May 25, 2019

Comment response

by Harlan Richards (author's profile)
This post is in reply to comments on:  Old People In Prison thumbnail
Old People In Prison
(May 7, 2019)

Transcription

Date: 5/21/2019 11:27:41 PM
Subject: wqtv

May 21, 2019

Hi Evy,

This is the first response I am submitting via email. I just found out that BTB is connected to Corlinks, so my responses should be more timely.

Which legislator are you meeting with? What are you asking him to do? I'm sure you are aware that with a Republican-controlled legislature, the likelihood of meaningful change is slim. But nevertheless, I wish you success in your efforts.

Harlan

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enerbonne Posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago. ✓ Mailed 4 months, 1 week ago   Favorite
Hello Harlan,

I talked with my State Senator Patty Schnachtner (she was the surprise Democratic winner last year who got Sheila Harsdorf's seat when she left to be Secretary of Agriculture)last week about what I thought she might champion as prison reform issues. Even tho she's a Democrat with a Democratic Governor who talks a good talk....she's consistently disappointed me with her "politically correct" answers. She's not interested in championing anything when it comes to prison reform...and totally refuses to talk about the mandatory 3-year minimum sentence for possession of child porn. I suggested that a practicing pedophile is a different situation than a no-contact-with- the-outside world porn addict (technology addiction in John's case)...but she won't talk about the subject at all. Says the topic is just too "sensitive".

I'm meeting with my Republican Assemblyman Shannon Zimmerman on Wednesday in person...I've known him for several years through his business connections prior to his election. He's made some prison reform comments to me in passing...so I'm anxious to hear his thoughts on what John and others at Stanley see as topics worth consideration in prison reform. He's on the Joint Finance Committee so has risen through the ranks quickly to a position of power so could affect change should he so choose. He was in lock step with Walker on most things in the past so will see how he walks his bi-partisan talk now that he has a chance.

I'll keep you posted on what Zimmerman has to say. Ironic that the Democrat wouldn't meet me in person and isn't interested in what I had to say...and at this point the Republican is willing to meet me in person. Hopefully he will listen to what's come forward as topics from the guys John knows at Stanley. I'd be thrilled (if I were him) to have access to the truth from the real world inside the system...not just what others think the legislature wants to hear.

I'm also meeting with a former judge to talk about the porn addiction education program I'd like to bring to our area next fall. He's been identified as an advocate for education, prevention and rehabilitation rather than incarceration....I'll see what he has to say.

Keep up the blogs...glad the tablet is making your work easier, quicker and cheaper. John says you'll be seeing changes with canteen and phone system vendor switches....hopefully they get the bugs worked out quickly as I'm sure there will be some.

Evy

Harlan Richards Posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago.   Favorite
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enerbonne Posted 3 months, 3 weeks ago. ✓ Mailed 2 months, 3 weeks ago   Favorite
Good morning Harlan,

You're totally right....as usual. My husband's incarceration was tied to many mental health issues including depression and anxiety. In my research about pornography addiction, once you've started down the trail--you lose all decision making control. I've said that if he was going to get addicted to the internet--why didn't he choose Muppets movies? But he chose pornography--a conscious decision in the beginning and the rest is history. He's now past the half way mark for incarceration and hopeful he can resume mental health and sexual addiction counseling when he gets out. He needs (and wants) to deal with the original issues that got him into trouble--and hopefully have a clearer understanding to help others.

Conversations with my legislators--I was pleasantly surprised that my Assemblyman Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls) was willing to meet with me in person and we talked for about 1.5 hours. I gave him the notes John and others had prepared for what they saw as possible legislative issues for improvement. I also gave him some of your blogs. He seemed genuinely interested in bi-partisan talks about possible improvements and said he'd share my materials with others on the right committees. Now that the budget is set (theoretically), they may have time to look at other legislative issues. Time will tell.

John's got a job....which cuts into his time for attending classes and he misses the class with you. He said he's heard talk that another class may be started in the afternoon which would allow him to return. He works in food service and is an expert on folding napkins into the right configuration with silverware. He quickly advanced to the lead position with his shift. The Washington County (MN) historical society newsletter recently had a photo from about 1910 of the cafeteria area in the prison in Stillwater. All the plates and silverware were in perfect placement on the rows of tables...and the guys serving the bread to inmates wore white gloves! John likes the involvement of having the job...and brings back memories of the challenges of owning your own business and dealing with employee issues--will they show up? What's the dynamic between workers? Constant turnover? Interesting to hear his comments about the process there at Stanley.

Finally....you'll appreciate this. The Deacon from our Episcopal Church came with me to visit John and do a blessing for our 45th wedding anniversary. He couldn't get it! The snap on his blue jeans apparently had too much (or a different substance) metal to pass security. So off we went to the Dollar Store to purchase him some sweat pants to pass the security detector. I thought a Deacon's collar might trump a clearly identified suspect blue jeans snap....but no such luck! The Dollar Store clerk shared some interesting stories of what people have to do to make it thru the scanner....positive economic impact on Stanley! Ha!

Stay strong!

Evy

Harlan Richards Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago.   Favorite
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