Archive for the Category »PellGrants «

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Prison Education (2)…

(Note: The following article is written for my many comrades on the other side of the razor-wire, and for those who have a stake in their welfare and their future…and just maybe your own as well.)

Education isn’t everything…

Education in prison is like rehabilitation: The only way you get out rehabilitated is if you already had it to begin with, or you mostly accomplish it on your own. Prison per se is today–under the conservative regimen–workhouses for punishment and retribution. more…

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Pell Grants, Corporate Predators & Other Criminals…

I initially drafted this article around the issue of the current Pell Grants debate. The Senate is again attempting to gut the program. Pell Grants are available to those below a certain income. It’s traditionally been a means for working class youth to rise into the middle class.

For me, this lesson started back in the mid-‘90s in prison. As with the bellwether of Detroit, the American gulag was an early forecaster for what the “free-world’s” 99% is today experiencing.

In 1988, I was a Criminal Defense Investigator (CDI) in a Michigan cocaine conspiracy case. That charge against my clients ended with a dismissal by the state court. more…

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Prison & Education…

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face . . . forever.”     George Orwell, 1984.

(Disclosure: My 25-yr sentence to federal prison (I served over 22 of it; 1990-2012) was for a conviction for Cocaine Conspiracy. While we in the movement had eliminated powder cocaine from our “underground fund-raising” activities by 1983 due to the CIA and White House popularization of “crack” cocaine in order to fund the Contra-War against the left’s election in Nicaragua, I was nevertheless charged in 1989 with conspiracy. Refusing to take a plea and/or “cooperate” in the naming and prosecuting of others, Reagan’s judge in Detroit sentenced me to the maximum he could.)

When I went to prison in 1990, I already had accomplished careers in journalism in the US and Middle East, 17-yrs of criminal & civil investigations, and a lifetime of political organizing behind me (I was then 48). I had also completed 3 yrs at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Given the time and opportunity I had with a 25-yr sentence, one way I coped was with a determination to employ that time to complete my formal education. I saw it as a unique opportunity. The last thing I wanted was to do all that time and have nothing positive to show for it. more…

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Pell Grants & the Prison Experience…

“Hey, Medvecky!  You got a minute?”

Finishing up some production procurements on the govt’s internal computer system, I strolled over to where several fellow prison Business Office workers and the Associate Warden (AW) were having an argument.

Being one of the resident inmates taking college courses, I had occasion to be asked for information and opinions related to education.

It was 1994.  We were in a federal, medium-security prison.  Congress was debating President Clinton’s legislation to eliminate prisoners from getting Pell Grants. more…

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