mandatory minimum

What a lot of people don’t understand is that the prison industrial complex goes far beyond just the fact that prisons exists.

It’s every single major corporation in the world benefitting from paying slave wages for prison labor

It’s private prisons enforcing quotas to incentivize the state to arrest and convict at higher rates

It’s the war on drugs treating (mostly black and latino) non-violent drug users as hardened criminals

It’s the school to prison pipeline

It’s a country where homelessness is criminalized

It’s mandatory minimum prison sentences

It’s imprisoning civilians for years without bail Before they get a trial

It’s prisoners leaving prison in debt because the slave wages they were forced to work for didn’t cover the cost of food and a bed

It’s former prisoners losing the right to vote

It’s employers discriminating against former prisoners

It’s abuse and substandard living conditions.

It’s a corrupt police state that falsifies evidence and unfairly targets minorities.

The problem is that a lot of y'all still just think of prison as a place where bad people go. It’s not. Most of the bad people are in board rooms, on the golf course, at the bank, in the white house. The truth is, prisons in America are just a business. The lie that they keep you safe is just an ad they can run.

Abolish the prison industrial complex

Andrew Arellano, a rapist in my community (in Portland, OR) who was charged with five counts of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct (child porn) and two counts of sexual abuse. The child porn charges come with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years each so the prosecutor was originally asking for 25 years, but somehow today Andrew Arellano was allowed to make a deal to receive only probation and he’s already out of jail free to sexually abuse and rape people again. He also raped some people in Denver and apparently there’s an investigation happening there too so maybe there’s still a chance that his victims will get some justice. 

Mandatory Minimums (1.20)
  • Sam: The American Medical Association says that addiction is a disease.
  • Al Keifer: You're not going to be able to sell that.
  • Sam: Al!
  • Al: You're not going to be able to sell it.
  • Toby: The AMA says it, why does it he have to sell it?
  • Al: Because -
  • Toby: Drug addiction is a disease. It's's... it's a...medical problem. It can be treated. This isn't ideological. It's science.
  • Al: It's science to you.
  • Toby: Science is science to everybody, Al.

anonymous asked:

I think the higher incarceration rate may be because now we have more ways to track down criminals (cameras fingerprints) not because police are just throwing people into jail.

Noooope. But lets do some math to be sure. All the statistics I will be using are from here, here, and here.

We’ll look at race first. The united states has 693 people in prison per 100,000. However if we quickly glance at the Incarceration in the United States page, we can see the incarceration rate broken down by race. While white people are incarcerated at a rate of  450 per 100,000, Hispanic people are incarcerated at almost double the rate ( 831 per 100,000) and black people at an astoundingly high rate of  2,306 per 100,000. So lets consider a hypothetical prison system that doesn’t  discriminate by race, we assume that the default incarceration rate for everyone is an equal 450 per 100,000. By doing that alone the United States falls from first place to 11th.

We can also look at the breakdown by crime committed. Around 22% of prisoners are in state and federal prison for non-violent drug related crimes. 22% of 450 is 99. So if drug usage was legalized, this further reduces the rate of incarceration to 351. The united states would then be in 24th place.

Even with these reductions, the incarceration rate is more than triple that of other equally developed countries, like France, the Uk, and Germany. Its more than 5 times that of Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark. All of these countries have comparable law enforcement technology to the united states.

These are just some quick estimates that take into account some readily available and easy to work with information. We haven’t even considered things like private prison profit incentives, private prison quotas, and public policy. Quoting from wikipedia, “ Violent crime was not responsible for the quadrupling of the incarcerated population in the United States from 1980 to 2003. Violent crime rates had been relatively constant or declining over those decades. The prison population was increased primarily by public policy changes causing more prison sentences and lengthening time served, e.g. through mandatory minimum sentencing, “three strikes” laws, and reductions in the availability of parole or early release. 49 percent of sentenced state inmates were held for violent offenses. Perhaps the single greatest force behind the growth of the prison population has been the national “War on Drugs.” ”

So no, more technology being available hasn’t resulted in the United State’s insane incarceration rates. Institutional racism, a bullshit “war on drugs”, and vindictive laws that line the pockets of private prisons are. Don’t let ideology fool you, the United States is objectively one of the least free countries.


“I always told myself that anyone who was facing me in my courtroom was guilty. Told myself that I was the prosecutor and that the laws were clear and if you broke ‘em it was on you. Told myself that I was doing my job. Then I found out that my kids are mutants. They didn’t mean to hurt anyone. They didn’t mean to do anything. They were just defending themselves. But they broke the law. And with mandatory minimums they’ll get at least 10 years. Maybe more. And a few days ago I would’ve been the one making that argument. Before all of this, I didn’t understand. But I do now. And I’m sorry.”


I saw this piece of art on Pinterest, if anyone knows the artist, please tag them because this drawing inspired the story.

A/N: You always hear about the lives the team (Avengers) saves, but what haunts them are the faces of the ones they couldn’t save. Enjoy!

I awoke in the middle of the night to see Bucky’s vacant side of the bed, his pillow was soaked with perspiration and that meant one thing. He had another nightmare. It was the third one this week and they seem to be getting progressively worse.

He’s been having a difficult time adjusting, since the mission in South America when a young boy he befriended died in a mudslide that he thinks, he could have prevented. The little boy’s body was never found and it has taken its toll on Bucky, who was given a mandatory and at a minimum two weeks of rest and recuperation, following his hallucinations and short temper with the rest of the team.

There was nothing I could do, except to be the light for him when he resurfaced from this darkness. I crept from the bed and followed the streak of light that shone beneath the closed bathroom door and listened to the running water and indecipherable chatter. I opened the door quietly and saw him hunched over the sink, the muscles on his naked back moving up and down as he inhaled and exhaled deeply. His navy blue pajama pants hanging loosely from his hip and his dark hair was a matted mess, clinging to his sweat soaked neck.

We made eye contact through the mirror and he turned slightly, “I’m sorry I woke you,” He croaked before he turned to stare at his gaunt reflection in the mirror, which had a crack in it.

“It’s the third time this week, babe.” I say as I padded across the room slowly, noticing that the crack in the mirror was from his fist, which had blood trickling down the knuckles of his right hand that he didn’t seem fazed by.

“I could have saved him.” He says, his left arm gripping the sink with such force it began to crack.

I hugged him from behind, pressing my frame into his hardened mass of muscle, reassuring him, and letting him know that I am here and will always be here. “You did everything you could.” I say, lightly tracing my fingers across the fresh bruises that ran along his torso, noting his muscle twitches in certain tender spots.

He shakes his head. “He was screaming out for help, I heard him clear as day, but then it stopped. As soon as I got to the area where I thought he might be, I screamed for him.” He choked. “Yenny, I’m here just scream out! I’m here, buddy! B-but, he didn’t.” He turned to me. “Why didn’t he scream out?”

I shook my head as I thought about Yenny, how scared and alone he must have felt in that moment and then choking on the mud and dying. I shake the unthinkable from my mind and held Bucky tighter as I felt his body vibrate from the force of his emtions, “I don’t know, baby.”

He turned to look at the mirror and his fist connected with the remainder of the glass that shattered, pieces falling into the sink and on the floor. “I was there, I dug through all that mess, but I couldn’t find him.”

The blood was now oozing from his knuckles. “Babe, I’m sorry.” I grabbed his right hand and ran it under the faucet until the water turned from crimson to pink and then clear. 

I walked across the bathroom and retrieved the first aid kit. I motioned for him to sit on the edge of the tub. “Your foot.” He gestured.

I looked down at my bloody footprint as I sat in front of him. “It’s your blood.” I lied. We exchanged a glance and we both knew he didn’t have the strength to question my lie.

It was going to be another one of those late nights that will turn into an early morning and the splinter in my foot didn’t compare to splinters that have pierced his heart. He held out his hand and I began the slow process of extracting the glass shards, disinfecting and bandaging his wounded hand.

This is the side that doesn’t get glorified; my big, strong, and indestructible Soldier, whose massive frame has shrunken down to that of a fragile child, a breath away from shattering.

Happy June 1st, my lovelies. I am on a mission. For the entire month of June I am going to consistently post two stories a week, forcing myself to get back into writing regularly. That will be ten stories for the month.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

In the 1960’s Hillary Clinton at Wellesley College became a student activist who advocated for black women to be enrolled in her college.

In the 1970’s Hillary Clinton worked for a black civil rights activist, Marian Wright Edelman at the Children Defense Fund.

In the 1970’s Hillary Clinton worked on getting black youths out of adult prison in South Carolina because of physical and sexual abuse.

In the 1970’s Hillary Clinton worked as a free legal aid providing free services to black people in South Carolina

In the 1970’s Hillary Clinton worked undercover to stop educational segregation in Mississippi and Alabama.

In the 1970’s Hillary Clinton interned at a California Law firm that represented Black Panther Leaders!

In the 1980’s Hillary Clinton reformed Healthcare system in Arkansan by creating SCHIP program providing healthcare to urban communities.

In the 1990’s Hillary Clinton reformed the educational system on the federal level advancing urban communities.

In the 1990’s Hillary Clinton stood with Black movements such, Mothers of Gun Violence, Stop the Violence and Tough on Crime.

In the 1990’s Hillary Clinton stood up to Mayor Rudy Giuliani and NY FBI shooting of unarmed black men.

In the 2000’s Hillary Clinton supported cutting mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses in half.

In the 2000’s Hillary Clinton created a charter school in the Bronx, for Young Men of Color called Eagle Academy.

In the 2000’s Hillary Clinton Invested $5 billion in re-entry job programs for formerly incarcerated individuals

In the 2000’s Hillary Clinton privately supported Mrs. Bell, Sean Bell wife after the police put 5 bullets into his car killing him.

In the 2000’s Hillary Clinton reformed the Foster care program that assisted Black kids finding a home

In the 2010’s Hillary Clinton fought Ugandan efforts to criminalize homosexuality, punishable by death.

Yesterday Holder responded to Session’s racist announcement to enforce the racist mandatory minimum sentencing policy for non-violent drug offenses.

I find the part at the end as the most important: this is an act that can be reversed by congress.

anonymous asked:

I don't get your fixation with Shoma's 4F. His take-off technique on it is the same as his 3F and you never demand downgrade on his 3F. Competition after competition, season after season it (3F) was acknowledged by tech panels as such and Shoma has never been given a feedback, that his flip technique has serious flaws. For years his flip was: good, good, good and now it has to be: wrong? Don't you think it's unfair to punish him *now* for something, that was accepted flip version for *years*?

Did I appear to be fixated on Shoma’s 4F? I guess I did. Well, here’s a close up of his triple flip takeoff then:

3A+1Lo+3F: GOE +2.57, World Championships 2017

And his quad loop:

4Lo: GOE +1.43, World Championships 2017

And his quad toe loop:

4T: GOE +2.29, Skate America 2016

While we’re at it, here’s also his recently debuted quad Salchow:

4S: GOE +0.80, Lombardia Trophy 2017

And his triple Axel, which IMO is his best jump:

3A: GOE +2.80, Lombardia Trophy 2017

What else do we have? Right, here’s his triple Lutz (???) to complete the set:

3Lz: GOE +1.00, Four Continents Championships 2017 

Might as well look at his triple toe loop:

3A+3T: GOE +3.00, World Championships 2017

And triple Salchow:

3S: GOE +1.40, World Championships 2017

And triple loop:

3Lo: GOE +1.00, Skate America 2016

I now have a full set of takeoff gifs available for all Shoma jumps, so I won’t have to keep recycling his 4F takeoff for future tech posts. Thank you! And based on those, I really ought to be demanding downgrade on everything except the Axel and maybe the Salchows.

As to why I like to bring up his 4F (aside from the fact that previously I was too lazy to gif his other jumps), it’s because:

  • Based on my observation, I’d say most of the time a skater’s jumping traits get accentuated when they move from the triple to the quadruple version of a jump. For example Yuzuru has this unusual habit of taking off for the loop from a left back outside edge, and it’s a lot clearer in his quad loop compared to his triple. For another example, Lutzes are always supposed to be done from an outside edge, but when Boyang takes off for his quad Lutz you’d see much more pronounced edge depth compared to his triple. Same goes for Shoma’s, his habit of picking with his edge instead of his toe and his pre-rotation both are a lot more noticeable in his quad flip, so that jump makes for better illustration when you want to analyze his flip technique.
  • The quad flip is an important jump, much more so than the triple flip. Its BV of 12.3 points makes it the second most valuable technical element currently attempted on the circuit. The difference between the BV of a fully rotated quad flip and a downgraded one is as much as 7.0 points. Add to that the mandatory minimum negative GOE of -2 for such downgraded jumps, or -1.4 after SOV conversion, and you have a gap of at least 8.4 points between a valid 4F and a cheated one. The difference between the Gold and Silver medal in the Men’s Singles at Helsinki earlier this year was only 2.28 points, and the difference between Bronze and 4th place, 2.39 points. I do like my post and my argument to have some bang for the buck (it’s my innate attention-seeking tendency, I do apologize if that’s annoying) so I choose to speak mostly about the 4F rather than the 3F. 
  • If you want to talk about what’s fair vs. unfair, I admit to being rather resentful on Nathan’s behalf that he didn’t get recognized as the first, and currently, the only skater in the world who can land a technically valid quad flip. And here I do have to bring in that gif, once again:

Shoma: GOE +1.14, World Championships 2017 || Nathan: GOE +2.43, Four Continents Championships 2017

Nathan’s takeoff: starting with a clean toe pick, he pushes off and leaves the ice fully before hitting 90 degrees of rotation. Number of rotations happening in the air: more than 3.75.

Shoma’s takeoff: the pick starts from his toe but then spreads all the way to the entire length of his blade as he continues to rotate on the ice for more than half a revolution. His body is off the ice fully only when his toe has rotated by approximately 270 degrees. Number of rotations happening in the air: 3.25 to 3.5. As I like to say, it’d take quite some stretch of the imagination to call this either a flip jump or a quad. Have another look at his “quad loop” above and see if you can tell, objectively, which one of those is supposed to be a toe jump and which one an edge jump.

P.S. To all the Shoma fans who will undoubtedly feel like pointing out to me how hard Shoma is working, or how he goes to Chicago for his jump training: I know, I am aware of that and I fully respect his effort. I am also aware that Shoma’s current strategy is to prioritize the quantity and variety of his quads, and I think it’s working out very well for him: he’s steadily becoming one of the most, if not the most consistent skater in the men’s field, which is a massive advantage especially during this important Olympic season. 

P.P.S. Being overscored is, by absolutely no means, a skater’s fault.

The Holder memo, issued in August 2013, instructed his prosecutors to avoid charging certain defendants with drug offenses that would trigger long mandatory minimum sentences. Defendants who met a set of criteria such as not belonging to a large-scale drug trafficking organization, gang or cartel, qualified for lesser charges — and in turn less prison time — under Holder’s policy.

But Sessions’s new charging policy, outlined in a two-page memo and sent to more than 5,000 assistant U.S. attorneys across the country and all assistant attorneys general in Washington, orders prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” and rescinds Holder’s policy immediately.

The Sessions memo marks the first significant criminal justice effort by the Trump administration to bring back the toughest practices of the drug war, which had fallen out of favor in recent years with a bipartisan movement to undo the damaging effects of mass incarceration.
Australia to hold first nationwide gun amnesty in 21 years

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia will allow gun owners to hand in illegal firearms without penalty from next month as concerns grow over gun crimes involving such weapons, a federal minister said Friday.

The three-month nationwide amnesty on surrendered firearms will be Australia’s first since 1996, when a lone gunman killed 35 people in Tasmania state and galvanized support for tough national gun controls.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the new amnesty was needed to reduce the number of guns in the community because of new security threats including Islamic extremism.

There have been five violent incidents in Australia that the government describes as terrorist attacks since the national terror threat level was raised in September 2014. Three involved illegal guns and two involved knives.

“We’re living in a time when our national security environment has deteriorated,” Keenan said.

Keenan said handing in unwanted guns in the community would reduce the chances of these guns falling into the hands of violent criminals.

“My expectation is it’s probably not going to be the case that we would have hardened criminals, for example, who have made a big effort to get hold of illegal guns necessarily handing them in,” Keenan said.

“But the purpose of this amnesty is to actually reduce the number of unregistered and illicit firearms in the community,” he added.

The 1996 amnesty also included a gun buyback program. The Port Arthur massacre led state governments to legislate tough restrictions on rapid-fire weapons and to buy back almost 700,000 newly outlawed guns.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the nation has since imported almost 1.2 million legal guns. Military-style, semi-automatic assault rifles continue to be banned from public ownership.

There are 2.89 million registered guns among 24 million Australians, an increase of 9.3 per cent in the past five years, the report said. An Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission report released last year estimated there could be as many as 600,000 unregistered guns in Australia.

Most illegal guns in Australia were legally owned before 1996, when guns did not have to be registered. They were not handed in during the buyback and there are no records that they even exist, the report said.

The report said the market for illegal guns is partly driven by Middle Eastern crime gangs, outlaw motorcycle clubs and other groups that traffic illegal commodities such as drugs.

It said guns can be bought easily in the United States and sent to “countries such as Australia with relative anonymity, especially where transactions are made using emerging technologies and business practices, such as the darknet and freight-forwarding services.”

Sydney University gun policy analyst Philip Alpers said overseas experience suggested that the new amnesty would collect only “rubbish guns” that were not valued by either legitimate gun owners or criminals.

The government plans to crack down on illegal guns by introducing a mandatory five-year minimum prison term for gun traffickers, and by boosting screening of international mail, air and sea cargo.

Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press

purqatory  asked:

quick goodbye kiss for dramione :))))

“Granger, have you eaten?”

“Hm?” she asked, staring down at the unfinished draft of legislation. “Yeah.”

She didn’t look up as he strode into the room, sitting carelessly opposite her at the desk. “I heard they’re burning copies of Hogwarts, A History outside,” he commented.

“Mm,” she said. “Right.”

“I’ve been thinking,” he added, facetiously tapping his mouth. “Should we have fourteen babies, or will ten be sufficient?”

“Yeah,” she said, crossing out a line about mandatory minimum sentences. “I agree.”

“I was also thinking,” Draco continued loftily, “that we should quit our jobs and start a zoo. Oh, and I’ve illegally acquired two dozen house elves to paint the inside of our flat in Slytherin colors, and will hereby be changing my name to Fernando McBollocks. I expect you to take my name when we get married,” he added. “You can hyphenate if you want. Granger-McBollocks.”

“Sounds nice,” Hermione murmured, and he grinned, leaning over to kiss her.

“See you later,” he told her, pulling away, but she stopped him, hesitating.

“Did you say babies?” she asked, and he smiled.

“All in good time,” he assured her, striding briskly out of the room.

Send me a kiss and I’ll give you five lines 
(except this one was really long but you know, for you, anything)

Thanks ladies for the supportive comments. It really means a lot to me. I don’t often delve into that phase of my life here, I think I feel like because my family court experience ended with me getting my kid back and our life getting better, I feel awkward trying to verbalize what bio moms you might be in a foster care relationship with could be feeling.

@bujnik thank you for the very thoughtful question. These are some things I wished the person taking care of my child had/n’t done:

-I wish she had deferred to my opinion on things that seemed little to her but were important to me. Clothing, for example. She felt like when I complained about clothes, I was being ungrateful for the effort she’d put into scrambling to get baby clothes. But to me how she dressed M represented something larger. I felt like she was dressing M the way she’d dressed me and my siblings, which made me feel like M was to her the other child she’d long tried to have. New moms buy tiny clothes with their first baby. Seasoned parents know how fast babies grow and buy big. But I was a new mom and I really wanted the teeny tiny onesies. That was the fourth baby she was taking care of, but my first baby, and maybe the only baby I’ll ever have.

-I wish she hadn’t done things that to me felt like she was making M grow up faster. Stroller selection, for example. I thought a newborn should be in a snap & go. She doesn’t like clunky strollers and didn’t know how to fold it so she got an umbrella stroller. It reclined all the way, it wasn’t unsafe. But I felt like that was a stroller for a 1-year-old, not a 1-month-old. I already felt like I was losing so much time with M, and anything that made M seem older made me feel like time was moving too fast for me to ever catch up.

-I wish she hadn’t shown me pictures of/ told me about all the random people spending time with M. She was trying to be nice and wanted me to know M was adored by an entire community. But to me it felt like how come your third cousin can take her for a walk, and I can’t; how come my brother’s roommate got to rock her to sleep, and I can’t.

-I was happy that my mom always answered when I called. On the rare time that she didn’t, my mind started swirling thinking something horrible had happened to M and I couldn’t focus on anything until I knew she was okay. I hated it when my mom would complain to me about being tired. I know taking care of a newborn is exhausting. But I would’ve traded anything to get to be exhausted from taking care of M.

-After rehab, there were 2 (3?) months when I could be at their house all day but had to sleep somewhere else at night. Then for another bit of time I could live with them but couldn’t be alone with M. She’d throw around her “supervising” power whenever she was irritated at me about anything. Right or wrong, I felt like she’s the one who needed to be supervised, not me. I wish she’d never taken advantage of the power she held over me.

-I wish she had listened to me about things like feeding schedules and sleep training. Or even put one percent of effort into trying. Maybe the way I wanted her to do things was not the way she’d done things in the past. But this wasn’t the same as how things had been for her in the past, i.e. this was not her child. When me and M moved out and I could finally start doing things my way, it was challenging to change some of the habits my mom had instilled.

-She said I was a great mom, but I felt like she took on an air of righteousness, like she thought she was the pinnacle of parenting because she was handed my baby. I wish she’d understood that the line between good and bad parenting can be very blurry. It’s easy to deem addicts unfit because drugs are simple to test for. Other things, like emotional abuse, are more subjective and not simple to test for. I wish she hadn’t interpreted her role in the situation as validation of parenting style, caregiving choices, and of herself as a superior human being.

In terms of maintaining the relationship with an incarcerated parent, these are some things I do for M’s dad:

-every year for her birthday I order her one of those personalized books and in the inscription say it’s from both of us. I color xerox the pages and send them to him so when we visit he can talk to her about the adventures she’s having in the book

-sometimes on a random weekend day I’ll take a photo of everything she’s doing like a pic of her eating breakfast, a pic of her in her car seat, a pic of her on the swings, a pic of her having a tantrum, a pic of her sleeping, etc then send them to him in order, so he can vicariously experience the little details of a day in her daily life which allows him to know her better and see what her life is like other than the usual generic smiling pictures I often send

-when she was younger I’d print out articles on child development and send them to him. I used to babysit so I have experience with kids but he doesn’t, and this would teach him what to expect at visits, let him know how she was progressing, etc. Now I send copies of the written portion from her parent teacher conferences.

-M is safe, happy, and healthy because of what happened. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a huge hole in her life from his absence. I think of some of the positive things he would be doing with her if he were here, things I wouldn’t be inclined to do on my own, and make an effort to do them with her. Gardening is one of them. That was his hobby and something I wasn’t interested in but I’ve started doing with M until he’s here to do it with her himself.

-as she’s gotten older there are personality traits I’ve noticed that she inherited from him. It’s hard for me to really understand her perfectionism for example, because I’m not like that, but he is. I asked him how he wished someone had helped him with that when we was a kid, and at a visit he talked to M about it, better than I could have, in ways she related to.

-I try to nurture their shared interests. He’s a great artist, so is she. She sends him unicorn drawings and he sends her drawings of her at a princess castle, etc.

-sometimes when I’m annoyed with him I have a tendency to write off his parenting ideas, like oh he has no clue about anything, I’m the real parent, I’m the one who’s here every day, etc. But it’s only luck that I’m here and he’s not. We were both arrested. He had a prior record so he got a seven year mandatory minimum sentence; I did not have a prior record so I got probation. I try to remember that I’m not better than he is; I’m just luckier. He wishes he could be here with her. One day he will be here with her. She’s just as much his child as she is mine.

Mandatory Minimums (1.20)
  • Sam: Mandatory Minimums are racist.
  • Toby: I understand that.
  • Sam: They're a red herring.
  • Toby: I understand that, too.
  • Sam: It's a way of looking like you're tough on crime, without assuming the burden of being tough on crime.
  • Toby: Everything you've said I understand.
  • Sam: I'm saying -
  • Toby: We do things one thing at a time.
  • Sam: But I'm saying we don't have time to do things one thing at a time.
  • Toby: We're talking about treatment.
  • Sam: I'm talking about treatment and I'm talking about Mandatory Minimums and I'm saying it's a red herring and I'm saying it's racist.

Laurel Highlands is a penitentiary for men, located 70 miles SE of Pittsburgh. It is the only prison in the state of Pennsylvania that is specifically for inmates who are elderly or infirm. Inmates within the Pennsylvania corrections system are sent to Laurel Highlands when they have been diagnosed with a condition that requires daily medical support, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, kidney or liver disease, or pulmonary diseases. The facility operates mostly as a medical hospital, and the staff consists of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants. Security staffing is minimal. The hospice unit is also staffed by a prisoner helper system, where other prison inmates assist the nursing staff by providing personal care such as cleaning, helping a sick inmate move from place to place, and providing company to the dying inmate. There are no bars on the windows, and security fencing is similar to those at a minimum security prison. Showers are outfitted with grab bars and shower seats. Due to the four decade long “war on drugs”, mandatory minimum sentencing and three strikes laws, the percentage of elderly inmates in prison has exploded, leaving the country’s correctional systems in the position of having to provide geriatric care, which costs approximately 30% more than the cost of housing a relatively healthy inmate. There are roughly 300 inmates at Laurel Highlands, with a very long waiting list.