Internet Payments

Secure & Reliable

Your data is encrypted and secure with us.
VeraSafe Security Seal

Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

- Page 27

Join us for 7 days to view your results

Enter your details to get started

or Login

What will you discover?

  • 108,666,265 Obituaries
  • 86,129,063 Archives
  • Birth & Marriages
  • Arrests & legal notices
  • And so much more
Issue Date:
Pages Available: 41

Search All United States newspapers

Research your ancestors and family tree, historical events, famous people and so much more!

Browse U.S. Newspaper Archives

Select the state you are looking for from the map or the list below

OCR Text

Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 12, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Tvttrfoy. JVM IS, THE UTHMIDOE HOMO 3 RIGHT: Rene Fowcher (left) explains In an inter- view with prison psychologist Mike Gallagher some of the ways lifers are treated differently to ether prisoners. CLICKING WITH CONVICTS the grounds, do janitorial tasks, plumbing, carpentry, and elec- trical repair. About 85 convicts work in vo- cational t r a i n ing programs: auto mechanics and auto body, weld ing, carpentry, plumbfng, barbering, and electronics. Only the barbering and weld- ing courses provide an opportu- nity to complete a certificate, with the other trades offering a first-year program. The prison also runs an in- dustrial training program which employs about SO in- mates working in a wood and metal crafting shop, a graphic arts shop, and a paint and fur- niture-finishing shop. Low rate These industrial plants do work for government and non- profit organizations and be- cause labor rates are so low, products can be supplied at a fraction of the market value. "If we can train a guy to hold any type of job, we're doing says Peter Merrett, assis- tant director of occupational de- velopment. A recent survey carried out among inmates in Drumheller penitentiary showed an av- erage IQ of about 108, com- pared to an average IQ "on the street" of about 100. This means "traditional train- fag has to Mr. Merrett says. So, inmates are allowed to develop their own occupa- tional programs. Two convicts work full-time publishing an in- mate newspaper and several work in an inmate-run conces- sion, the profits of which go to the inmate welfare commit'. AB. Last year about 10 convicts approached Mr. Merrett and asked if they could set up a full-time drama study group. Permission was granted. And three weeks ago, seven prisoners wrote Toronto Con- servatory of Music exams fol- lowing a year-long music program. About 25 per cent of the in- mates are involved in academic pursuits which Mr. MEirett says is a very high percentage. "For most inmates the first rejection from society is get- ting kicked out of and as a result of that first bad ex- Continued on Page 4 PENITENTIARY REFORM: Inmates seeking a voice Responsible inmates should be consulted on matters of pen- itentiary reform, members of the inmate welfare committee at Drumheller institution said in a Herald interview. And the inmates themselves should have the right to decide which prisoners are respon- sible, says Bob B., one of the committee members. If there was more freedom and greater responsibility given to the inmates, there would be less trouble, he said. Chairman of the group, Bill Durand, said the public thinks "pens are populated by two- headed monsters. The public wants to push us under the rug. They should be more aware of what's happening but they lis- ten too much to people like Eldon Woolliams (Conservative MP for Calgary "Most of the guys sbanWn't even be said Bob. "Just standing in the docket is enough to straighten your bead out." He said the penitentiary ser- vice costs about million an- nually and "I doubt if society is getting million worth of protection." More parole Inmates suggested that more of them should be paroled through pre-release centres and not k i c k e d out on the street with Prison administrators who are well acquainted with in- dividual prisoners should have more power in dedaing which inmates should bz released on parole and day-parole. At present this decision rests the parole service, a sep- arate organization from the pen itentiary service. Although the parole boards take into ac- count reports from the prison, they also use reports from the police, information from an in- terview, and other data from various agencies. Committee members agreed that if the prison officials in- volved were given the power to decide on releases, "it would cut down on the number of mis- takes made." Under the present structure, some people are being turned down who should be released and some people who are re- leased on parole should be kept locked up, they said. The inmates also voiced con- cern that with public opinion seemingly turning against pris- on reform, the program devel- oped at Drumherer may be changed to provide more se- curity. "This is the only institution in the country, including the mini- mums, where there is any per- sonal contact" between prison- ers and staff, Bob B. said. Deck ion But, he added, the upper bu- reaucracy, which doesn't know what's going on, will make a blanket decision affecting all in- stitutions. And then, they'll lock every- body up and give them no hope said another inmate, Frank Piche, letting his sentence trail as he pondered the thought. The committee also had some strong words for the manda- tory supervision aspect of pa- role introduced in August, 1970, for all prisoners sentenced after that date. Under the system, a prisoner is eligible for parole after com- pleting one-third of his If his conduct has been good, he is released for the remaining two-thirds of his sentence, un- dsr the supervision of his pa- role officer. And if he violates any of the conditions of his parole any time up to 60 days before his sentence is due to expire, he can be returned to prison to serve that part of his sentence which was spent on parole. Before the change was made, time on parole was clear of su- pervision. "It's harder to make it when someone has got their clutches into you when you're on the Mr. Piche said. Failures There are not a lot of re- turns on "petty little things" and there are more prisoners coming back to jail as parole failures, they said. Gus Richardson, a parole ser- vice officer interviewed later, said he could understand the prisoners' resentment towards mandatory supervision because previously time on parole was "free and clear." But, he said, "we're not leg- islators and our job is to sell the program to the inmates." The inmate welfare commit- tee members complained that the press does not cover both sides to the prison issue. They said that the media gives full coverage when a con- vict on a pass commits a crime or takes off, but "you never hear about the guy mak- ing 80 bucks a week at a Shell service station." Irresponsible The penitentiary director, Pi- erre Jutras, agreed with the in- mates' comments about tbe me- dia, saying the news media is irresponsible in exploiting the failures made by the prison and parole systems. "Our failures make headlines but nobody hears about our successes. Because we make some mistakes, the whole sys- tem shouldn't be he said. "We are dealing with Human beings and because we can't predict with 100 per cent accu- racy how someone will react under stress, the system has made some ;