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News stories tagged with "inmates"

This inmate drawing on a prison envelope is part of the "Cellblock Visions" exhibit on display at SLU's Brush Art Gallery through mid-April. Photo courtesy Phyllis Kornfeld
This inmate drawing on a prison envelope is part of the "Cellblock Visions" exhibit on display at SLU's Brush Art Gallery through mid-April. Photo courtesy Phyllis Kornfeld

In Canton, "Cellblock Visions" shows off prison inmates' art

There's an alternative art world flourishing in American prisons. "Cellblock Visions," an exhibit at the Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University this spring, features artwork by inmates from county jails to death row. Curator Phyllis Kornfeld, who has taught art courses in the prison system for more than 30 years, will give a lecture on the exhibit in Griffiths Arts Center, room 123, Tuesday at 7pm.

Todd Moe spoke with Kornfeld, who began her career teaching art in prisons in Oklahoma in 1983 (hear that interview by clicking "listen" above, or read the transcription below.) Today, she works at prisons in Massachusetts. She says even after 30 years, she finds the art created behind bars to be "fresh and amazing". Kornfeld says men and women inmates, having no previous training, turn to art for a sense of self-respect, respect for others and a way to find peace.

View pictures from the exhibit below.  Go to full article

NY senate GOP seems to reverse stance on inmate count in redistricting

Senate Republicans appear to be changing their minds about how they would like to count prison inmates when they redraw New York's new district lines. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article
Under state law, prisoners are not residents of these Upstate counties.

Senators challenge inmate count

The North Country State Senators are suing to block a new law for redistricting this year. It would count prison inmates in the districts where their home residence is, not in the North Country town where they're held. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Inmate fight sparks guard union complaints

The union that represents corrections officers and other workers at the Federal Correctional Institution in Ray Brook says prison officials didn't do enough to address a recent outbreak of what it described as "gang-related" violence at the medium-security facility. The American Federation of Government Employees and its Council of Prison Locals says prison officials mostly kept operations running normally, despite the violence. As Chris Knight reports, prison officials say they locked down the prison and handled the situation appropriately.  Go to full article

Inmates to be excluded from North Country districts

A measure to change where prison inmates are counted when drawing political districts was slipped into the budget bills passed Tuesday night. Beginning with redistricting based on 2010 census data, inmates will be counted at their home addresses, not at the prison where they're locked up. Supporters called the change a victory for equal representation. But the North Country stands to lose more political clout. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Senator Little
Senator Little

Sen. Little: State budget politically motivated, but praise for Gov. Paterson

State Senator Betty Little says the budget chaos in Albany has been brutal for the North Country - with more spending for more programs shifting to communities downstate.

But she gave Governor David Paterson high marks for promising to veto additional deficit spending proposed by Democrats in the legislature.

Senator Little spoke yesterday with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

Inmates pay less to phone home

Govenor Spitzer yesterday ended the practice of charging high phone fees to inmates in New York state prisons. The change will affect hundreds of prisonsers here in the North Country and their families. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Keeping the Faith, Behind Bars

Adirondack Correctional Facility is in Ray Brook. It's unusual among New York State prisons that it has some sort of christian activity group meeting 7 days a week.

Greg Warner attended an evening bible study inside the prison. He spoke to about a dozen inmates there, who chaplain Eric Olsen calls "the elders" of the prison church. He says they do much of the missionary and organizational work to keep the church going.

Inmate Hector Cruz began the evening by reading aloud the prayers of other inmates. One inmate prayed for his mother's health, another for his court case.  Go to full article

North Country Prison Industry Faces Recession

This year, New York state's prisons cut more than six hundred corrections officers. With inmate populations shrinking, corrections commissioner Glenn Goord says another five hundred prison guards will go this year. As Brian Mann reports, the loss of high paying jobs is being felt in prison towns across the North Country.  Go to full article

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