the fact their = record=20 precludes them from getting a job or government assistance.  =
 
The simple fact remains as far as I = am concerned=20 that the court system does not work! 
 
Catalina
 
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