Read the transcript of RM110: Disturbing Living Conditions in Mississippi

Today’s episode takes on some news articles covering a disturbing living conditions in Mississippi prisons. The conditions there are beyond inhumane causing inmate uprising, guards are quitting and it appears as though they’ve lost complete control over the safety and security of the prison. We cover other news items and round out the show with an intro to advocacy and how are decisions made to which cases should be challenged.

We begin the show with a recap of the NARSOL board retreat.

Then, we drill through the weekly news items. This has us covering a horrible situation in Mississippi with extremely harsh conditions. There are pictures and videos showing moldy food and walls, rats on the floor, food shortages and a healthy dose of violence.

After that fun and games, we briefly cover where an officer has been fired from his job for pushing an inmate. At the end of the article, the accused officer’s attorney says that “He hopes to put this behind him and focus on a new career and his family.” I wonder if this former officer is willing to offer those in pretrial, or those in prison post trial that same sentiment. Should we define him based on this one act, or the totality of his life and career.

Then it is time to cover an article that discusses the various challenges to the sex offender registry in Pennsylvania that are being ruled on in the coming year. The state’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, has warned that changing the sex offender registry would threaten public safety. But when asked to support the claim, could provide no evidence. The articles closes out with a quote from the Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said “Simply put, the state Sex Offender Registration Act has gone far beyond its purpose and now imposes burdens that are so punitive in their effect that they negate the State’s public safety justification.”

Next on the docket is an article that continues the discussion of the fifth amendment challenge to giving up your password to unlock your phone. How is a phone different than a search warrant executed your home? Are the items on your phone more protected than the items in your home and vice versa.

For our middle segment, we cover very beginner advocacy work. Things like finding out who your local legislator is. Do you have to be concerned with city or county level ordinances or just issues at the state level. What are you trying to accomplish. Be specific. Not vague and say “just make things better”. Are you trying to promote or oppose a bill. These are some of the basic questions to ask yourself when you start to travel down the path of being an advocate.

And finally Larry gives us a rundown of how he does his job as legal strategist for NARSOL. What are the important factors in determining a case to challenge. How do you determine who is a plaintiff? Can you challenge without having a plaintiff.

[7:16] https://mississippitoday.org/2019/05/29/leaked-mississippi-prison-photos-of-skimpy-meals-moldy-showers-and-exposed-wiring-prompts-call-for-investigation/

https://theappeal.org/after-deadly-week-for-mississippi-prisoners-advocates-see-blood-on-the-hands-of-lawmakers-and-prison-officials/

https://www.propublica.org/article/lawmakers-refused-to-increase-an-infamous-prisons-funding-then-chaos-erupted

[17:45] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ex-officer-accused-of-shoving-prisoner-faces-federal-charge/2020/01/03/6883fef8-2e2f-11ea-bffe-020c88b3f120_story.html

[25:37] https://theappeal.org/pennsylvania-sex-offense-registry/

[33:32] https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20191230/16450643656/florida-appeals-court-asks-states-top-court-to-decide-whether-compelled-password-production-violates-fifth-amendment.shtml

[42:00] http://www.startribune.com/why-are-felons-stripped-of-voting-rights-and-what-other-rights-do-they-lose/565227122/

[48:00] Intro to advocacy

[1:01:57 ] Legal Strategy

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