2011 will go down as one of the most interesting years for criminal justice fans and followers. Of course we had the big name cases like Casey Anthony, Amanda Knox, Conrad Murray and Rod Blagojevich. But we also had major reform in California and Federal Crack Cocaine sentencing laws.
In both the California realignment case and Federal Crack Cocaine reform, many inmates were released immediately from custody. While these were great positives and steps in the right direction, the media coverage and biased reporting on other cases seemed to send our system backwards.
The Casey Anthony case was lost due to an arrogant and lazy prosecution, while the Conrad Murray case provided disappointing ratings for the media. So, the quest for the next “Big Case” will go on. Once again we see that people are fascinated with our criminal justice system and how it works. Now the trick is to continue to raise awareness on how the system works and how it can be made better.
This insider is particularly interested in the Amanda Knox case. Not only did Knox serve time in Italy for a heinous crime, she was eventually acquitted just like Casey Anthony. Yet, as predicted, Knox has had a much nicer and more welcoming reception. Her re-entry has been much easier than that of Anthony. This goes to show you the power of the media and how everybody associated with these trials helped to shape our opinions.
2011 was also a record year for this insider. I had the privilege to work with some amazing clients. Some were very well known and others were not, but their stories and the stories of their families are always similar. Prison is a great equalizer. It is the only employer that does not discriminate. Additionally, I had the opportunity to work on many great media projects that I hope shined a realistic and positive light on our system and the people in it. It is a waste to criticize without offering solutions, and so I always tried to offer solutions while providing my unique take on the case and situation.
2011 also proved to me that re-entry while difficult is possible, and that a free and productive life can be had by all of us. I made many new friends, reconnected with old ones and even built a twitter following! And lastly, I had the support of my children and family. This transition has not been easy but there is nothing more gratifying or worthwhile. I encourage everybody struggling with prison and re-entry to work hard, get honest and embrace freedom.
Here’s a thank you to my best year ever and a wish for a free and happy 2012.
The Casey Anthony case has more twists and turns than a ride at Universal Studios! As predicted, tot mom was not found guilty, pretends to be in rehab, and now I believe she and her legal team will face a Federal Investigation.
Why a Federal Investigation? Several reasons. For starters, the Florida department of Corrections SCREW up by allowing Casey Anthony to serve probation while in jail, Judge Strickland speaking to the media and the gross misuse of taxpayer funds to pay the Anthony lawyers and experts.
Now, this insider predicts that the IRS will investigate not only in regards to the lien they placed on the Casey Anthony payment from ABC, but the funds her legal team must have also received and not declared. Hello- tax FRAUD.
We also may see an investigation into the lack of a proper Police investigation, George and Cindy Anthony issues, and the quick determination to NOT file perjury charges against Cindy.
What else can go wrong here? Lots. Maybe in jail misconduct and the lack of a tax declaration on the funds received in jail by Casey Anthony.
This case shows the absolute tragic state that our criminal justice system is in.I spoke about this and more last week on Nancy Grace and issues with Jane Velez Mitchell. The lesson, as I always say is that change IS possible. This time we need to change the system. Less talk and more action.
The time has come for Casey Anthony to walk free. Hard to believe, but true. Anthony leaves as a convicted felon for the check fraud conviction of January 2010. She also was sentenced to four years on the lying to police charges. Those are misdemeanors.
So, where does she go? There are all kinds of theories. I really do not know, but I do know that every aspect of this case is unusual and her destination is bound to be as well.
A normal inmate leaving has many options. In fact, Florida has more re-entry programs than most states and ex-governor Jeb Busch even had a re-entry task force. There are also faith-based programs and Casey said she met with ministry volunteers in jail. Who knows if that is true, as we must consider the source- Casey Anthony! But, the released person herself must choose to participate in a re-entry program unless she is ordered to a halfway house. Anthony was NOT ordered to a halfway house, community service or even probation. What???
Yep, she had a year of probation that was ordered in the January 2010 fraud case. She served that with a probation office visiting her in jail and the probation order expired January 2011. Yet another odd fact.
We do know that Anthony is able to bring her jail “possessions” with her as well as any money that was sent to her by fans and groupies. While this money has been reported to be less than $500, that may not be accurate. The $500 balance was on July 13. She probably has been withdrawing funds all along. We know she has been shopping in the jail commissary all along.
We also know that if Casey Anthony decides to live in certain States she will have to register as a convicted felon. Florida has a felony law for all offenders, but the much-rumored Texas does not. Anthony does have fans and groupies. Yes, FANS. Hey even Charles Manson has fans and groupies and admitted killer Lyle Menendez married a woman who had been writing letters to him despite the fact that he will never be released from prison. Anthony has been found not guilty so her fan base of wack packers is large. And yes, she has haters too. Many as we all know.
This begs the question: where can she go? While the rest of us think she would want to change her appearance and go by a different name, she may love the attention so much that after a few weeks seeks it out. Imagine calling a restaurant and saying “Casey Anthony” table for two! Very possible as she obviously has some mental health issues and is a severe narcissist.
Where will Casey Anthony go and where will she stay? Time will tell, and I am sure we will all be hearing from her loud and clear. Well, clear in her world. Fantasyland but not Universal Studios. Stay tuned…
FOLLOW ON TWITTER @incarcervention
The verdict is in for Casey Anthony. Not guilty. Contrary to what most people think, this does not mean innocent. But, this is our criminal justice system. We must turn our attention to the bigger picture. What lessons can be learned?
The truth is that this case can be a lesson for all of us and a catalyst for change. After all without awareness there cannot be change. And, this case has drawn loads of awareness. So, some facts:
Child abuse, child trafficking and child neglect are everywhere. In the United States alone the figures are enormous.
FIVE children die every day as the result of child abuse.
It is estimated that over 65% of child fatalities due to abuse are not recorded as such on death certificates.
More than 40% of women in prison were abused as children.
Children who have been abused are more than 60% more likely to be arrested as adults.
These are sobering facts and apply only to the United States. The numbers are even higher in many other countries.
In many cases of child murder the family has turned their attention, energy and passion to evoke change. In this case the family of Casey Anthony has baggage beyond belief. Will Cindy and George Anthony be able to make child abuse and neglect their platform? Better question, can Casey Anthony do the same?
I believe that change is possible. I always urge my clients to make changes and actually do the work. Best place to start for any criminal defendant- COMMUNITY SERVICE. I doubt that Anthony will be ordered to perform community service, but it would be the best result for everyone involved. For now let’s shine the light and STOP child abuse. There is no excuse. Especially in America.
Follow on Twitter-@incarcervention
Have you ever wondered what prison is like on Independence Day? Ironic, as prison is a place you earn your way to by choosing to give up your freedom. Independence what? The truth is that in the Federal Prison system- the BOP- Bureau of Prison’s- puts it’s best self forward as they do on all holidays. This means card tournaments, sports events, movies and special meals. All with prizes. Yep, prizes. Why? Because prison is supposed to be for paying your debt to society and rehabilitation. The fact is that most people in prison in the U.S. are coming home and most in less than 5 years. So, a little perk here and there does serve a purpose and make inmates feel more like people. People they will one day need to be as they re-enter society.
Of course, I was in a Federal Prison Camp- a la Martha Stewart, Steve Madden and Mike Milken, but the BOP strives to make all Federal Prisons more tolerable on holidays. So, even Bernie Madoff will be living it up this Fourth of July weekend. Next year Blago will be as well.
The fact is that most inmates appreciate these “perks” and holidays are hard. The Fourth of July and the celebration of freedom is a tough concept to deal with in prison. That’s why most choose not to think and reflect about their choices and the consequences. Those who end up in prison in the United States have made a choice in most cases. It’s that choice that is hard to accept and why some people keep making the wrong ones. For those I say get an Incarcervention. For others, remember we live in the land of the free and change is possible.
But, I urge all of us- even those who have FREEDOM, to sit back and show gratitude. We do live in the land of the FREE. Happy July 4!!
Follow me on twitter @incarcervention
Filed under Barry Bonds, Blago, Cameron Douglas, Casey Anthony, criminal justice, Federal Prison, financial fraud, Fourth of July in prison, incarcervention, jail, prison coaching, prison preparation, prison re entry, raj rajaratnum, rapper T.I., restorative justice, Tot mom, visiting parents in prison, Wall Street, women in prison