July 31, 2010

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 06:00 PM ET

Punishment & Redemption!

Can prison inmates be reformed?

No matter how horrible the crime?

Ex-convicts Judge Mathis & reality

TV star “Dog” the Bounty Hunter

reveal how the system helped them!

They join the debate over prison reform.

Take our poll: Do you think prisoners
can be rehabilitated while locked up?

And join the discussion – weigh in below!

Filed under: Justice • Larry King Live

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Smith in Oregon   July 23rd, 2010 7:51 pm ET

Outrageous! Anderson Cooper blames the blogging community and 'bloggers' for the hit job video of Shirley Sherrod's NAACP speech! Anderson Coopers repeated rant include blaming left and right wing bloggers for the many ill's in America! Anderson Cooper should apologize to the CNN blogging community.

Repeated CNN network statements like that by Anderson Cooper are the same kind of bigoted rhetoric that stated in the 1950's All Blacks and now in 2010 All Hispanics are to blame for 'XYZ'. Apparently for Anderson Cooper, it's 'blame the bloggers'.

You owe CNN Bloggers an Apology Anderson Cooper!

While the technical staff at Fox Network has the skills, tools and ability to obtain the original NAACP speech by Shirley Serrod and splice, dice and re-edit that into a smear hit video against NAACP who had called Fox Network's linked Tea Party leaders and members of harboring and shielding racist and racism.

Andrew Breitbart however doesn't appear to have that skill alone. Sadly, Anderson Cooper is blaming 'bloggers' for this racist video hit piece. Even thou Andrew Breitbart has multiple websites, listed the spliced and edited video of Shirley Sherrod's speech on one of his websites, Anderson Cooper blames 'bloggers'.

This isn't the first video hit and smear campaign by Fox Network against a perceived enemy of the Fox Network. Previously it was the ACORN organization which the Fox Network showed a faux video smear over and over in a crass attempt to destroy the creditability of the ACORN organization and succeeded in doing so when President Obama pulled their federal funding. But despite historical truth and honesty, Anderson Cooper is blaming 'bloggers'.

Michael Armstrong Sr.   July 23rd, 2010 9:00 pm ET

The dog is the man except one time he arrested a friend of mine Kandis is really a good girl dog .

AlanP   July 23rd, 2010 9:05 pm ET

Absolutely can be reformed...anything is possible with God and Education...

Dodie   July 23rd, 2010 9:08 pm ET

expunged does not help on an FBI clearance... for all federal jobs.

vic nashville tn   July 23rd, 2010 9:20 pm ET

I wish every one watch this show. Last year I told someone you want make money and steady income open a prison

Michael Armstrong Sr.   July 23rd, 2010 9:27 pm ET

Im not mad about Candis dog I hope this made her a better person .

Keith   July 23rd, 2010 9:28 pm ET

If you prepare yourself in prison by changing the way you think you have a chance. If not you are doomed to failure. College is a must!!!! If a person has no education, no job and no way to support themselves they will revert to what they know, which is crime..

gerald Jolly   July 23rd, 2010 9:30 pm ET

@ Allan P

Which God are you referring too????

Michael Armstrong Sr.   July 23rd, 2010 9:30 pm ET

We need to exacute not rehahibilitate money is to tight to wast on killers .

MikeyG   July 23rd, 2010 9:31 pm ET

I spent many years as a Juvenile Probation Officer in a Juvenile detention facility in California. People, spend much time, castigating criminals, decrying efforts at re-habilitation, these overly pro-punishment opinions only offer hopelessness. I dare say how difficult my life would be if not for hope. How ever some reason must be applied in how we reconstruct lost lives. If we could do a better job at selecting good candidates for training in prisons, the post release inmates may be more successful.

Michael Armstrong Sr.   July 23rd, 2010 9:32 pm ET

Charles Manson should have been sent to Satan decades ago .

vic nashville tn   July 23rd, 2010 9:32 pm ET

We need reform specially for teens go to prison. First we have stop the illegal drugs flow in the county . legalize marijuana

Michael Fritter   July 23rd, 2010 9:34 pm ET

Dog went to Mexico to bring back Max Factor erior? for drug rape.
Will he go to France for Roman Polanski!

MikeyG   July 23rd, 2010 9:36 pm ET

Larry how would you explain that beautiful young boy you had on youjr show Deepaak Chopra

vic nashville tn   July 23rd, 2010 9:37 pm ET

Wall street crimeless waking in the street free but poor guy steeling a $ in the prison

Its all about money

vic nashville tn   July 23rd, 2010 9:45 pm ET

I want murderers , child rapist remain in prison

BP killed 11 innocent people any charges against BP no that is accident

Scotland realize the bomber money its about poor and rich

Michael Armstrong Sr.   July 23rd, 2010 9:45 pm ET

The biggest problem down south is that when the criminals are illegal then they get deported without prosecution .

Minister Wayne Batiste   July 23rd, 2010 9:46 pm ET

My name is Wayne and I been rehabilitated and is serving in my church as a drug rehab. That lady who was the C.P. don't know what she is talking about.

Robert   July 23rd, 2010 9:48 pm ET

I would like to make a coment that was just mentioned on Larry King.
"We are confused about why prisoners are in prision." We wouldn't be confused if all idividuals who commit a certain crime serve the same sentence we wouldn't have that issue.
Example Lindsey Lohan serves 20 something days for a third or fourth offence while other individuals serve 5 or more years. The justice system is broken in all areas because of one point. DISCRESTION Discrestion from the police officers all the way up to the judges.

fay   July 23rd, 2010 9:58 pm ET

Right on. My husband has been in for 20 years for robbery. I am so sick of seeing people who murder and hurt children do less time than he has done. Don't get me wrong my husband did wrong and deserved to be punished but 20 years give me a break.

Deborah Daniels   July 23rd, 2010 9:48 pm ET

I agree with Judge Mathis most criminals can be reformed. I work for Prison Fellowship the largest outreach ministry to prisoners. Also, I am a repeat ex-offender who has been transformed and reconciliation to my family and my community through the power and truth of Jesus Christ.

I would consider it an honored to work with Judge Mathis to bring his program PEER to Bibb Correctional Facility located in Alabama. We currently facilitate a 12 month pre-release and 12 month post release at Bibb that is totally voluntary and funded through private donation.

Jan M   July 23rd, 2010 9:49 pm ET

Any person can be rehabilitated – they need to WANT rehabilitation. I'm concerned about Pat Brown's attitude about "programs" because most states have slashed funding for "programs". It would seem she is misinformed as to the availability of these so-called "programs" to assist those being released from prison who desire rehabilitation. Get real – no programs in rural America!

Richard   July 23rd, 2010 9:53 pm ET

I was racially profiled. Your company made music about a Hispanic-Americans of my type from the Caribbean. Historically guys of my build and look have been profiled and pursued. I look Arabic but I am not it is just the type of violence I can portray. The Washington Heights community filled with drugs in the 80's. I am a U.S. citizen and was raised by my father who is an immigrant in a responsible manner.

Cherie Hartsig   July 23rd, 2010 9:53 pm ET

On July 13th a man was released from a Michigan prison on parole for armed robbery On July 18th he carjacked a woman in Grosse Pointe and then three days later on July 21st he attempted to car jack another woman behind the counseling office where I work daily with those on parole.He pistol whipped this woman in the face so hard that the butt of the gun broke off. He ran from the scene and then he stole a truck from a furniture company, ditched the truck and five hours later was finally caught in another stolen car.

I work in Macomb Regional Facility facilitating substance abuse reintegration classes to inmates. Many of these men are in for their second, third and fourth times. We attempt to educate them in the hopes that when they are released onto parole they will not commit new crimes

But there are few jobs in this area, Macomb County north of Detroit, The men and women are released into a society that does not have enough work for people who are not convicted felons. How does the state expect them to surviive with no job, no money and they are made to attend many classes, substance abuse, parenting, anger management, and are expected to take buses or get rides from family and friends

In 2003 the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiiative was formed to help these people on parole find jobs, give them bus passes, help them attend school and other things. Yet they are so overwhelmed by all they have to do that they soon get discouraged and return to a life of crime.

Substance abuse and drug sales are the number one reason why people are in prison, either directly or indirectly, They return to the streets and soon go back to their old ways,

Can these people be rehabilitated? Some yes, others no. A few years ago a man who went to prison at age 16 was released at age 28 He was totally lost in society, so much had changed. He went on to commit three murders and is now in prison for life,

The recidivism rate in Macomb County has decreased but not nearly enough. More rehabilitation and less punishment is needed in prison. Prison officers need to learn to be more compassionate and less cruel to the inmates. Most prison officers treat not only the prisoners with disrespect but also their visitors and those who come into the prison to help them, like myself and volunteers such as AA, NA, celebrate recovery etc.

I plan to look into the Math8ic community center in Detroit. One reason I am in this field is due to a step brother who spent most of his adult life in and out of prison due to crimes committed due to his substance abuse He committed suicide in 2005. Many overdose on drugs, many try to stay clean and sober but cannot for many reasons.

I do believe these people can be rehabilitated, however I do not think that letting people out on parole in a community that has the highest unemployment rate is not helping these men and women,

My boss spent 20 years in and out of prison, Today he is 19 years clean and sober and works with men and women who were just like he was. I msyelf spent time in jail and am currently sober just over 9 years and have turned my life completley aroundl I have earned my certified addiction counselor certificate, recently graduated with an Associates degree at age 50 and will start my bachelor program in a few weeks, Staying out of prison and jail is possible, but the person must want to change, if they do not want to change they will only be right back in prison again, I see it daily,

Businesses need to hire these people on parole. They need jobs in order to stay out of prison, Without help from many areas they are doomed to return to the same life of crime.

Michael Armstrong Sr.   July 23rd, 2010 9:53 pm ET

When there illegal and they rape a child in Texas they get deported without prosecution and then there back again 2 years later with no judgment hanging over there head I know this for a fact this happend to one of my children .

mark martin   July 23rd, 2010 9:54 pm ET

my name is mark martin im 30 yrs old im also a 22time convicted felon also a former member of the aryan brother hood i did 10 yrs in 3 different prisons and 9 county jails I am now in college on the streets i work ive addopted a son i go to church and im off all papper and parole and have been out and off pappers for 3 years im living breathing proof yes it can be done

Don Risucci   July 23rd, 2010 9:54 pm ET

Larry – You were awesome tonight. In your future incarnation you should do shows in which you bring together guests no one else could possibly get together into a single interactive forum – you know, like Mo Qaddafi, BP execs and Chuck Shumer to discuss oil drilling contracts. You – like Santana (who I saw last week at Bethel Woods) just keep getting better!!! Keep on truckin!!!!

Leslie   July 23rd, 2010 9:54 pm ET

I would love to hear "Dog" talk about how his faith has shaped his ability to lead a productive, non reoffending life. I believe as an ex offender myself that my new Christian faith walk plays a deep role in whether or not I am successful and can also effect others in a positive way as well.

cj   July 23rd, 2010 9:57 pm ET

Prisons have become a revolving door for non violent, mostly petty – yes!!! – minor drug offenses while the real criminals, i.e., murders, pedophiles, rapists, corporate crooks, thieves, drug smugglers, crooked people in the justice system (so very many of the prison personal, judges, cops and even legislators are these people)! And I agree, you send many of these people with petty drug charges and they can get more drugs in prison than on the streets!!!

vic nashville tn   July 23rd, 2010 9:58 pm ET

Illegal immigrants , people using illegal drugs , Dui charges and prostitute go to prison

War criminals , rob the poor people in the name of bank, spreading the lies through web dividing the communities giving tv interview and hero un fair

fay   July 23rd, 2010 10:07 pm ET

Department of corrections what a joke! DOC doesn't "correct" anybody. In Florida the get a 30 day class at the end of their sentence to teach them how to live on the outs. After 15-20 years years yea right give me a break. And we expect them not to return to crime. Are we stupid or what? Great job Judge Mathis! Keep up the good work.

theresa turner   July 23rd, 2010 10:17 pm ET

Why have Sharon Tate,s sister on??She will never believe that Leslie Van Houten and other family members are rehabilitated.of course Charles Manson should stay in prison for life but other members of the Manson family have done their time.At the time of the murders 40 yrs ago! they were young kids influenced by their own dysfunctional families., the restless sixties, drugs and mind domination and control by a manipulative psychopath.I read the book Helter Skelter so i am educated on the Manson crimes.WHY is Leslie Van Houten a Psychopath??Is Sharon Tate,s sister a Psychiatrist ?does she have any family members that work in the field of Psychiatry?i think the actual process of forgiveness is essential to the process of healing for victims and victims family,s, alike.

Dodie   July 23rd, 2010 10:18 pm ET

Is it possible? Yes! However, there are a lot of variables. Motivation, length and number of times in prison, highest level of functioning factors, addiction issues, support system, environmental and neuropsychological factors……. and the list goes on

Dodie   July 23rd, 2010 10:18 pm ET

gerald Jolly lol

anthony   July 23rd, 2010 10:31 pm ET

People or inmates in institutions can be reformed if one chose's to change one's destructive habit.Referring to career criminals....Majority of these people are set in their ways, and know how to play the system.These type have no intention of adopting or conforming to what is socially acceptable behavior in the society.Majority of them eventually after awhile become institutionalized,and lost touch with the outside world....This is one group of people
Second group, are people who grew up in poverty,violence,depressed neighborhoods.These people don't have access to many of the opportunities most career criminals have growing up.What may seem easy to thoes of us who are knowledgeable is a far fetch for thoes are struggling everyday just to survive......These type usually take advantage of the programs the institutions provide.......

Dodie   July 23rd, 2010 10:39 pm ET

@ theresa turner

You stated: i think the actual process of forgiveness is essential to the process of healing for victims and victims family,s, alike.


Much easier said than done. Have you ever had a family member die like Sharon Tate?

gerald Jolly   July 23rd, 2010 11:06 pm ET


What kind of sun glasses must a bounty hunter wear and how much do they cost.

Are they designer sun glasses???

theresa turner   July 23rd, 2010 11:36 pm ET

Dodie..i understand why you reacted to my email..thing is i believe Manson,s followers were Manson,s victims to a degree just not in the same vein as the murder victims of course,such as Sharon Tate.i do not want to disrespect any murder victims here or their families.i just believe that Sharon,s sister carries so much anger and resentment 40 years later and it is truly sad.remember The Green River killer.Gary Ridgway,s victims father who said he had forgiven Gary for killing his was a truly beautiful statement .he was not full of anger and suffering he was respectful and strong..i just wish Sharon,s sister could get over this..i might be ignorant completely of her pain.but i believe her sister passed and went into a beautiful light with her child and is at peace now. i just wish her sister was at peace and could forgive the acts of the Manson family,not necessarily Charles Manson,but the young teens that were used for his criminal ends.

Argeo Tomás Quiñones-Droz   July 23rd, 2010 11:44 pm ET

Dear Mr. King:
Congratulations for your Friday's, July 23, 2010 program concerning rehabilitation opportunities and/or chances for imprisoned male human beings. It is a very close subject to home as far as hundreds of Latinos in U. S. jails is concerned. Your main guest as well as the other participants, except Ms. Brown, should be praised.
It is my considerate opinion that Ms. Brown's verbal and non-verbal language reflected deep bias. Why ? Who knows...
Once again, congratulations for a deep and engaging sociological program.

Dodie   July 24th, 2010 12:17 am ET

Beautifully stated, Theresa...
Yes, "Manson's followers were Manson's victims to a degree!" I met one of them many years ago ..... He was crazy and it was not just due to drugs. He made the hair on my head stand on end! It is sad that Sharon's sister could not move into forgiveness... sometimes with such a brutal killing, it is difficult.... maybe in death they will be together again...

ashli thompson   July 24th, 2010 12:23 am ET

Prisoners can be reformed but just like addicts going into rehab ,They have to want it!Thank you judge mathis and dog for all you do we love you both.

gregwhite   July 24th, 2010 12:31 am ET

the problem with prision reform is that once released theres not enough oppurtunity awaighting. most doors knocked on are not opened. such dissapointments will lead one back to there old ways.

Ron W.   July 24th, 2010 12:36 am ET

Great show Larry. The best reform is prevention and the best prevention of prison starts in the home. Most inmates today are raised without fathers. Some are abused and others have parents in prison. That's not to say that you can't end up prison with good parents because you can if you make poor choices as an adult. Bottomline is that if your raised without love from the parents or guardians, without being educated by the parents or guardians, and without being taught from right and wrong, that child is in big trouble. That child becomes animalistic. God had it right when scripture talks about parenting and raising up your children.

Dodie   July 24th, 2010 12:40 am ET

@ theresa turner

Very different demeanor...... moving from judgmental to one of understanding. Like one matured 25 years within a couple of minutes. I find that fascinating! :~)

Elaine   July 24th, 2010 12:48 am ET

I agree that once a convict proves that he/she has been reformed that they should be allow to start over. For instance, when he was 17 yrs old he committed felony for which he served his time in prision. Once released, he immediately returned to college and graduated with a B.S. in Education. When he went before the board to get his license, only one person tried to refuse him that which would allow him to better himself and help other young kids. Thank God the majority of the board went with the recommendation of all college professionals and he now is licensed to teach. Meanwhile he is serving in the Army because the granted waivers for felony for a small period of time. With all that good, he still have this crime of his youth that is held against him. He is almost 30 and has recently returned from Iraq – he deserves his freedom to live his life without his youthful pass hanging over his head and preventing him from fulfilling other dreams.

MARK TODD   July 24th, 2010 12:50 am ET


Does everybody know most of our prisons are privately owned? and people wake up socialism is already in this country but it's only for the rich.

Trevor   July 24th, 2010 12:51 am ET

It cost tax payers more money to keep criminals in jail, why not let the government help more under privileged people in more homes that are broken and poor to keep the youth off the street and this will reduce crime

Malinda   July 24th, 2010 1:07 am ET

Dog himself says that people don't hire criminals. But the other guys says
70% of inmantes are there on drug-based charges and that the system makes small-time offenders 'sicker and slicker' but may helpfully rehabilitate big offenders, such as murderers.
Why do the small time offenders have the option of jail or rehabitilation, or what I call 'certifiable' rehabilitation? They pay a lot of money to prove that they are clean and are viable community members, and yet no one will hire them because of their criminal history. This causes a huge burden to family members.
And yet, if they can't pay their fees to get a urine test every week, they get sent to prison, where they come out worse that before because they learn how to manipulate the system, and in turn learn how to manipulate a community.
Also: I agree with Ron W. It all comes down to morals. High schools should teach morality classes. It should not come from certain employers or colleges. It should begin in the home, and if it cannot be gained at home as a child, it should be a required course in highschool, rather than wood shop or home economics.

Gilberto V.   July 24th, 2010 1:30 am ET

l was an inmate in the Texas Criminal facilities for almost three years. As a youth l was arrested for fighting and what not and ended up in prison tryin to keep someone from going. No regrets, no ill will. l was raised with both parents, grew up poor and still a straight A student. My mistakes in life where in my youth but, still as a 33 year old man with my on family to support l am judged and denied employment in the only field l know because of my background. l've got the education and experience to do my job or any for that matter in a safely manner. l have payed twice to obtain my T.W.I.C. to be able to enter most refinaries to work even though my last felony was over 7 years ago and within the time to be accepted, still l have problems. I remember when the only means to support our families was to work construction work and now even that has been taken away. One question; How much exacty is the payment for any crime? Dick Chainy shot a man and still has his job. What was the message in the act of his punishment for his crime? l feel some relief that it is bieng brought up to Americas attention. It gave me hope that someone understands and is standing up for felons who are actually trying to be a better productive member in society and in our communities.

Amelia   July 24th, 2010 3:02 am ET

Is it some flaw in human nature that we have to make what should be a simple issue so complicated? I agree that the justice system as presently established is broken, yes. However, the fix is not to put in more so called "rehabilitation" programs. We need to get back to the BASICS. If you do the crime, that's *IT*. "Go to jail. Go directly to jail."
etc. Prison should be a punishment for those who have broken the law. If that sounds harsh, then so be it. There are those who will say that that sort of prison environment only breeds more criminals. The simplest way to solve *that* is DO NOT LET THEM BACK OUT. That's all. ESPECIALLY those who have committed murder or other violent crimes.
Lock them up and throw the key away. If we would collectively man up and do that, the rest of us, the law abiding citizens, would be a lot safer in our communities than we are now.

fay   July 24th, 2010 2:20 pm ET

The majority of inmates are getting out and most are not in for violent offenses so of we don't offer rehabilitation and just punish you make them meaner and angrier you want that in your neighborhod? Sounds like a good answer to me(yea right) we already see that doesn't work. anymore bright ideas?

ray   July 24th, 2010 3:57 am ET

I believe in our system, be it perfect or not. I believe in freedom, the pledge of allegiance, and the Statue of Liberty….. And why do I say all of this… it’s simple; When someone has paid his or her debt to society, they deserve another chance. This is what I was brought up on, forgiveness and compassion, not condesention and holier than thou ...”These are MY rights ! ‘, attitude.
I have never committed a crime myself. I run a business now, and we have almost 22 employees. Two of them have been in prison for different reasons. One , I knew about before, and the other years after hiring him . They both are excellent employees and I appreciate them.
Some judgmental people, seem to just want to be right….period… it makes them feel better… it seems logical to them. But, this is a complicated situation; complex, like love, is hate… and we must have compassion. If we invest in the future of those who will come out of prison, because the reality is we will have people coming out of prison, we will face a true reality, rather than an idealistic point of view…and be more productive as a society. Why do we teach our children to “turn the other cheek” and if we don’t, are we true Christians?
One last question.. . how long was Nelson Mandela in prison? Or the Suffragists? Those crucial in civil rights? Jesus , himself?

I often wonder why, some very conservative spokes people, seem to only use religion when it is convenient, and easy for them to validate living alone in their world , often of wealth. When this takes work and true sacrifice… well that’s too had!?! Forgiving the mini petty theft is easy… but can we understand, forgive and develop compassion for the murderer? And I also wonder why we are waiting for their improved attitude, where is that in the Bible?

Maxine Hughes   July 24th, 2010 5:13 am ET

Inmates play games, I don't think they care, It dont work they laugh about it, I work in a max prison, the dept of corrections need to invest the money in to the education for children instead of killers. Most prisons can't even give the empoyees a raise and most are on hiring freezes that care of the ones that risk their lives to work there. let the inmates be punished thats why they are there

janet   July 24th, 2010 5:56 am ET

Larry I like you because you don't interupt your guests.

Duane Chapman got lucky. Bounty Hunter. Got a TV show. Mr. Chapman enough with the fake hair. That girl who calles herself snoop...Murder. Judge Mathis, Rehab, sounds good. Politically correct even ... you have got to be kidding. You want her around your kids and home? Don't think so. Judge Mathis when they get out of jail or prison they can go to your home and neighborhood.

Ted   July 24th, 2010 7:38 am ET

Most prison inmates in the USA are there for reasons that are just laughable in other countries; for using or selling small amounts of drugs.
As matter of fact, we have the most inmates in the whole world!!

Yes, we can give a second chance for most felons and petty criminals, a great number of them will take it and live a better life.
On the other hand, ones like Charles Manson deserve the death sentence and should never leave a jail.

Those who make the decisions of who can go and who must stay should be highly qualified professionals, as a mistake can cost many lives, proven by countless such incidents.

Dodie   July 24th, 2010 1:10 pm ET

@Cherie Hartsig

Enlightening and well stated! Besides the obvious, desire and motivation to maintain a life outside of prison, environmental support is a key factor. You mentioned the issue surrounding jobs. I could not agree with you more. If anyone has been in prison for a length of time, they can easily become what we label "institutionalized" meaning they have lost their internal locus of control and now rely on external ones. A person in that position stresses with the concept of "freedom" as this designates a responsibility of one's behaviors and actions.

To add an additional layer on this complicated situation, it takes time to "re-wire" our brain and change our perceptions and thought process. It has taken years to become who and what we are. One cannot change overnight. Change is inherently stressful for everyone. It is one of the causes drug addicts continue with the use of their drugs even though they have full insight into their addiction. The largest motivator for change is "pain" Unfortunately, pain can travel in two directions. While it can be a motivator to make positive changes in one's life it can also drop the person down into further drug addiction and become caught up in the institution's revolving door.

While you may educate inmates in a safe setting "classroom" there is no real test to one's ability to not only grasp the knowledge but use it in a real and practical situation. Hence, the high recidivism rate and need for continued support!

Like you, I have spent time in the County Jail numerous years ago and have been sober from drugs since 1977. In order for us to maintain sobriety, there was a key turning point in our life. The factor is different for each of us. And, for this reason, it is difficult to "map" out a drug treatment, due to our individuality and differences in cognitive perceptions. The favorite in the field is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is helpful in "reframing" the individual's cognitions; however, I was Not in denial. I was well aware of my drug abuse and knew for many years that the drugs would eventually end my life if I did not make necessary changes to clean up. I just did not care! So how do you treat an individual who just does not care. My pivoting point was my son and finally becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired. If I could focus my love on him ...I finally began to love myself enough to clean up. It is for this reason, that confronting a drug addict will often not work. As they already know they have a drug addiction and will often just "shut down". What helps a drug addict to make the change is by raising their "bottom" meaning finding the one source or person that they love and care for.

In other words... a reason to live!

Charles   July 24th, 2010 7:14 pm ET

@gerald Jolly et al,
The One he believes in and the point is?

gerald Jolly   July 25th, 2010 10:15 am ET

@ Ted.

You are so right.

The cost to house an inmate for a year is reported to be $50,000

The cost of sentencing non-violent criminals to probation is $0

If one calculates the cost for housing 4.5 million inmates for one year is 2 billion dollars.

The cost for sentencing half that amount for non-violent crimes to probation would be $0

What most folks dont understand is that it is America's great shame that we have more people in our prisons than a country that has a population of 1.3 billion China.

gerald Jolly   July 25th, 2010 11:52 am ET

Just to bring all you folks up to date.

70% of U.S. prisons are now private enterprises run for profit.

And who pays for that profit.


Todd   July 27th, 2010 12:07 pm ET

I am 46 yrs old, at 24 yrs I made a serious mistake. I sold cocaine to a pot dealer who got arrested for selling pot and turned me in to get himself off. A mistake I will never forget. I was what you call a nerd in the sense that I was working on a degree in engineering. I spent 4.3 yrs in prison. When I was tested in prison for my level of education I scored the highest of anyone they have ever tested. They immediately offered me an inmate job to teach math and gave me my own classroom to teach at the satellite college in the prison.

I taught math and worked my way through every problem in my college calculus book used at MIT. I taught the inmates basic math. One day the warden came in to my classroom and saw me working out a calculus 3 problem on the chalkboard and he asked me why I was there seeing that I could solve problems even he did not understand. I explained that I was young and wanted quick money so I could have the lifestyle of the rich. He asked me if I would do it again and I said "No way, now I know that making a lot of money requires hard work, at least for some of us", those born into money are spoiled little brats! I decided before I went to prison that I was going to study and become a physicist since physics is the most difficult subject anyone can take.

Because I was a "one of a kind" inmate, the warden would not let me leave and go to a place that I could get more education. I had to write to senators and representatives to finally get the warden to let me go to a minimum security prison with education possibilities. I finally got to that prison. Finished my degree with an A.A.S. in industrial machining. I also solved every problem in calculus and physics textbooks. I consumed knowledge.

Then, I tried to get into work release. The warden at this minimum security prison would not let me transfer either. I had to rely on politicians yet again to pressure them to let me grow and learn. Finally, with 1.5 years left to serve, I got my wish and went to SIUC while on work release. I scored straight A's..4.0/4.0 throughout my B.S. in physics. I was released from work release and graduated from SIUC 6 months later with honors. I even received a best student award in physics.

I was lucky to get a job immediately after graduation. I worked for a little over a year and decided to go back to SIUC and get my M.S. in physics. I received my M.S. in physics exactly 2 years after I started and was the first to do a presentation in powerpoint. My masters thesis was over 200 pages long and it was praised as the best they have ever seen.

I was immediately hired as a scientist at the university because of my ability to make what I imagined because of my degree in machining. My GPA was also 4.0/4.0. I know instruments like the back of my hand and I can even repair anything I use.

This is my story as a non-violent offender, there is a lot more to tell but not time to tell it.

My big problem right now is that my past is coming back to haunt me. The internet has opened the doors to a Pandora's box of data and archived articles. I want to have my past deleted, but I do not know how to get it done properly. I do not want to lose my job from something I did 22 years ago. I think I have proven myself to be a valuable asset to society since I work on materials that saves your lives every time you fly or drive your car. I also teach your kids how to use their minds and hands to build things in engineering and science. I give demonstrations to grade school and high school students to show them what scientists and engineers do.

I want my record expunged so I can live life without worrying about someone being prejudice against me for my past. I am proud of the accomplishments I have made over the years and it was was past that changed my life and brought me to being a well known scientist in my area.

Smith in Oregon   July 31st, 2010 8:30 pm ET

Neo-Cons and the militant Republican party are pushing to call the situation in Mexico a matter of national security, close the border with Mexico and call martial law upon America.

America's Shadow Government is entirely composed of individuals that were not elected and yet if an emergency succession were enacted by the Shadow Government, men in the Shadow Government would take over as the Office of the President. It appears trying to convince America that Mexico is a matter of National Security is a step down that very slippery path.

America should remember the neo-con's attempted to do that already during the immediate outbreak of the H1N1 virus in a Mexico City movie theater. It failed, President Obama refused to close the border and refused to declare martial law despite considerable pressure from the Republican Potty'iticans to do so. The Neo-Con's failed that time.

Smith in Oregon   July 31st, 2010 9:21 pm ET

@ Todd, locate an criminal attorney in your area that has previous experience in expunging felony's. There are I believe sizable fee's to remove the arrest and sizable fee's to remove the conviction (two items).
You can also ask a criminal attorney to file a pardon request with the Obama administration.

You would be wise to apply for either or both, in the post Bush Family values, nearly all employers reject any applicants with a felony on their background check even if it was 20 ago.

Candy   July 31st, 2010 9:28 pm ET

yes i am ferm believer that inmates can be reformed, we have all made misstakes in live, why after we pay for it with imprisonment do we have to pay for it the rest of our lives with everyone doing background checks.... that is our personal/private life, it has nothing to do with our work preformance...

debbie   July 31st, 2010 9:32 pm ET

Its sad that prisoner who are released have problems finding a job because they have been in prison. My son was in prison and he started to look and was denied just because he was a prisoner with a felony on his records > He cannot get food assistance because of this . and they wonder why they do something to get back in prison
How are they suppose to pay their resitution if they have no job Yes they can be reformed .

Lisa   July 31st, 2010 9:32 pm ET

I was in prison for bad checks to feed my children and I was working in the health care industry but now no one wants to hire me cause of my back ground and I do live in texas. How is yo0ur program going to work when project Rio dose not work at all I tell them and honest with people that try to hire me but I can only go to work with people that dont run a back ground check.

Michelle   July 31st, 2010 9:34 pm ET

I would hope that a huge focus would be on mental health treatment. The mental health population is 8 times higher than the general population along with drug treatment. Many mental health diseases are treatable these are medical diseases that no punishment will correct.

Yamu   July 31st, 2010 9:35 pm ET

For our Alternative Summer Break (Montgomery College), we visited a prison last week to have book discussions and poetry workshops with inmates. After spending a whole week with these men, I believe that they have all been rehabilitated. I am 26 years old and a firm believer that people do change. Society prepared me to meet a bunch of animals; I met a group of great, intelligent men. I will continue to watch the show to find out what I can do to make a difference. I LOVE YOU JUDGE MATHIS.

Linda Logue   July 31st, 2010 9:41 pm ET

I am listening to the arguements regarding expungements. This is absurd. I am a three time felon, who has a Certificate of Rehabilitation, so I have the right to say "No" on a job application. I have 21 years clean and sober, I am a registered Alcohol and Drug Educator, I am an Honor Roll student at San Diego State University, my field is psychology. There is so much more but that is just a tiny bit of how I am better than a normal citizen. Discussing this topic is bad, lets not give people who have made mistakes any chance of a future. Shame on you, and Dog needs to then not be bonded as a Bail Bonds man. FYI the discussion has gone to use paying money to victums, that is already in place. Get with the times. Stop shutting down rehabs let us get well.

DutchBoy   July 31st, 2010 9:41 pm ET

"Can prison inmates be reformed?" Let's make this more inclusive and more interesting by asking: "Can politicians be reformed?" The difference between criminals and politicians is amazingly small.

TC   July 31st, 2010 9:44 pm ET

I worked in the prison system for over 32 years and have seen thousands of ex-offfenders do well after release HOWEVER today we must have more reentry programs and opportunity for people to change and the reduction of sanctions once debt to society is paid. Great program

Fred   July 31st, 2010 9:47 pm ET

Our prison system is broken and failed. It does not accomplish the pillar objectives of correction and reform of the inmates, as the statistics will attest. Yet the prison industrial complex grows larger and larger and the corporate and public officials who run them grow richer and more powerful. Let's face it: it pays to lock 'em up and keep 'em up locked up. If any ex-cons do reform and make amends for their crimes against society, it is in many instances despite the prison industrial complex, not because of it.

Keith   July 31st, 2010 9:48 pm ET

The major problem with the criminal justice system is NOT the prisoner it is the sentencing guidelines. Yes, I am a former offender, but when I was sentenced, I was a Pre-medicine college student without a record that was driving a car when my 'buddy' robbed a convenience store without my prior knowledge. Because he had a prior record, I was sentenced to 2 years just because of my association with him. I served 13 months, was released early due to good behavior and completed my degree in Industrial Engineering/Mathematics. While incarcerated, I took college classes, and helped tutor my fellow inmates. After release, I went to work and subsequently back to college, got married and had a wonderful family. I must say, that prison could have been a breeding ground for recidivism for me, because I was exposed to levels of criminals and criminal knowledge that I never would have known outside prison walls. My conscious desire every day and including today was NEVER to go back to prison, and to not let my former mistake define me. One has to consciously decide to change your life and to surround yourself with positive people that are goal-oriented and that are successful.

As far as the inappropriate sentencing, as I stated earlier, I have seen drug-related offenders get more time than violent offenders, and as in my case, I have seen first-time offenders get time rather than probation. Why can't we try alternative sentencing/rehabilitation for drug-related and non-violent offenders, and spend the $30K+ a year to educate and job train these offenders?

The basic problem in the criminal justice system is that it has become a multi-billion $ industry in the U.S. that is run by people that invest and benefit from every aspect of the system, from corrupt judges & D.A.'s to corrupt police & correction officers. As long as the CJ system provides the level of profit and revenue at the county & state level without accountability, it will within itself remain the problem, not the solution!

Reggie   July 31st, 2010 9:52 pm ET

Yes, I believe that inmates can be reformed. I speak from experience. I was convicted and served 20 yrs. I have absolutely no desire to reoffend on any crime. In fact, I currently minister with a group of men who were incarcerated with me at the same time at the same institution where we were ministering gospel music. We all have come out and gotten our lives together and ministering all around the State. However, there are no jobs available for us, and we are doing the best we can to survive, but we haven't reoffended and are continuting to minister the word of God through our music.

Robert   July 31st, 2010 9:55 pm ET

You cannot change someone that does not want to be changed. More of our resources should be put into the children so they do not become offenders.

Danny   July 31st, 2010 9:56 pm ET

Why is it that when someone goes to prison and pay his dept to society and the environment to have to join a gang for protection and get no type of rehabilitation while doing their time.
We need to stop locking people up for non violent crimes so we have the space for the violent criminals.

Dodie   July 31st, 2010 10:04 pm ET

@ Keith

Beautifully stated!

I have seen drug addicts thrown in jail for a mere infraction. Our prisons are filled with these people. Many years ago, I was arrested for a joint and a small amount of cocaine. The judge wanted to make an example of me. He wanted to sentence me to 30 years prison. I was very fortunate to have friends in high places or I would have been in prison for 30 years.

30 years is a long time out of anyone's life for a non-violent crime.

Reggie   July 31st, 2010 10:04 pm ET

The other question should be: Once an inmate has served his/her time, should they be given a legitimate second chance? This is a serious question that requires a serious answer. To give someone a second chance isn't an easy thing to do. But, in America we tote the saying; "You do the crime, you serve the time" We claim that after that, a person can return back to society and start his/her life over again. This not the case. Former inmates who are legitimately trying to do the right thing via society, aren't really afforded the chance to get their life back. Soceity has to seriously consider this question and be capable of giving a person a chance. You would have to have walked in our shoes to truly understand what's at stake here. The C.P. on the show is only reflecting what she learned in a book. Many of us here have lived what she claims to know about.

gary boyle   July 31st, 2010 10:04 pm ET

Larry I served 20 years straight in supermax marion federal penitentary an used and abused alcohol&drugs. I turned my life around and manage 12-step education programs and work with prisoners and addicts,eyc... If I can turn my life around anyone can if they have opportunity and a willingness to do so !-Gary Boyle

Dodie   July 31st, 2010 10:07 pm ET

@ Keith

After 39 years I still remember the judge's name! I probably will die with the knowledge of his name!

Dodie   July 31st, 2010 10:16 pm ET

Few drug addicts have a mental illness or if they do, it is an Axis II illness which is resistant to therapy and drugs....

Danielle   August 1st, 2010 12:10 am ET

My husband was in prison for a simple marijuana charge. I could not believe the legal system. I have two children. Does anyone know how difficult it is to raise two children with your husband in prison. When he gets out, he will not have a job. What do we do then?

Mike Smith   August 1st, 2010 12:15 am ET

I was arrested for a couple of joints while driving home from work. I was sentenced to 2 years and served 9 months. The laws need to change.

Michelle   August 1st, 2010 12:21 am ET

Why are prisons called Correctional Facilities and why are prison guards called Corrections Officers? Neither prisons nor prison guards take part in "correcting" the inmates. Taken literally, a correctional facility should reform, improve, and rehabilitate. Something which is clearly not done.

If you want to find an institution that reforms and improves a person look no further than higher education. Perhaps UCLA should change it's name to RHLA, The Rehabilitation Center of Los Angeles.

Pancheta Chapple   August 1st, 2010 12:25 am ET

I believe that prisoners acquire the ability to be rehabilitated if they want too. I am an ex-felon of 20 years and have never returned to the penal system since 1990. I returned to society a better person and not bitter. Currently, I am a substance abuse counselor for the criminal justice system which is my way of continued rehabilitation. I am grateful for the time I spent incarcerated because it gave me a new lease on life.

Andrea   August 1st, 2010 12:25 am ET

To Leslie....

Keep walking that walk with God and strengthening your faith around others who believe the same and you will overcome. Just remember with God for you, who can be against you. 🙂 God Bless.

Robert   August 1st, 2010 12:35 am ET

In America Prison is a business. It is not to their advantage to rehabilitate.

Vanessa in San Diego   August 1st, 2010 12:46 am ET

Larry, can you please discuss the prison system and inmates with mental illness. It seems as if the prison system has become a babysitter for Americas mentally ill. It's ironic that many prisoners get more mental health attention than those in society who have never committed a crime. (Thanks to our wonderful health care system.) Prisons are not psychiatric hospitals and prison guards are not skilled nurses.

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 1:05 am ET

In order to commit a violent crime you must be somewhat insane, a sensible and tolerable individual may think about...caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 1:22 am ET

How can you trust a judicial system whose impulse it is to punish and not reform..caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 1:29 am ET

As the U.S. prison population exceeded 75% of the world's incarcerated, it should have informed all citizen's of the mentalities of those who ordered them built..caj..

Kiki   August 1st, 2010 4:01 am ET

I wonder what C.D.C.R stands for? In California rehabilitation has never been a priority. Keeping individauls incarcerated seems like a better business move for the state. I was once told a better way to look at it is C.D.C (Christ Doesn't Condemn).

Bunny Music   August 1st, 2010 5:53 am ET

I think that the gangs in prison need to be dispersed. And those people who insist on being in a gang should never get out of jail.

kris   August 1st, 2010 5:59 am ET

Ask that conservative so and so if she would be so hard on her law school son if he killed a hooker that that threatened his career or family reputation. This is 2010. Being rich and white no longer allows u to be an ignorant fearful wench. If u care about society be social! Pat may not be a violent psychopath but definitely is violent in her disregard for any semblance of peace. I'm an american soldier and even I can see why most islamic fundamentalists would love to . . .yeah but they'll be aiming for me. All she has to do is sit at home and run her mouth! Shut up and count your money! -5 Time veteran

Bootch   August 1st, 2010 6:28 am ET

This is a message for Larry.
As someone that has lived on four continents around the world and chose to live in the US, I can state with a degree of certainly that what is happening in the US in terms of the criminal justice system is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. How justice is served is based on who you are in the pecking order in terms of social status; the outcome of your case is dependent on dream team lawyers. Therefore, those that are serving time are not necessarily bad people; if you look hard enough you will find that MANY who have committed non-violent crime would have not even been in prison if they had the dream team lawyers. The justice system is a farce and add to it the fact that those that come out are denied jobs, even denied entry at some colleges, denied housing and so on. They can never really underpin the income tax base in the country – once the system grabs them to build up their statistics on crime, this group of people are lost to the US. They live on the fringe of society and can never become contributing members of society; they are treated as outcasts. You want to hear how my young son at age 18 was given two felony charges for drinking and walking to a house under construction, please ask me?! By the way, the real estate board of Florida thought the police and prosecutors must have been dumb because they gave my son a florida real estate license and he goes into peoples' houses. This is the form of justice in Florida. A burglary charge for getting drunk and walking 20 ft from our home's boundary to go into a house under construction and not steal a thing.

Rev. Don Disharoon   August 1st, 2010 6:30 am ET

I am presently in the initial process of establishing a Christian program inside our local prison, and a Christian transitional home in a local community.

A lot of people in society say, "Lock them up and throw away the Key!" The facts are that 98% of those incacerated in our nation's prisons today will one day be released. The "system" established in most of our prisons today are far from adequate as to rehabilitation. In some cases they are non-existent! There have actually been articles in one of our state newspapers that was titled, "The System Is Not Working." It is time for the churches and the communities where these men and women will be returning to reach out in love and acceptance.

My belief is the same as my motto which is, "There is no one good enough that does not need saving, nor anyone bad enough that cannot be saved!" Most of society stereotypes men and women in prison as the worthless portion of society. If one goes into prison and is treated as being worthless in prison and when they come out, then they believe they are worthless. I have to say that society couldn't be more wrong! It is true that there are some that committed crimes to be incarcerated for the rest of their lives. These are the ones we need to reach out to on the inside and to their families on the outside.

I know for a fact that people can be rehabilitated or as I like to call it "regenerated." I believe that you can try to change the mind all you want, but unless you change the heart, its all for nothing.

I have volunteered in our local prison for almost eighteen years as a Christian. I have seen the despair and lost hope on many faces. I can relate to them because I spent seven and one half years behind those bars myself. I am an ordained minister, the manager for an electrical company and married to the most wonderful woman in the world! Don't believe that people can't change........I'm walking, living proof of what the Lord Jesus Christ can do in a person's life!

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 6:35 am ET

If you spent all the money on the unwarranted wars against Iraq and Afghanistan and built replica WORLD TRADE CENTERS across the southern border of the United States, there would be one every two thousand buildings.

If you took the 7 million inmates from U.S. prisons housed them in those structures, there would be 7000 inmates in each one...

Bootch   August 1st, 2010 6:35 am ET

Why feed them in prison when on leaving prison there is support for about a week (and that is questionable).
Without food, water and shelter and NO ACCESS TO JOBS, housing denied in most credible communities, college denied (even the Fullbright program does not recognize rehabilitation as they say they will not allow anyone no matter how bright to apply for a Fullbright scholarship), etc. WHY WOULD PEOPLE WHO LEAVE PRISON NOT RE-OFFEND????
With reoffending at least they can get back into prison where they get food, water, shelter and access to medical care. They're only having to fight other prisoners – on the street they have to fight just about everyone – the prospective employer who will not hire them, the landlord who won't give them a chance, the college that does not want them and the list goes on.

leo carroll   August 1st, 2010 7:20 am ET

1st. of all allow me to say: ms. pat brown has sum good ideas! but on the other hand she's-social-pathic-reversed, and psyho-nut, or a closet-racist, and or a male shovelist pig-darken? we all are, social-paths the only thing that separte us: is opportunies, or the lack there of! judge mathis, dog, and the other gentleman, that has the correctional path already aligned, and operant, these guys should be commended!! pat brown was right! the system is the problem! starting from the local, state, and all the way UP *too the law maker('s)-shaker('s) and law-setter's THAT ARE SEATED TODAY. it is "generational," it always have been! america has never given any creedance to what they have taken from the lesser man, in-which started with slavery!!! bodily, mental, and the actual mind set's *ware the law official's took part in the hanging's, of so called freed black men in the public-streets, of this great nation? placing into the heads&hearts of furture generations, separtis view's! as well the lack freedoms and reparartions that never was shared with our generation's-relations-past, or the lack there of...

leo carroll   August 1st, 2010 8:10 am ET

yes we have a black president! so what? look at how WE THE PEOPLE go against him! call it, the REbuican ground "ROOTS" snake in the grass, or the demo's-that-crat! again that is just another reversed separtis-VIEWED! 1's for the elite's and the other for their-elite's! yet the small man is going further back into bondage! (any body seen TOBY'S foot?) red-tape's and bandaid's dont work! we support any other nations of non-america, even in war, although we are in wars: for nothing! our border's-PROTECTED? hey, they are all here! in school, learning the american way's! supported by our leader's. yet our leader's will NOT support US! they are our store owners, they can purchase our land! they can cross our border! and if we jay-walk, we go straight to jail, no $200, no medial or health support, no jobs, no nothing! just a nother tag coded by our RAILROADED zip code's that class US!

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 8:15 am ET

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR's First Inaugural Address Ask any Marijuana user what the most profound effect of smoking pot is and I can assure you it is not the is the fear of being incarcerated if apprehended for avoid that scourge in the human condition he resorts to using alcohol where he finds his fear abated and his courage heightened..caj

Washington, DC: Police arrested an estimated 723,627 persons for marijuana violations in 2001, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is the second highest ever recorded by the FBI, and comprises nearly half of all drug arrests in the United States.

Multiply that over a ten year period and it equals stupidity....and wasted tax revenue in the multi-billions....

gerald Jolly   August 1st, 2010 9:52 am ET

@ Cajazz.

Did you know that the U.S. prisons are now more than 75% privately owned and run as profit making enterprises.??

What next "PRIVATE ARMIES"??

What the heck is happening to our country??


Hope you are well my friend, the book is published.

Will begin distribution next week.

Keep well.

Semper Fi

Amilynne Bradach-v   August 1st, 2010 12:07 pm ET

I love when you have Dog on your show. I have a father kinde of like dog but not as careing he is in Prision now for a crime i never thought he would Comemit . I love waching you on your show also larry never belive the bad things they say about you in the maggazeins. tell dog i said hi from Oregon. Bey

gerald Jolly   August 1st, 2010 12:09 pm ET

Hey folks.

Best book I have read in years.


Get it,, you will enjoy the read.

America get's even with terrorism

leo carroll   August 1st, 2010 1:50 pm ET

Punishment & Redemption! must start from the TOP, 10% that rule& regulate-governance, over the masses! that trickled-down effect, only denote's, that same good-ole-boy, days of the old early americas: that seated, into design these same, rail-roaded attribute's, that place ladens-heavy on the backs of the lesser-man! pat brown cant be called what she really is? she made sum good statements, but her aim are racially-endowed with set-a-part-views! how can a man do a crime OUTWARLY, proving a need for help! when there are laws written&re-written, that are moreso, highly criminal that are established behind the screen!

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 2:17 pm ET

Correction: There are an estimated 7 million U.S. citizens in the U.S. prison estimated 2.3 incarcerated...and estimated 500,000 behind bars awaiting trial which justice cannot afford...caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 2:32 pm ET

With the birth of audacious laws comes the vasectomy of righteousness..caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 2:39 pm ET

With the birth of audacious laws comes the castration of righteousness..caj

leo carroll   August 1st, 2010 2:39 pm ET

we are the people! we are the law! we ALL need 1another! orange, purple, gray, whatever our color content or texture's. any man without his *Histories, *Bible-based, is gonna parish! again we compound war after war, after we shake-hands with the (opec-nations) they come and train on OUR LAND: how to fly a planes with no intention to land it(RED FLAG)? had i, and 3more black men, walked in such a way! we would *steel be behind-bars or dead ALL/ready, &it would have been ONLY RIGHT! we import goods when our nation was built by transporting the amecican-name-brand! how can we not reach-back and help the so called monsters WE THE PEOPLE created! "1 cant call 1 a monster unless 1 first seen that monster in their mirror" the whole entire american people are depended upon the backs of this remiant of locked-down men and women! (rehabilitate, them as well our 1self) [just as ms. brown said for the drug-user, &those that sales, that are NOT murderer's, prove-rapist, bank robbers, proven child molester's, unibombers, be they blow up car's and or buildings, that are found with the intent, to do so! these are monsters and they deserve a more speedy death, not a 20 year sentance? but those that are found with lesser acts place them in a quite place, that deem's reform!! those that are in there on a short term-note, they could be doing the local work around the cities-need's all the while learning a trade! that is the start of reform!

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 2:42 pm ET

With the birth of audacious laws comes the infertility of righteousness.... Anyway you wish to express it, justice becomes stillborn..caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 2:46 pm ET

Redemption may bury the conscience, but without reparations to the victim it digs a deeper grave..caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 3:20 pm ET

On November 2, if the California voter's pass legislation making marijuana legal will a false dichotomy between state and federal law persist in the portrait of our nation. or will federal decree color it in?..caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 3:24 pm ET

On November 2, if the California voter's pass legislation making marijuana legal will a false dichotomy between state and federal law persist in the black and white portrait of our nation, or will federal decree color it in?..caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 3:35 pm ET

Prison inmates can be reformed and justice solidified, if punishment befitting the crime becomes soluble..caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 3:54 pm ET

"You cannot legislate morality"-Barry Goldwater (1964)...because moral man will indite and punish himself through his imprisoned conscience, whereas as immoral man escapes...caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 5:02 pm ET

Reparations to crime victims imparts full justice that the conscience of the wallet cannot deny...caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 5:25 pm ET

Redemption without reparations to crime victims is like only benefits oneself...caj

Cajazz76:24:8   August 1st, 2010 5:49 pm ET

Rehabilitation can be accomplished in prison, if the guilty can educate their conscience..caj

gerald Jolly   August 1st, 2010 7:20 pm ET

To be an effective Bounty Hunter, is it necessary to wear dark sunglasses indoors and bleach your hair blonde.????


Maxine Parker   August 2nd, 2010 12:38 am ET

Since Michael Moore concerns himself with 22% unemployment in his area of Wisconsin, how would he like some of Arizona's illegal aliens?

Honestly, why in God's green earth do people believe it's okay to break federal laws? It's disgusting!!! Read the Webster's Dictionary and look at the explaination of 'crime'..............these illegal people are criminals and everyone seems to rationalize that's okay.

Believe me, we wouldn't miss Mr. Moore, so he needed worry about his boycotting our state – we won't.

Cajazz76:24:8   August 2nd, 2010 12:09 pm ET

CONGRATULATIONS gerald Jolly !!!!!

Glad to hear CHAMELEON is now in print and soon ready for the book shelves. It will be a pleasure to read it and those who have the wool shadowing their eyesight should, no doubt, get a copy and gain insight into the darkest secrets this nation has ever held.

In less than two months I will be heading to the Middle East and am well prepared for another ' view in contrast ' to what the American people are unaware of...the truth on our collaboration with Zionist Israel. I watched a clip yesterday of ' Barbaric ' Bachman (R) Senator from Minnesota addressing a group of American Jewish people from California and she, upon expressing her love for them, pulls out of her derriere a huge banner of her love for Israel. Of course, she only does it to garner votes for the Republican candidate she went to California to support. She travels state to state on the American taxpayer's dollars plying her trade as a political prostitute to insure she has their support and is returned like favor's in her bid for re-election on November 2. What a country...of blind faith.

Again. my best to you, gerald Jolly, and my best wishes for the success of CHAMELEON. Semper Fi, and take care..caj

Stacey LaCour   August 2nd, 2010 1:19 pm ET

August 2nd, 2010 1:07 pm ET
Your comment is awaiting moderation. I love that "Dog" is an out in the open christian. He inspires young people to turn to God.

I am only a Central Louisiana resident. No expert on any subject. I have not even been into the southern Gulf areas since the oil leak. I feel that this is what is referred to in the bible as God, turning the waters of the earth into blood. I am no religon expert, not even someone who goes around yelling to people to repent. But there are so many areas being affected, and now there is another oil leak in a lake in the northern US area. It is killing fish, and water life, plants, etc. If everyone will go into their bible and read what is to come, the things are stacking up. The fires in Russia, the continued move that Iran is making on the rest of us. The temprature rising all over the planet. Heat waves killing people, Wars in areas and rumors of wars. People, it is like buying health insurance before you get sick. Pray for us all, each other, and our earth and we are just purchasing insurance for our eternity.
Please yall, start to pray, daily, hourly if you can remember to. It can only help. The non believers can pray, just to cover all bases. What can it hurt? And those of us who believe, we know the good that can come from it. The ladies from Garabandal, Spain, Medjughore, etc are bringing messages that tell us over and over to get right. To pray, to behave. Why not make an experiment out of it. Let's all just try to pray for each other and our government officials and see what happens

Stonelion   August 2nd, 2010 2:00 pm ET

I have a felony from 24 years ago, and this process has been extremely difficult for me to return to normal life. This biggest problem is that when you pay back to society for any ills(innocent/guilty), their is not many opportunities for you to compete on a level playing field as evryone else. I see atheletes and entertainers get into any amount of trouble that thaey can do, but still allowed to return to making the amount of money they were making prior to their criminal charges. Even Martha Stewart has return to her old job, and even Rich Sanchez who was involved in a hit and run accident here in Miami, Florida has had the opportunity to compete as if nothing happen before. I have completed my MBA, and now am working on my Phd but cannot secure a meaningful career that I have so long to secure. I petition the state of Florida to have an opportunity for clemency, but the governers office refuse to grant my petition, because they said that I showed no remorse for the crime that I was alleged to have committed. After 24 years I have attempted to live a quiet and peaceful life, and have had so many doors closed to me because of a convicion from 24 years ago. I am really lost for words and have no answer to why after 24 years I have to continue to walk as if this alledged crime happen just yesterday. Even Jesus said,"Father forgive them." We hold a higher standard of forgiveness than God? Do we have a higher moral value than God? Even Nixion receieve a pardon for his criminal acts as the elected president of the United States.......

The correctional facilities all across America are no longer rehabilitaing, only incubaiting human souls who are not going to be ever given a real opportunity once they have paid back to society for any legal ills. Its as if you have died, resurrected from the dead, and society wants to put you back on trial and sentence you all over again. I have had so many doors closed to me, and I just want a opportunity to play on a level playing field.

Gerald Jolly   August 2nd, 2010 7:42 pm ET

@ Cajazz.

Middle east?? be careful my friend, things have changed dramatically just in the last six months.

About Bachman, it pains me to know that she was re-elected the last time around, and it makes me question the intelligence of the ordinary Joe voter, that a person of such low ilk can be elected in our country.

Pls. contact Dodie with your adress so that I can send you a signed copy "WONT YA"

Janet M   August 2nd, 2010 8:58 pm ET

I believe that some inmates can change when they are released from prison. I believe that the ones who have there families on there side are the ones who over come all the damage that prison has done to them! My youngest brother who just turned 18 yrs old 5 months ago was sentenced to 17 yrs in prison in the state of Georgia. He was charged with armed robbery which in the state of GA thats a mandatory 10yrs in prison no parole no probation! My brother had no criminal record prior to this. This was a wrong place wrong time thing that changed his life forever! We are appealing of course but we can only hope to see what that does! But My reason for commenting is what is our government doing to this young teens ! They are sending them to Prison with some hard core killers, rapists Etc! What is that going to to do them !! My god they are young teens. There should be programs for them. To help them if they are falling in the footsteps of crime! Give them alternatives and then if they dont get the point put them in prison! I believe that they tried to make a example out of my brother. But they picked the wrong person. ! I like the comment someone made about BP I agree they are killers what about them !! Now my brother will have to sit in county jail for god knows how long and wait to be transferred to a prison, you know when they have beds available because they state of GA just loves to be know for there justice for crime !!!I If anyone out there is interested in reading about armed robbery the AJC has article called A Billion dollar burdon or Justice. I know one thing my brother will NOT be one that walks out that door only with $25 and a bus pass! His family thats knows him and the great person that he is and that adores him . Will be there with open arms and love to welcome him ! I believe that Family is what makes a difference in young people as well as in adults lifes. I think this armed robbery law needs to be adjusted 10 yrs is just wrong. They should do a case by case sentencing not just becuase this law says this . Thats what it will be ! my god they have no idea what they are doing!!!

fay   August 8th, 2010 9:07 am ET

Janet I feel your pain and outrage. My husband got 20 years for a robbery without a weapon in Florida. So I completly understand you. God bless and just as you said- be there for your brother.

Gerald Jolly   August 3rd, 2010 4:18 pm ET

Help me please.

Where can I find a pair of those bounty hunter glasses that lets you see inside a darkened room.

I hope the "DOG" will respond.

Also is it a requirement to have long bleached blond hair to become a bounty hunter???

Just asking.

Sam R. Ford   August 5th, 2010 12:41 am ET

Hello Larry King:
I watched your program on Prison Reform. It was a very good and interesting program. As I sat listening to the guest you had on your show, I began to think of my life experience of being incarcerated for eighteen years plus two years behind bars.
The eighteen years was for a murder and the two years was for felonious assault. I spent twenty years behind bars. I served eighteen years straight for the murder case and then after being released I landed a job in the state of Michigan, I’m from Ohio. The job was obtained through a temp service. I was released on the 14th of August, 2001. Shortly after being out, this temp service sent me to Michigan at a recycling factory. I was working there for about 90 days and then found myself in an argument with another worker which ended up with me catching a felonious assault case. I was arrested and sentenced to 2 to 15 years in Michigan.
Larry, I’m a 53 year old man now. When I first went to prison I was 26 years old. I spent half of my twenties and all of my thirties and half of my forties in prison.
I am here to tell you that I learnt more about myself in those two years I spent in the Michigan penal system than I did in those eighteen years. I say that because, this is when I began to change the way I think. I received a letter from a very dear friend and he began to tell me that “I lived a certain way for so long until that was all I knew. My belief system was all distorted and if I was going to change I must change the way I think, first”. After reading and re-reading those words something began to sink deep into my soul. I began to enter different programs dealing with a cognitive theory approach to life’s situations. I knew then that I was on the road to recovery and rehabilitating my sense of self worth.
However, the previous eighteen years in prison were not spent doing nothing. I received my G.E.D. and then went on to obtain my Associates Degree. I did feel good about my accomplishments but still there was this anger problem I had to deal with. So, after being released from dong the eighteen years, I thought I was good to go. But then, there was this anger problem that had not been addressed. And, this is where I re-offended.
When I was released from the Michigan penal system, I landed a job at a local Wendy’s restaurant. I worked for about a couple of months and then I enrolled in the University of Toledo. I graduated with a GPA of 2.89 in the Social Work program with a Bachelor’s Degree. I am now employed as a Corrections Officer in a Treatment Facility which house inmates who are at risk of going to prison. This facility is a prison diversion program with an 80% decrease in the recidivism rate of offenders.
My testimony is this, “People” can change! I am living proof of this fact. And yes, we as ex-offenders do need help from society and our loved ones. When I go in to work, it is not just a job but I go in with the hopes of having an intersecting moment with whoever will be willing to hear my story. And, there are those individuals who listen with intent ears and when these particular inmates can see with their own eyes some one who has gone through the system and turned their life around, they can begin to have hopes of changing their own way of thinking with the tools and skills provided through our program.
There are days when I go and volunteer at my job on my off days and share my story in our aftercare program. I do this because I truly believe that people can change with the necessary help. I really like helping those individuals who are or may be going through what I experienced as an offender and now an Ex-Offender.
I have started this program called Generation X. Generation X is a cognitive theory based program that is designed to reach those who are at-risk after being released from prison. When I say at-risk I mean in terms of the choices and the decisions that are made without thinking about the consequences.
Generation X’s goal and objectives are to enhance and equip the individual with the necessary skills and tools so that the individual will be able to make better choices and better decisions when faced with the different choices and decisions in life.
And so, I believe that I can give back to society by being a living example that people can change their lives. Change from being a felon to an X-felon or X-whatever the individual want to change about themselves or the way they think.
Society really wants to help those who are disadvantaged and struggling, but at the same time society wants to see results of a changed MIND resulting in a changed person. This is where Generation X comes in and gives the individual the necessary tools and skills it will take to change that old way of thinking into a new way of thinking.
So, Larry King, this is my story in short.

Sam R. Ford, BSW
Toledo, Ohio

Cindy Scoggins   August 11th, 2010 11:24 am ET

Help, I do a Bible study at a Woman's Prison and they saw this show and ask me to find out more info on it. I have tried and can not get anything. How can I get more info about the Prison Scholarship?

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