Incarceration

Leila Goldstein/NHPR

On display right now at the Kimball-Jenkins Estate in Concord is a series of 12 murals. Each tells a story of a perfect day with mom or dad, and they were painted during a special summer camp for families dealing with incarceration. NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Kristina Toth, the program administrator for the Department of Corrections’ Family Connection Center.

[This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.]

Tell us about the summer camp portion, because it's different from what we normally imagine a summer camp to be. What makes it different?

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/">Mike Cophlan</a>

  Health practitioners across the state say the drug methadone should be available behind bars – especially to patients already on the medication. But jails and prisons in New Hampshire do not offer the drug to recovering addicts, many of whom rely on it to stay sober.    


NHPR

The New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union released a report today that details the practice of judges jailing poor people who can’t afford to pay fines – a practice that’s illegal.

Michael Coughlin / Flickr/CC

We talk with author Pete Earley, whose book “Crazy” examines how prisons and jails have become warehouses for people with mental illness. Earley describes his own struggle to help his bipolar son avoid incarceration, as well as the wider mental health system of a “revolving door” between hospitals and prisons.  

http://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/facilities/concord.html

With rising numbers of Granite Staters incarcerated, and ever-present budget constraints, some argue that it’s time to reform our approach to crime and punishment. But balancing innovation with public safety remains a concern. We’ll look at that latest thinking about some of the ideas out there- from alternative sentencing to rehabilitation.

GUESTS:

iweatherman Flickr Creative Commons

Hear the phrase “Girl Scout meeting”, and you may think merit badges, social service projects – cookies, perhaps? Well, for a few girls in the Granite State, a scout meeting is one of the few times they get to see their incarcerated mothers. NHPR correspondent Melanie Plenda reported from Goffstown Womens’ Prison on the program, called Girl Scouts Beyond Bars.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in two murder cases testing whether it is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a 14-year-old to life in prison without the possibility of parole. There are currently 79 people serving such life terms for crimes committed when they were 14 or younger.

We hear a lot about juvenile offenders when they commit a crime — and again, when they're sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison. But not much is known about what happens after the prison gates slam shut.