The Land of the Free punishes or imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation. This collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on America’s criminal justice system puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the US Government's 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe: The War on Drugs; a failed policy underscored by fear, politics, racial prejudice and intolerance in a public atmosphere of "out of sight, out of mind."
Robert Halstead, son of Janet Maddox Goree featured last week on openDemocracy, is currently serving a 30 year sentence for armed robbery. In 2008 he robbed a pharmacy of one bottle of oxycontin while withdrawing from methadone, intent on committing suicide.
He was caught instead, and found himself not only facing 30 years for the robbery, but an additional 25 years for "trafficking" because the bottle of oxycontin contained more than the legal requirement.
Threatened with a life sentence if he took his case to trial, "Bobby" accepted a plea deal for 30 years without the possibility of parole. He will be released when he is 62 years old.
In September of 2011 Bobby was transfered out of the Florida Department of Corrections to a private prison facility in Graceville, FL owned by the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA)
This interview for the Exile Nation Project is the first conducted inside a prison facility.
Laws prohibit media access to Federal facilities, as well as in the California Department of Corrections and many other states.
This complete interview is #25 of 100 in The Exile Nation Project's archive, which can be found on ExileNation.org.