Archive for the Category »McKeanFCI «

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Wesley Snipes & “Dream McKean”…

Wesley Trent Snipes, #43355-018 (48), checked into FCI McKean, PA, yesterday at around noon.  His crime?  Tax evasion.  In a rational justice system, the entire matter would have been handled in civil court.

Dec. 9th, 2010

He was initially processed thru the main medium-security prison to be transferred next door to the FPC (camp) to begin serving his 3 yrs.

One of the more notable former inmates of that camp was Detroit Tiger pitcher Denny McLain (fraud).

While the FCI has a double razor-wire fence, the camp has none.  There is relatively more physical freedom in the minimum-security camp, but the few guards that are there (292 inmates) tend to be a lot more Mickey Mouse, acting like the place was a USP (penitentiary). more…

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Prison Experience & The Gay ‘90s…

The first time I walked out to the rec field at “Dream McKean,” I got a few surprises.

The first one was when I noticed one team playing softball dressed in NY Yankee uniforms, and the other team wearing the colors and logo of MacDonald’s.  Several of the visiting players were definitely not male.

It was high summer of ’94 and off to one side of the field a rock band was beltin’ out Bob Seger’s “Hollywood Nights.”  On the other side, wafted the smoke and aroma of bar-b-que.  About all that was missing was the heady scent of reefer… more…

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The October Rebellion…

One of my favorite times of the day is the early morning hour…just around 5am when the cell doors are unlocked.  Cleaning time, showers, getting ready for work, and the early morning news on the common-area TVs.

OJ Simpson

As a former professional journalist, I like to think of myself as a discerning viewer.

One my favorite games: Viewing the raw footage early, and then catching the edited form later.  At times the differences are quite remarkable.  Such as one morning during the final assault by the ATF and FBI on the Waco Compound.

The early news showed the para-military gov’t agents surrounding the compound shouting with glee, high-fiving each other as the main building burned.  There were descriptions of survivors being gunned down as they tried to escape the flames.  Later in the day, all that was edited out.

The most extreme example of news control I’ve witnessed is the October Rebellion of 1995.  The largest mass-prison uprising in the history of the United States.  Never heard of it?  more…

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“Dream McKean” (2)…

“Don’t let it be forgot / That once there was a spot / For one brief shining moment / That was known as Camelot!”      

Dream McKean

     This is the second of several articles on FCI McKean, PA, and its warden, Dennis M. Luther, from 1989-to-1995.  (The first, “Laverne & Shirley,” can be found by clicking here.)

In 1946, Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, put the lie to the Nazi defense that they “had no choice” and were “only following orders,” by submitting other Nazi witnesses who had refused criminal orders without retaliation.

My initial request to be transferred to FCI McKean, PA, was denied with a terse, “We are only sending disciplinary subjects to McKean…”  The denial made no sense to me—at the time.  It would eventually take the interest and inquiry of a US Congressman to effect my transfer. more…

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Wesley Snipes…

Current news tells us that the actor, Wesley Snipes, has lost his appeal of a tax evasion conviction.  He’s headed to prison to serve a three-year sentence.  The American Tribune opposes this sanction.

What's the point?

At worst, the man is guilty of tax evasion.  Maybe in some fundamentalist world 3 years in prison makes some sort of retributional-punitive sense, but not in ours.  Get a life!

One of the tasks of this site is to bring to the public a coherent and experiential voice from those most affected by the criminal justice system and imprisonment…the prisoners themselves; much as military veterans should have a voice in conflict and war.  more…

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Laverne & Shirley…

Early one evening in the summer of ’94, a group of us were in Spanish class at FCI McKean, PA.  Our instructor, a kindly Cuban lady by the name of Ms. Rodriguez, teaching us for the University of Pittsburgh, suddenly stopped talking as her mouth continued to open and close and her eyes grew large.

For a moment, I thought she might be having a stroke.  Following her gaze and looking behind me, I caught brief sight of Laverne and Shirley passing by the classroom windows.

Someone asked, “Are you alright, Ms. Rodriguez?”

She took a moment, then said, “Oh my God,” covering her mouth with her hand, “I’m sorry.  I don’t want to say anything bad about black women, but I’m afraid your prison have two of the ugliest staff I’ve ever seen…” more…

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