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Prison Problems Archive



by Edmond Geary

When a Plea is not Voluntary

A plea of guilty must be entered freely and voluntarily, “without coercion or compulsion of any kind ” All criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma know these words by heart.  These words must be read by all who wish to enter a guilty plea to a felony. No wonder, then, that Thomas Cofer was allowed to…

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by Edmond Geary

Mental health help, always scarce, is getting scarcer here

Anyone who is around the criminal justice system encounters the mental health system.  All Oklahoma criminal defense attorneys need those services from time to time, especially in alcohol-related and drug-related offenses, but not limited to those charges.  Regardless of what they are charged with, clients can need mental competency evaluation, behavioral counseling or in-patient rehabilitation….

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by Edmond Geary

Conjugal Visits in Prison

Conjugal visitation with prisoners is rare in American prisons.  It is prohibited in all federal and most state prisons.  They began in Mississippi as a means of prisoner control, where, black prisoners at first, were allowed to visit with wives or prostitutes on Sundays. The policy solidified in the 1940s when permanent facilities were constructed…

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by Edmond Geary

Department of Corrections wants Answers from Private Prisons

When the big prison riot at North Fork Correctional Facility in Beckham County erupted in October, 2011, it required help from lots of law enforcement from surrounding communities.  The facility is owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), but the private prison does not have the wherewithal to put down a riot, especially one of…

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by Edmond Geary

The Problem of Aging Prisoners

Elderly prisoners, both male and female, are the most rapidly growing group in American  prisons.  Staff in the prisons are facing increasing difficulties in providing these prisoners appropriate housing and medical care.  Because of their higher rates of illness and physical and mental impairments, older prisoners incur medical costs three to nine times as high…

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by Edmond Geary

Making Money on Oklahoma Prisoners

When talk turned to letting prison inmates out early with ankle monitors, who thought about losing money?  Apparently, the people who operate the private prisons who lose inmates from such a program. On the first day of this month, the Department of Corrections implemented a new statute, HB 2131, that released on GPS monitoring those…

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by Edmond Geary

Staff Disciplinary actions at Prison give insights

Staff disciplinary actions by the Department of Corrections give some insight into the culture and people at the Department of Corrections and at least one of the prisons in Oklahoma.  Department spokesmen say in deciding the penalties, they consider various factors to arrive at an appropriate punishment, including obviously the nature of the violation in…

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by Edmond Geary

Too Many Prisoners, Study Finds Once Again

An independently-financed study has concluded that Oklahoma’s parole process is keeping the prison population too high for taxpayers to afford.  Still another study with the same conclusion.  The Northpointe Institute for Public Management conducted the study which was financed by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Oklahoma is the only state that requires the governor to…

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by Edmond Geary

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Solutions Discussed

Year after year, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections comes back to the legislature again and again for supplemental funding.  They can never get enough money.  It’s the same in every state. “Corrections spending is a Pac Man in state budgets everywhere.  It’s eating into all other priorities,” Michael Thompson, executive director of the Council of…

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by Edmond Geary

Oklahoma Women Prisoners not Getting Treatment

There were 2, 760 women in Oklahoma prisons in 2010.  Of that number, 1,744 or 63% were in need of substance abuse treatment, but programs are not available for them.  Education programs are even more scarce.   A substance abuse treatment program requires 4 to 12 months to complete.   Of the 885 women inmates released last…

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