Wasted Time & False Parole
Most prisons have various programs... if you want to call them that, intended for prisoners to "better" themselves. Arkansas is an archaic prison system well known for its foul, unconstitutional, and barbaric practices, thus why would anyone expect the state to have good and helpful programs honestly intended to help inmates become productive and successful members of society. All of the programs are supposed to be voluntary and have no sway or effect on your parole eligibility... but this is untrue with Arkansas's corrupt parole board and is especially untrue for all sex offenders.
Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) seems to feel or think that prisoners are below human beings, undeserving of any real educational programs that are of equal or above what free world people can be offered. ADC also feels that instructor led courses don't need or deserve an actual "qualified" class instructor, just any person should do fine... right? Arkansas does not believe in the use of actual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) courses. The corrupt Parole Board has no problem with stipulating their slave inmates to programs, forcing them to complete the program to be "considered" for parole or they can simply do 100% of their time, (which is a direct violation of the terms in which every citizen signed their plea agreement upon). This literally means all prisoners stipulated, are forced to do fake programs or do 100% of their sentenced time without parole which is not part of their sentence as the court order sentence is based on the fact that you will get out on parole when you are supposed to unless you are a continual troublemaker. Every prisoner in Arkansas except those of whom the court states cannot parole out, are promised parole as part of their sentencing conditions and very few are being granted the parole they are promised of which this promise and assumed fact creates a very true "vested interest" as a court consideration of all sentences thus the Arkansas Parole Board is in violation of their own laws and policies all the time. Worse is the fact that prisoners can complete the board stipulated program and still be denied parole by the parole board causing the Arkansas Parole Board to set up and violate a vested interest of the prisoners parole release.
Upon entry to ADC, if you don't have a high school diploma, GED, or College Degree or if have no one on the outside that can have it sent to you because the ADC refuses to do their job by requesting all of your records, you (the inmate) are forced to go to "school" through their GED course. If you refuse to go to school, you are given a Major Disciplinary, placed on restriction, and put in the Hole on punitive punishment, with loss of all privileges, visitation, and phone contact of loved ones. You co to class IV and so they can take good time and not give you good time. If you are "Board Stipulated" they can force you to go flat doing 100% of your time. This punishment is very common for those of whom already have a diploma or college degree and are being punished entirely because ADC doesn't want to do their job and want to get paid by the government that pays them for every student that goes to "school" for that year.
Upon entering ADC, if you have any "sex" offense, you (the inmate) just as well apply for the Reduction of Sexual Victimization Program (RSVP), (SOFT program for female sex offenders) which is actually intended for rape cases with penetration and threat level 3 and 4 high risk offenders but ADC forces all sex offenders to go through this six month demeaning and demoralizing "witch" hunt as called by Minister Stephen Graves of whom is also a program sponsor of ADC. All whom have taken this class agree to this fact.
In RSVP, inmates are forced to talk about their crime in extreme detail, their victim, what they did to or with their victim, and their lives leading up to the crime causing the inmate offender to relive and revictimize the incident in their mind which is mentally victimizing the offender. This ADC class also mentally victimizes the offender by teaching them that they are all victimizing children or women by just thoughts or looking at them. This is sick and demoralizing treatment. If you (the monster offender) mention anything not used against you in your court case, ADC will have you brought up on new charges in the free world which is a violation of your 5th amendment rights and they violate your 8th and 14th amendment rights by forcing you to relive all the events of this terrible moment or incident. When you tell your story, if it doesn't conform to what "they" (the sick tormentor instructor non-therapists) expect or want to hear, you're failed and kicked out. If you (the inmate) do not finish this unconstitutional program of derogatory hatred, then ADC absolutely forces the inmate to do 100% of their time, flat. In some instances, because of a "deal" or "agreement" Arkansas has with Ozark Guidance, and the money Ozark Guidance makes because of all the state referrals of stipulated or forced program participation, this appears a "conflict of interest"...
In RSVP, you (the offender) are very illegally held and interrogated, without the option of an attorney or being told your rights and ADC will illegally use this information against you in a court of law. If anyone refuses this program on these legal grounds, they're forced to do 100% of their sentence without parole meaning that they go flat max time. Everyone that takes RSVP, even Minister Stephen Graves agree that it is just a chance to point fingers, call people predators, is so degrading and demoralizing with no real education of behavioral changes. It does teach and drill in how to identify what is considered inappropriate sexual thought. In a very sick and mixed signal, RSVP also teaches that these supposed horrible sexual thoughts are very natural and normal, teaching that we the people are being locked up and tortured for natural and normal behaviors... It's often a question if the class is teaching not to be sex offenders or how to be better sex offenders. There has also been, in both RSVP and SOFT, a lot of problem of staff (Employee) sexual misconduct of staff and inmates, due to arousal from told stories to staff and inmates and the very real fact that most in these programs are actually "sex addicts" and very few are predators.
As if RSVP and SOFT are not demeaning or demoralizing enough, but if you are male as most female sex offenders do hot have to register, all male sex offenders have to go through a very biased, discriminatory (gender and all ways), and corrupt offender "Risk Assessment" in which again, the prisoner or "offender" is illegally questioned without the right to have an attorney present of which all said questions have very real legal and permanent detrimental life consequences, to unfairly assess or assign a false "risk" level ranging from 1 - Low (almost no one gets) to 4 - High "predator" on an assumed presumption of what a person "might" do, not that they have done.You go in automatically a 4 and have to prove why you're lower leveled and if a biased opinion exists, the person can assign anything they want. If you refuse on legal grounds of illegal questioning, they automatically make you a level 4 with maximum restrictions making it nearly illegal to even live or look at another person. This assessment allows the state to tell you where you can or cannot live, where you can or cannot work, where you can or cannot go... it effects jobs, leisure activities, life activities, liberties, living locations. The questioning is often done by a female which can cause her to feel in danger and cause gender bias. The person doing the assessments has all details and thus is already biased in their opinion of the offender, and there is usually one person doing the questioning and can say or evaluate you, the offender any way they want, potentially destroying your life... just because they can and want to even if for retaliation.
Arkansas and ADC does not believe in sex addiction but only sex offenders thus ADC offers no support groups or programs for sex addicts to address a growing and very real problem which has been proven to be the actual problem that majority of sex offenders actually suffer from and not the false "incurable" sickness as once thought. It has been proven in more recent mass studies that 96.5% of sex offenders never reoffend of another "sex" crime. They have the lowest same crime recidivism rate and yet are treated like worthless dirt or scum by both the system and society. With the hypersexualization of our adolescents and tweens, the number of sex addicts and registered sex offenders of both genders is expected to explode over the next 20 years, yet current data says the rate of sex crimes has actually went down but has remained mostly unchanged for years at an overall 4.x%...
ADC has programs and support groups for substance abuse addicts. The support groups are Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery and the programs are Substance Abuse Education (SAE), Substance Abuse Treatment Program (SATP), and Therapeutic Community (TC). The SAE programs is supposed to be an instructor led course but actually consists of the prisoner being sent a small packet from Mental Health. Prisoners simply read the papers and answer a few written questions then send the packet back to mental health for full credit and "good" time rewarded though it is worthless. SATP is an instructor led and managed program intended to teach an addict behavioral concepts to stop, think, and avoid use. This program is only helpful to the addicts that want to quit and unfortunately, majority of the class goers are "Parole Board Stipulated" for consideration of parole or be forced to go flat. So few that really want to do the program to get help can get into the class and the majority of the program are people that don't want to be in the program and so just fake it to make it as "forced students." This stipulation garbage honestly renders the program pointless and ineffective. TC gives behavioral education and group support in which they all share stories and work the class work which is similar to the "Anonymous" support groups and Celebrate Recovery. The scary thing is that the program teaches and requires the participants to "snitch" or tell on each other and write each other up giving inmates authority over each other and snitching is dangerous and stupid to require because in this environment they are forcing inmates to perform an activity or practice that directly places their lives in danger! Not surprisingly majority of TC participants are Parole Board Stipulated rendering this class worthless and ineffective. They reward worthless good time upon completion of TC.
A shared big no, no ADC commits in RSVP, TC, and PAL programs is placing inmates into a "position of power" over other inmates by being able to write other inmates up for anything they do or have allegedly done causing corrective disciplinary action. The other big no, no of RSVP, SATP, TC, and so many other of the programs is the fact that forced programs are totally worthless because the person must actually want help first or they will never work the program seriously and will fake it to make it and ADC doesn't get that. The biggest no, no that ADC and Arkansas fails to acknowledge is that none of their programs have a reward or benefit. The supposed "good time" is pointless and worthless to the Arkansas Parole Board and it is not used as it is supposed to be. The Arkansas parole board awards all trouble maker and hard working model prisoners denials and deferrals, as no good deed goes unpunished in Arkansas, even those whom completed their board stipulated program may still be denied. People are not being released on parole for good time and staying out of trouble as they are supposed to and not for doing programs as they are expected to thus the programs and good time have no meaning nor incentive. "Good time" is time rewarded to a prisoner off their sentence for being good, law abiding, and staying out of trouble but that is not how Arkansas ADC and parole do it at all. Good time is supposed to get an inmate out on parole sooner, based on their behavior in prison and come off their sentence completing their sentence sooner possibly even by half the time based on their behavior while on paper (parole) for being good and law abiding. ADC and Arkansas refuses to take this time off even though your lawyer will tell you just as corrupt liar and public pretender Scott McElvcen of Benton County Arkansas's Public Defenders lied about in false promise to myself. Arkansas ignores its own good time laws and policies destroying all incentive to do good or be good once inside their torturous barbaric criminal injustice system. This also makes all of their sentences given as excessive and cruel causing all inmates middle aged with a 20 plus year sentence to effectively have "life" sentences that they were not sentenced to. This makes program time to be a waste and good time worthless.
ADC does have an "Anger Management" program along with Stress Management, Thinking Errors, and Parenting... all are like SAE program in which it is supposed to be instructor led courses but instead "Mental Health" sends a packet and the inmate simply reads the papers, answers a few questions and sends it back for full credit and more meaningless good time for fake programs.
ADC does have Governor Asa Hutchinson's Re-Entry program called Think Legacy and another program called WAGE that are intended to get inmates ready for being out in the free world caring for themselves, interacting with others and finding then keeping a job. They do teach business skills, people skills, personal skills, and customer service as well as how to build and submit a resume for a job. This is a great program for younger men or men getting out that have been in for 10 plus years going back out into the world that were locked up young. The good time awarded from these two classes is worthless but these programs give better odds of being granted parole because these programs are the Governor's baby and so are Warden Page's focus too. Nothing like corrupt "political" agendas.
The Life Skills program is all about teaching the men basic communication and people as well as personal skills to manage self, relations and essential skills to get by in life. It's currently in its infancy so it is unknown if this will be an actual helpful program or another pathetic waste of time but it seems to teach the more troubled of inmates how to be constructive, positive, and stay out of trouble. Sadly the good time from it is pointless and worthless.
The ADC Tucker Unit's special KOK2 program is so sad it is needed and come about because of three deaths back to back from the synthetic marijuana drug K2 called deuce in prison. If the ADC staff, mostly officers, would stop smuggling the crap in (verified by an "employee" on the news in his statement), and if security and ADC vetted employees better and checked/monitored them better, there would be next to no drug or contraband problem and no cell phones in the prisons. Body cams required and poof, no more issues. The good time awarded is worthless.
VoTech at Riverside in ADC is a joke. All inmates can purchase the book answers for a bag of coffee each book, purchase test answer sheets, then just sit around or "play" for the remainder of their 1440 hours required and yet still not know their chosen trade. The "instructors", like Elizabeth Franklin, a former correctional officer, is neither an instructor nor does she know anything of the course. The certificates are recognized by no one and so are worthless. VoTech does reward large amounts of pointless and worthless good time.
Now for the worst of the worst. No separation of Church and State here in the bible belt folks. Two highly regarded programs, not for what they teach but because they are God centered religious programs called PAL and the other PTF. If you're not "Christian," you're automatically not good enough and disqualified, not given a fair or equal opportunity as those two programs have high weight on receiving parole, though ADC will work with the board and claim otherwise. The PAL program is ran by the Unit's Chaplain and has an extreme "Christian" focus. They restrict what movies, books, and various other activities are allowed to help support the "pure" God and Christ focus which is not necessarily a bad thing. Those in the PAL program also must go to all Christian based church services as they run those services which supports the development of the "Christian" fellowship. It's a great program for those who are in it for the right reasons and not for Protective Custody to hide from trouble. Pathway to Freedom (PTF) is like PAL on steroids as it is an entire Unit but also includes the "snitching" practice similar to TC. PTF has free world food so they unfairly get to eat better too. Both programs have very strong weight with getting granted parole and they grant a lot of worthless good time.
The PAWS program the men care for and train dogs. We all feel sorry for the dogs that are forced here in prison but we all laugh because the dogs get more yard call and eat better than we do. The good time, if rewarded is worthless.
A special group of folks come together to create a very special program that is not state funded but is privately funded and based the concept on the "Zero Percent" documentary of Sing Sing penitentiary. This group created the Liberal Arts College called LikeWise that has the goal of a higher education to lesser privileged individuals and especially the opportunity of an education to incarcerated persons that they see as people and as potential in a drive to reduce recidivism and reduce the rate of mass incarceration by teaching our people how to think and learn as well as how to succeed. This is a very real college and they offer very real degrees. There is no good time for going through college and at Tucker Unit it's a constant fight as they do not seem to like to let us students go to class. It would be a smart move for ADC to do more to support this program/college and offer a reward program for students.
Unfortunately, 98% of the ADC programs are useless, corrupt, dysfunctional, and exists only so ADC may "pretend" to have meaningful and beneficial programs. ADC's program incentives are all worthless good time or forced for a consideration of parole under false pretenses and vested interest of getting parole.
I must greatly apologize for making you think this essay was about programs when it is actually about wasted time, forced wasted time, and corrupt practices with a corrupt parole system that all inmates are forced to deal with as the "Good Time" and Parole System operate under false pretenses and expectation that the inmates will get to go home when they reach their Transfer Eligibility Date (TE) date. Even to the point that all inmates are not allowed to volunteer to take a program if too close to or past their TE date, which most are. So many are stipulated and "forced" to do programs or go flat. In truth, ADC gets paid by state and/or federal systems for each person that goes through certain programs and thus it is actually a "slavery" process all about money, stipulating inmates to be forced to do programs ADC is paid for. Even to the point of Unconstitutional Mentally Destructive programs like RSVP or SOFT. The "Good Time" the Arkansas Parole Board doesn't use correctly and doesn't follow their own laws or policies for parole.
Several years back, Arkansas used to be under the PE laws with mandatory minimums and all offenders were given shorter sentences because inmates did more time to their PE date and were released on parole. The inmates were later offered two options, to be paid for work or to get good time for a "chance" to get out on parole sooner. The inmates were duped and because of the false promise of earlier parole and earlier sentence completion, they voted for Good Time not realizing how Arkansas was going to screw the inmates over intentionally. Arkansas put their corrupt laws and policies in place for the Good Time system and set up the TE date system.
Now, attorneys promise people they will only do 1/6, 1/3, 1/2 or 70% to parole but in reality this is a lie. When an inmate goes up before the parole board and it doesn't matter if you are disciplinary free, done programs or not, as cruel animals like Andy Shuck constantly give out denials and in the process, inmates do not get to have people speak on their behalf, send in supporting documents, nothing in your favor, they do not care. Most of all inmates go past their TE date and majority even their PE date that if still under the mandatory minimum laws, they'd have gone home sooner.
It is sadly common to see men years past their TE parole dates, that have a lot of good time that isn't being taken off their sentence like it is supposed to as per the laws and policies per the false promises. Even when a person is released on parole, they are supposed to get good time at 1 day per day that is supposed to come off their parole time. Arkansas refuses to do this and follow their own laws and the Parole Board does its best to keep the prisons full. We are all under the same corrupt parole system doing wasted time on programs for worthless good time under false pretenses of parole.
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