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Connie Goldman examines Minnesota's parole system by looking in detail at one of its recent decisions. The release of Bill Rankin, convicted of three felonies, aroused a storm of public protest that eventually reached the Governor's office. We hear both Rankin and the critics of his release in this program.

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And I think they just become much too much of a burden to all of us in this tree. Will it seems like the end up right back in, Oregon? Nobody's been extremely too permissive and they're relinquishing our people back into society much too soon kind of hard to see you this much too soon. Oh, yes. I don't think they really do publicize that they have gone through any real benefit a patient at all a few months ago. I didn't know anything about the adult corrections commission the unit known as the parole board now, I'm a taxpayer in a property owner a registered voter a parent responsible Citizen and I know something about the school system in City hospitals city and county offices of the public library in the state highway department. I do know that Stillwater State Prison has several hundred inmates and that former State Corrections commissioner. David has been strongly supporting Innovative and ambitious prison reform and rehabilitative programs and someone had asked me what do you know about the parole board in, Minnesota? Couldn't have really offered much of an answer prison convict parole. I guess that these are things that are rather locked up away from what affects my daily life and this is the response that I got when I asked the same question of people in downtown st. Paul, but I don't really know anybody that's ever been out or what you mean by the question or anything the parole board, you know anything about the parole board hearing that really know. Would you want to know more about the What would you like to know? About how these are set up and how they release different people. I think this would be very interested, you know anything about the rehabilitation programs at all on that at all. The construction of the corrections commissioner of the parole board here in Minnesota, but I really don't know too much about right now, you know anything about the people that make the decisions that that say a man can come out on parole thing about the construction of the corrections commission are the parole board. No, I don't. I don't know that much about it. I don't even know anybody that. I don't know anybody. It's on. Bro, maybe if I did why I could probably talk a little bit better with you indeed. There are any Well only what I've read in the paper, it seems to be somewhat disorganized from what I see in the paper. You would like to know about the parole board one day last fall. I read in the Saint Paul papers about what the five-person parole board had done one afternoon in their regular session meeting at Stillwater state prison for part-time members of the adult corrections commission, the parole board and their full-time chairman had voted a421 decision to Grant William Rankin a 41 year old man with three aggravated robbery conviction since 1949 his freedom the headline read board paroles convicted robber move draws fire and the story proceeded to quote William mccutchan Saint Paul Deputy police chief and Minnesota State senator. Quote another in a series of consistently bad decisions that almost seem designed to prevent Corrections reform from occurring quote if the parole board keeps making these kinds of decisions, we won't have a climate for correction reform quote Rankin's disposition towards violent crime. He's a strong possibility that the parole compromises Public Safety the following day Governor Wendell Anderson asked the state parole board to reconsider the parole granted to William Rankin. I've heard that there will be a reconsideration of the decision on Bill Rankin parole him right in his letter of mostly concerned with the public safety and To reconsider the Vulcan had taken earlier on his parole going to reconsider. There's no question in my mind about that question is does the governor have a right to ask for for reconsideration is one that has appointed the people on disability cases then considers these things himself and very infrequently ever ask but the decision of bylaws up to the adult directions to Mission and have any recourse for a For his objections to the decision being changed. See if there's no case law that reaches to the point of challenging the Judgment of a parole board. There is a possibility of purses being revoked of having reviewed and so on but there I don't think you would have any regrets about the Judgment of the parole board that has never been overruled. To my knowledge by any Court. Thank you very much for mr. Later or would you suggest that I talk to somebody else after the flu Monday? Mr. Money? Could you explain to me about the meeting that you're having with the parole board today on on the rehearing of of the decision on Bill Rankin's parole? Well leave the commission is right now in the process of the Considering this whole matter and I would assume and it appears that we will have a statement ready for. Call Blake tomorrow morning at the hearing. Does he know that this is going on at this present time? Will there be meetings all through the day today, Mr. Lindy hearing today at the prison which we spend the five days a month, you're connecting hearings and the ranking matter is just one part of a whole calendar of matters that were considering the matter about ranking will be a statement will be made tomorrow morning by the by you as chairman of the parole board. The the public will be advised tomorrow morning of what decision has been made and falling me the water papers that you've been you were granted a parole this Tuesday, but I've also been reading that there's a lot of comments on the danger of letting you out what's going on with your parole that was granted on Tuesday right now. We don't get much information here. All I have to do is rely on some friends and see that one of the things as there's no this disability is all in my past something I can change and it's only one-sided. You know, I love you more than willing. Like I told some friends of mine that if the governor wants to take my parole. Why don't you come down and talk to me I'd be willing to do that. He doesn't seem to be willing to do anything. I mean other than by public opinion, is there any indication that your parole won't be granted? I do understand that it takes somewhere between a weekend 3 weeks before people that are granted parole to be allowed out on the streets does the job that you have has to be cleared and other details. I was told I could have been bro the next day. I've had my job and my place to stay out the house. I was going to live at a halfway house and that was all set. What do you think is holding up the things that I don't know. I got the word today that my parole was for Wednesday. Before all this publicity come up. Let me know that. I mean that I heard about this morning about the governor being involved. The other was just it just political the man that started the whole thing is that is a it. He's a he's a politician and a cop know, what do you think? He's trying to accomplish? I think that's what everybody else. Yes, and I don't know him personally and he doesn't know anything about me obviously doesn't know too much about me because he mentioned this Escape thing and I was innocent of all charges and I think you mean the escape attempt which one was that? What they told me is that I lived up to the expectations of what they expected me in the prison. And that my Pro Plan was perfect for what they figure I needed which was supervision and help on the on the streets, which I realize is I realize it's also I it's going to be a hell of a transition from me to from here to the streets after 5 years. And and I'm glad for the help but I do if it if I have to go in front of another hearing which would be my third one. I want in front of a lifer board for that decision. Normally there's only three members on the board and if I have to go in front of me again that I'm going to suggest it there don't want to prove me to give me a work-related that way I'll be under strict supervision. I live in the jail at night for four months if that's what they want. The only one that knows that I'm ready inside of me. And that's all I can tell him. I can't prove anything from in here mister, man. Can I believe the Wednesday article from the Saint Paul Dispatch quotes? Mr. McCutcheon is saying that quote rankings disposition toward violent crime Lisa strong possibility that the parole compromises Public Safety. How would you respond to that question come in and talk to the ministration? I don't know in the past. I cannot change. Not at all. I know I can't I can't prove anything to anybody in this prison. I've done what I could in this present and that's why the probe or give me a call. They didn't give it to me. I earned it. I guess there's more than what one reads in the papers what to read in the paper know is my past and there is no good part of it at all. There is nothing good that I have heard about. I don't read them because it just upsets me. And so I just I have to go by what the people in power decide. And I hate them decide about my future my whole life but not knowing me the following morning the AP wire Services carried a story that begin like this Dateline St. Paul Minnesota. The Minnesota parole board has decided to let stand the release of William Rankin a Thrice convicted Robert who's parole had been questioned by Governor Wendell Anderson Sherman llewelyn Lindy of the adult corrections commission said Monday. The decision was reached after careful thought and deliberation part-time members of the parole board include Ben Berger of Minneapolis Charles Pol of Newport Wilfred and tail of Stillwater. And this is William wedding of Owatonna, Minnesota reached by telephone. Mrs. Wedding made these remarks Reagan would be for him to not be visible in and not be pointed out as a serious risk in the community. We thought when we interviewed him and when we went over his case that he was ready to return to the community but not in a very visible situation that he has been put into by the various media. This man has to be given an opportunity like everyone else to live his own life and make something of himself in this is very difficult for Amanda Lee prison under the situation that has built up over his case and try to do the kind of job that we expect him to do and still be pointed out is that man over and over? This is a very difficult transition for any prisoner and I to go about his business in the normal human being in this isn't going to happen if we still keep pointing her finger at you strengthen what comment might you make about this kind of fear in the community about Offenders that are bigger risks than others because of their past record when we have our institution to our house when we consider the safety of the community, which after all is it basic purposive what is going on in those institutions and then is basic to the decisions of the parole commission. We look at each one as an individual and we have two major what is happened to that man in the institution what changes me of taking place? And when is the best time for him to move into the community as a crew only these can't be judged by any set standard to have to decide this on the basis of what you have before you and what you can determine by working with individual and I'm sure they didn't in the future as we have in the past week will give our main concern to the community and the protection of the community, but I think people in the community fail to understand It in Minnesota except for are lifers. These people are immediately and will eventually return to the community in their entire sentence of 10, 15 20 years. Whatever it is, if something doesn't happen to that man in that time, he's going to be just as dangerous if not more. So when he leaves the institutions of our concern is what is happening to him to rehabilitate him and how can we best move him out on parole into the community so that he will become a law-abiding citizen everyday. And just because the media happens to feel that one person is more visible than another. Wait, we just can't judge every case on that basis. We have to look at the individual. Were you surprised at the commotion that followed this decision for parole? Were you surprised at mr. McCutchen's comments and the governor Anderson's reactions or do you place more must blame on the media for all the commotion happening kisses before where there's been concern? Perhaps he wasn't quite ready for them this kind of thing and we can go in a woman and how best to handle that return to society in this is one of the reasons that was considered for Minneapolis. We knew doing of the law enforcement people in St. Paul about this man and we felt that the arrangements we were making would be best for him. And your people payroll, you know the Saint Paul police going to talk to the Minneapolis, please that's true, but we found it. Hopefully he would be given a better opportunity and have a chance to show that he was ready to return if he didn't go back to sleep all as far as a Governor's involvement in this. Would you say mrs. Wedding that the printed media do you think that they were responsible in this case? They could try to do a little job of reporting all five of it in the neck. And immediately accepting the position of the year, which was the gist of the first article. That's what I'm trying to do it. It's a little after the fact and maybe it is keeping mr. Rankin more visible than is wise and in the process that This is a part of other words that Pearl is a part of them and Rehabilitation process and it doesn't happen just automatically we do have to consider what is best ready to return to the community. And this is one of these judgments that's weird charged with making and of course we make errors anybody involved in human behavior is going to make some wrong judgments that's part of the game. I guess. I think that there are many factors are going into this and and have been brought out in the media are not necessarily understood white male age 41 formerly convict number 18393 Stillwater State Prison the proboard, you know, that's what worried me. Not the governor cuz I knew that was a political move. I just wonder how much pressure to proboard could stand in my feelings were. Confused angry vindictive and innocence wondering, you know, just what do they want? And how the hell can I repay Society or whatever the hell these people want, you know cuz you're always in this situation. You never know what the proboard wants or what whoever keeps a person in prison the cops outside. I went to the gamut of emotions Bill Rankin considers himself rehabilitated for the past year-and-a-half. Mr. Rankin has been working as an inmate counselor in Stillwater prison is intensive treatment unit. You studied hundreds of hours with resident psychologist to better understand himself and ultimately the inmates he lives and works with Bill Rankin has become a well-trained people helped her man gets to the point when he when he thinks he's his he's got himself together of wanting to repay which is hard to do. But that's what Society seems to demand is a payment in the end. I've been working with people for now 18 months and thinking myself in your one and that's really what I'm the only one that really knows and and nobody else knows things and like the pro board doesn't know where I'm at, except the people. I'm working with they're the only ones that know. But the parole board has to have some idea of what they're doing when they release you. Where do they get their information request for to Chambord? That's the inside board board. That's three or four members. Perhaps your boss a man from training and treatment your caseworker and some guard that knows you that's what I couldn't understand the classification board okayed me and recommended me factors. I went on a meritorious special which is institution special. The institution was saying that I was ready. You resent that so much of your fate rest of the hands of five people the parole board. I resented the fact that it is sort of a sudden one person and that fool in St. Paul at what are you speaking of mcclusky or whatever his name didn't even have the courage to come out and talk to me and find out where I was coming from and I resent that do you feel that all the commotion surrounding your release was caused by that one man? Definitely if he hadn't come up with it is never come in the papers these he's not only a cop but he's that he's a politician which is a bad combination a company politician. I don't know what else could be worse. What do you think? He was trying to accomplish by two were faxed that we're in the record. So what would what was his point then see that? They're not fax see if they were fax innocence. It wouldn't be spectacular people's concern for themselves and their families and their safety a lot to do with fax. It seems it has a lot to do with emotions and the specifics of your comings and going to prison are not of concern. It seems to the general public the fact that it happened made you a dangerous criminal the fact that go into your getting ready to come out make you into an acceptable citizen when they balance off then Society seems to breathe easy and then it's okay what when the pressure is on when someone waves a red flag, it seems that no matter how much someone feels strongly about prison reform. They're not willing to give someone like you the benefit of the doubt. Okay, let's take these newspaper things. Alright other than McCutchen the fucking things that were in the paper where all by reporters the only good things were by citizens. I didn't see one bad thing written by a citizen in the goddamn papers any reporter. That's what his job is to make things spectacular for consumption. You see what the good things in the paper the other chart were written by citizens were all good that I saw you mean letters to the editor. What's what's what's going to happen a year from now when I'm out there and I've been doing good and have a job in producing a society. Is anybody going to say that? Is anybody going to make a big spectacular things McCutchen going to say Jesus Christ? Is this Mad Dog rankings out here producing a is it know you God damn, right? You're not going to do it. Nobody's going to say anything spectacular things are is what what sells papers in that? I don't know what to tell you. There was a lot of heat. Prison people come up to me and say you know, she always sit down or what should we do it cuz if it happens to you can happen to anybody because they knew that I was a different person from what all these newspapers isn't it strange now, I've got recommendations from everybody in that prison, that's from the warden on down to any and he just run-of-the-mill guard. The prison wanted me out. But Society did not want me an actually not Society of the reporters did not want me out. You know, we talked about Society that's bulshit that was newspaper bulshit. And that's just strictly reporters, you know, and not one of them had the guts except you see isn't bothering call to see how that I was a human being to find out how I felt you say not one even though what's Gibson or whatever the hell his name was it did this interview on me being a concert. He didn't have the courage of his convictions even to come up and say, you know, what how you feeling you were going to be another statistic like they used the whole prison. Want to meet at the people that work with me and that I worked with him and the treatment saying that in the analysts not this it's not an easy thing for them to say to hear. There's a three-time convicted. I see what they were saying in the census. Here's a guy that the whole prison reform is about, you know, and he was a God damn reporters that really didn't know shit going by strictly pasta statistics, causing all this trouble really only doing their job. Did it come up and talk to me so easy to do. Oh, yeah. It was when I was in the hospital when I was shot up, they didn't hesitate to take my picture and asked me all those shity questions easy weren't for how do you say Could It Be I'm up in prison exactly know where I'm at. You think you're responsible and caused a huge. You bothered to take the time to call me find out where I was at your station flying many things. And and one of them is that the reporters actually caused the fear out in the public instead of reflected any kind of fear. That was there. That's right as I'm saying if I were a politician or somebody that had power I would have equal time on TV on radio and in the paper, but I'm just an ex-con. UC or kind of that had time and I wasn't shit to the public accept news, you know in my past they didn't bring one thing up if that's reporting in his goddamn on Fair reporting to me is this is all news but where was the where were the reporters to get this information as I understand that the parole board hearings are not open to the general public if a reporter really did want to know about your past now. I have kind of an inside track because I had done a special feature at the prison on the training and treatment unit. So I was aware of the work that you had been doing as I understand. These reporters had no way of getting that information. I guess there's nobody really barred from the pro board, but they just they don't like to have anybody in there. I don't think they would have been too much heat on me that Anne has been a political time because Clawson get out here few years ago Army in a few months ago and he is was more spectacular mind his last. You think then you were kind of a victim of other things that other people wanted to say. I have a very positive that I don't see how anybody that has any kind of figured I could say anything else and then although it did affect you very personally you don't really take the attack personal beef and recently re-elected state senator in a conversation. We recorded recently. We discussed the bill Rankin parole case, although it's now many months since that event as old as a as a story. I do want to go back and ask you then about Bill Rankin Pearl about the public statement you made when he was let out and what you were what you were saying about him personally or what you were trying to say about the parole system in general what was behind that news story? Well, it wasn't ranking as an individual for the weather had been drankin or Johnson or Olsen. it was the last in a series of very grievous mistakes or which what appeared to be mistakes and I'm a little bit we do know from what has taken the facts of cases five that had been released and had returned the community and had fallen off the the following them again and then re-arrested or involved in some other activity which caused them to come to the public by there was nothing and not a single indication that ranking wasn't another in that series. Same background same setting had twice had problems that had their twice been paroled and had problems had been returned history of some violence on his previous Pro. There wasn't a thing for consumption that would indicate that that wasn't yet another mistake. The surprise is what causes many negative reactions. A positive reaction Gentlease forthcoming if a situation is explained even if you don't agree with it, at least you have a chance to rationalize it to better understand what's going to happen the scope of it, which doesn't happen when the surprise it's you by the release one of the dimension of this particular case was that I was at Stillwater prison the day that the parole board discussed parole officer rank. And I had a chance to discuss with members of the correctional system the business at the parole board was conducting and they said it was a routine business meeting. There were no proles under consideration. That was probably the Catalyst that caused some of the reaction to find out then after returning to the city that even the parole board wasn't prepared to tell the truth in a very informal setting or at least to you the administrators of the system. And so there we are and I understand that. Mr. Rankin has really been released and that's fine. I don't know what he's doing and that's probably fine, too. And that's good. But I add doesn't change my basic belief that we have to build credibility in the system. And that system has to have credibility in the community will does the system seem to the general public these random responses gathered in downtown Saint Paul. How do you feel about rehabilitating prisoners so that they convict so that they can come back into society. It's all right if they have the right to It seems like they don't have the the right to set up out there to to do it. That's that's the way I way. I understand. It seems like the end up right back in there. Again, you're basing their opinions. I can't really think of any names in particular but just articles that I have read or after a short time. They just couldn't adjust and they ended up in either more serious crimes and what they had been involved in before and I think they just become much too much of a burden to all of us. It's the ones that are I'll just because they have a job or such are allowed out these I worry about not wanting to halfway house. I think this is what is a good setup and they can adjust to society in a little Little Flower learning a lot of my just released much too soon. I was worried that he was fit for society. But you know what you do hear of too many that are repeaters and to me they get out to easier. They wouldn't be repeater. Soften. What do you think most people feel when they hear that some three-time convicted bank robber his mouth rehabilitated in this coming out and it's going to live in a residence in st. Paul or Minneapolis. Well, I think on those fact people would be a little skeptical. I think I would be inclined to be a little skeptical but still any man should be given a chance if he If he really wants one, do you know of any kind of way that the public could have more information? All we know is what we read in the press and of course, they probably know just what they want to know. So it's kind of hard to see the general public has some fear ex-cons are coming out on parole individual some me of the fear of the time. I think maybe more less than the crime if it's been publicizing about the major crime or minor. You mean their pass defense was the reason that they were put in prison. I think that may have some bearing on it at this publicized. Otherwise, I don't Really think that it would matter that much. Do you think that if their past crime is publicized and not their present Rehabilitation that it might be some disadvantage to them and not exactly not really fair. Yes. I don't think they really do publicize that they have gone to any real bad Tatian at all prisons parole procedures and Rehabilitation programs in Minnesota. What's the situation? Like now today? Former Stillwater State Prison convict Bill Rankin has some personal opinions on that subject and so has st. Paul Deputy Police Chief William mccutchan state legislator and private attorney. Gary Flack knee has some investment in the situation and the general public. Will they have their opinions to mr. Gary blackney has a private law practice. He's a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and past chairman of the house committee on health welfare and Corrections. Credibility problems between the the inmates in the parole board. I think the inmates at least the ones that I have dealt with it as chairman of a committee and also as a fraction attorney the VMA feels he is not treated fairly by the parole board in that the system itself is it lends itself to criticism of Suspicion who's coming up for parole as a human response? She's got to be on his best behavior. He knows that the parole board members are going to put him to the test with almost statements which habitat has a twin flame by the same kinds of criticism. He's been here in the outside world may be done professionally depending on the background of the person but by and large you done really very short analysis of his background is record in a in a minimal examination. And I think people feel that they're coming into hearing with people who have nots We had the time nor taking the time to really closely examine his background and then he's coming up against a stacked deck and it is it is this kind of a thing that I think would destroy his credibility. It it did it did almost it tells the inmate that he knows. He's not going to get paroled even if he deserves it and that the he's being treated summarily because he in fact is a felon and that he goes in with his kind of an attitude, which should I suppose a lens to the the con approach to these people and I've talked to him made to appear before parole board and had some of those clients who have told me that what their attitude isn't they come before the parole board and there and they're acting up before the parole board the answers to questions the responses. They give our are not really true objective science Rehabilitation rather. They are at five or 10 or 15 minute to play that is put on with with the actors well-defined in the role. What do you what do you think they're going to do know what they're going to ask you to know? What one of the problems with the pro board is that they don't ask you anything about your case. It's a goddamn thing see at what I think I think they are played in a pro board room and then that's not always true because said that got it was proboard German before Lindsay was a prick. He he he always made like he said to me one time when I said 2001 and he said you think you can do it, you know, I guess so two or three things are bad about the what system the going to the Pro board. First of all, you know months ahead of time that you going to go, you know years ahead of time that you're going to go. So you work up to one peek cuz it's just you're literally your life's on the line when you going from there, but so you know this what is it mean when you go in front of the board, they literally head of the table. You're being judged by five people or four people are three people, you know, and you never know and they try to ask you different questions are all coming from a different angle. You literally tried again in at 4 and you pass a at 9. And then you got to wait out in front in in in a little waiting room. You're locked in behind the gate little waiting room. For an hour at least an hour. And that's a hard hour. That is a hard hour. Really hard are out there cuz you never know. I think the main thing about that proboard if you asked hundreds of inmates and it would be that you never know where they're coming from even people that have worked in penology in prison for years say that they don't understand four words. You mean they don't have a set list of questions. He'll know it's crazy. You wait outside. Then you they call you in and they'll still wrapped you about anything, you know, maybe you're painting or whatever and then they'll say step out. So you step out of April boardroom you go sit down again, and maybe if anywhere from five to fifteen minutes they call you back in and they'll say there's a terminal say you we have decided to give you two more years. Does that mean that you cannot even apply for a parole before two more years to buy you don't apply for parole get obsessed asset sentence to 1 to 6 months to 3 years and that's when you appear again. No, you don't apply for a pro you apply for a pardon. You don't apply for parole. They give you a date that they see you that they have a parole hearing now. So you never know what kind of questions are going to ask you. None never I would have I would have gladly went in front of a computer or been judged by computers and those people saying about the computer is it would have got the good things to that happened in a person's life seems appropriate don't give a fuck about the good things. In fact, I don't even want to hear it. I had a caseworker tell me exactly that the pro board that hurt you in October must have known some of the good things about you must have to look at my case. My case was an exception never has the governor in the state of Minnesota ever. Stop trying to stop a man from going out of prison, you know, my case was an exception. They had to be very fair with my case because the whole prison wanted me out, but I think the consensus I get from the rest of the countries that they just they're really not this preset. Everybody figures at that time. When you go into that proboard, you can't talk him out of any any less time, but you can talk yourself into more time. That's the feeling in the hole prison Gary Flex me the feeling is almost to the general public. I think that people are being released from custody be brought back on the streets so much much too soon much sooner than Other than they would do now therein lies the problem because we're dealing with them with a system which is in perfect. And it is it is an attempt really by human beings within whatever knowledge of back on they have to make a subjective judgment on whether or not a man or woman a person has been quote rehabilitated or in some cases even have a look at it. And when you have a subjective judgment still going into that the whole process become subject to question and suspicion and criticism and I think that's what you're dealing with here more of an opening in blatant defect in the system Isis. I suspect that the governor has made an error the way many Layman make an error and that is how they react to it's a criticism when it's very easy to criticize the the system. I guess. I feel that you should not make a judgment on someone. Unless you have all of the facts and it's obviously this point what has happened the parole board being severely criticized publicly by the chief executive is going to be defensive and I would have been extremely surprised if these people who are our Men of Integrity yet would have backed off having made a decision then to have to publicly change their position would have destroyed any credibility they would have with either the public generally or with the persons over whom they have jurisdiction. So it was pretty obvious at this point that they they were going to reaffirm their their previous decision. And it may well be that that decision was made with good justification. Why am I feeling is they know more about it at this point than anyone else does and until either option for catching that Senator McCutchen or anyone else has gone into an in-depth study regardless of whether this man had a 15 convictions over a. Of a short. Of time or what while that might give rise to some suspicion or criticism. It should not be the Criteria and just because someone has five or six or seven arrests is unpalatable. Is that maybe the general public if in the Judgment of the of the professionals those who deal with it with a man who are charged with making this decision and do not make it easily. I happen to know if they feel if that's the case then they have to go ahead and and he ought to have been released certainly then what you focus on is whether or not the parole board itself is sufficiently constituted professionally or otherwise to make these kind of judgment. So I think that's the question whether we should address ourselves to step procedure for a convict earning parole. And that's another problem still. We are back in the in the Dark Ages as far as how we consider a man has been convicted of a crime and it's easy to be that way because he is obviously violated something great majority of the populace as inviolate it and so we treat him in such a ways to say you go away to an institution in and you better come out. Ready to go to take your place in society and that hasn't work and just as number reasons why it hasn't worked with the idea of punishment rather than Rehabilitation is still the Paramount Feature in our whole attitude towards Corrections. Dr. Fogel is Advanced to such things as a contract theory. Where are you a man going into the institution either st. Cloud or or a jacket for women or or still water for adult felons where he could do know that accomplishing certain goals would give him contractual rights at that the parole board would really at that point only certified and let's say that after a. Of a doctor Nation or or Counseling in the in the institution a contract was drawn with advice of counsel, by the way the same as any other contract not to be drawn that would the enable him to set up a series of goals and performance package. If you will that he'd have to meet within a certain length of time and then Upon A cops in these goals and being certified the full board would look, This and would say fine. We're going to release you on the basis you fulfill all of your obligation in the contract know whether that means the subjective change in Attitude, whatever that might be or or skill and learning how to conduct oneself on the outside by with a job. All of all of these things would go into a contract that that's just part of it did the basic constitutional guarantees that have to be brought into the system such things as the right to counsel the right to have an attorney present at these. View sessions at the review that the internal committee goes through when a man is being considered for release and opportunity have his side of the story told professionally as as the other side of the story is being told professionally so then a man feels that that he's going into that to hearing or even the pre parole hearing with every every Advantage is that he is entitled to to show and his side of the story that he has in fact made it that he has In fact that I come to the point where he's able to get back into society see they take your future away in that proboard when they take your future that you're done, you know, and that's what they do. They literally take your future away from you. What you seem to be implying is that an inmate doesn't know what his parole rights are what he doesn't have any idea how he can affect the parole board or how we can interact with them. It's very it's a it's a very hard experience. It's a draining experience. It's a you're glad to get it over even if you get time really a hearing in that sense. I hearing we think of hearing both sides all side. That's not true. It's a formality it's a formality exactly. That's a good word. It's a formality It's very quick. Then it's on the average is damn quick while you figure like how many minutes well, let's just say that you're going to see 6275 men in 2 days and they don't start the proboard till 10 in the morning and they don't damn sure don't go past 3, so you figured out beverage it out. Not only do they see this many people but they also got furloughed cases that they see on paper. So figure it out how much time it is with 60 people going into their proboard in a matter of two days. So it doesn't it doesn't figure out a matter of 10 hours. Actually. It's about the averages out about 6 minutes a piece. And you're not judging a man has been in jail six seven years and don't even you couldn't even figure out what he's done in that one time. You know, what it what it what it was when I went up this last time. I had a friend of mine that that was a lieutenant in their check my record and they had nothing on me since 1969. Nothing. It was in my record from 1969. Or what the hell were they judge me? Obviously they were judging me before 1969. How come they ever let you out? Well, because the people that I work for guys went up there and told him, you know, Just like they said what Jesus but we didn't know anything about this. We didn't know you were found innocent of that charge. You know things like this course they didn't cuz they didn't care until somebody told him some of that they would listen to they don't listen to me. I've been on it. I'd be willing to wager my life on it that they that they predetermined or sentences though that time that you're going to get within a certain amount of time. You have wagered your life on it this I have more than one is definitely the man has had an awful disadvantage when he goes into a closed room before parole board and he has no recourse other than to stand up and agreed of what things they say knowing full. Well that staff that he has no control over. Has made an evaluation of his contact good or bad without any opportunity for the individual preparing before the board to have an interceder to have one anyone in there advocating for his position and which leads me into my second concern in that is closed parole board hearings. I suppose are pros and cons on it, but it did always seems to me that the truth has reached a good deal quicker at an open hearing and then it is at a closed hearing where there are rules of procedure or if I'm up before the parole board. I've got an opportunity to present my case and not only does a parole board. I get a chance to look at it, but other people who may not have the same biases and prejudices. Well, I don't know how much are you can expose a man's rehabilitative efforts to Atkinson public scrutiny. I think that the certainly a man's the changes that his program the contracts that he may undertake while a prisoner certainly has public records out of the available but to exploit them or to use them for purposes of criticism public witnessing. Otherwise, it seems to me sets back the rehabilitation process a man knowing is going to be subject to or or or parole officers or anyone else within an internal Committee of being subjected to public scrutiny and gays during the proceedings which were very delicate and getting a man to suddenly realize what his problems are in at 7 to solve them seems to me to be unproductive. It seems to me to be almost an incentive not to perform if a guy knows what he's doing is is it going to be subject to every criticism and parole officers of people working with an institution. I have two phone calls and letters written to them saying you don't let this guy out. He's a bad guy. He's you know, when and they're trying to to work with this man on on some very critical personal things and I guess my feeling is it that the public have his obviously has a right to know they're paying the bill and their their footing the expenses for all this but seems to me that the publicize it without good and just cause is doing a disservice not only the system but also to the potential parolee we will have that when you have closed or parole sessions. I mean if we're going to reform the system and hopefully with a full-time professional board, which would meet and be open to the press a man could in fact the Innocents conduct a trial and allowed testimony to be brought in from the outside and allow other prisoners to be subpoenaed if you will or call forward and the so it to be able to show to this in This panel, it was listening to his testimony what changes were made and be subject to the glare of publicity. I don't see anything harmful in that that certainly would have avoided the problem in the Rankin case where I had the public known generally and reporters been there in newspapers and television covering and if that was our desire certainly his side of the story would have come out and I think people that have been able to make a more objective judgment. I would suspect that you're given their the good hardness in the Integrity of the people on the parole board that they're not blind to it the same things that the public is is not blind to and if they made a judgment on this basis knowing that it's a tough judgment with the public read this and it was fair. I don't think the public would have Jack and I think they'd make the same kind of judgment cuz that's all you had was elected representatives here and you've pointed panelist guys trying to do the right job. And usually it's because the public doesn't understand the background. That's when you get the bad reading in the newspapers and another medium Your interview in the newspaper or on the radio or on television to have said I've sort of proven myself if that's what it cause I've got recommendations from everybody from the warden on down in that prison that I have saved people's lives. I've involved in dangerous situations. I save guards lies. So, you know, I mean isn't isn't the whole thing about Rehabilitation is to prove yourself in society. Or to produce and Society all in my Society I produced and that's what got me wrong. I don't know what else I can tell you what other kinds of things about 17 or 18 hours a day. So I don't have no goddamn free time. You know, I've never I haven't watch the full TV program in months. I haven't read a book in once accept my training books my teaching books in transactional analysis or reality therapy and and things like this, you know active listening and things out your other than just like I'm going while I go to school and 1/2 hours a day 5 days a week or sometime 6 I buy go to school. And then the rest of those hours we drive to delete friends groups and private therapy and individual therapy and I run I to you on top of it itu intensive treatment unit. That's the boss's or prison. I'm in charge of that where I was I guess that's a pretty active day of the reasons why we turned there is no single answer is very complex has are humans the complex societies can play and so we constantly have to try to keep fitting in Solutions into the computer. If you will do it to come up with some kind of a standard which even at best is filled with variables in the front with the with the non success if you will because if you keep one guy out your system is eating but it is fraught with a great deal of problems. And then one of those is public acceptance, I can't see it. tell me why you have doubts about my chance, but I just seems like that you're moving right in with the people and And it just seems like you're just you're just cause more, while I have no direct experience with the matter, but I feel that they should definitely have a rehabilitation program and they should separate the hardcore criminals from the those that can be rehabilitated. I think there's been a lot of the opposite of recidivism or whatever. It is people just go back to the old ways and they should be careful and their Rehabilitation. So they you know shift out those can be rehabilitated a different system of parole. He doesn't want any pro at all. He's a cop He's a cop first in a politician second. He doesn't want any type of role. He wants to ask you want super bored as the cops the proller people and I'd go for that if the cops are come inside the prison. I don't know what comment to you. I don't know if that is so or not. That's really I mean, I know what I said was so either but the issue that he raised was an emotional one. I don't know whether he caused panic in the Saint Paul Community or whether he reflected it. I don't think you reflected it because I haven't been hassle one time since I've been home Zone maybe attentions or something, but I don't think he was talking like most politicians they say they're talkin for the public, but they're not then you think he was screaming Law and Order. My position on present for procedures is that they are so open-ended they do a disservice to the community McCutcheon serve to discredit rather than build credibility in the correctional system. I base that on my belief that indeterminate sentencing is nothing more than an open-ended open-ended contract. I am suggesting that and alternative the to the indeterminate sentences. Is a determinate sentence one which everyone knows a terminal date exist and then we can work treatment programs against that date and go see the convicted individuals an opportunity to build a program and it also causes Administration to respond to that contract cops on the beat about prisons and parole. The big discussion was over these light sentences that everybody was serving a judge in one of our courts made the statement that he was as he was sentencing a robbery suspect he sent them to five years, but he says you'll be out in 5 months. Anyway, he made that statement because of the fact that all these games that are going that we're going in at that time for robbery were getting out in the matter of Less than a year when they have a sentence of five years. So everybody was a little fed up with the whole deal because of that situation seems like everybody was getting out and a matter of no time and they're pulling jobs again right away. There's something drastically wrong with our with our punishment end of the criminal system who's to say what type of Rehabilitation one needs there are criminals that are not that it's not able to rehabilitate some people they've been in and out the many many times and they keep coming back to the same things and either they found the wrong type of Rehabilitation or they just can't rehabilitate him. That's all and there is some but by the same token, there are some that you know are going to pull that first. Wow, that's probably not their first time but it's the first time they've been caught and maybe those guys some of them can be rehabilitated. What type of Rehabilitation do you use is the main thing, you know, they got psychologists and all that but who's to say that that's the type of youth rehabilitation that they need. Nobody really knows I don't think some people think they know used to be that they do, you know years and years ago that they change somebody up in a cell and leave them there for 20 years and figure that's their Rehabilitation will now they claim it psychology. Maybe that's not it either or psychoanalysis or whatever it is that they that they try and do now or Vocational Rehabilitation they claim is it something too well, maybe that's all but you know, it's just it's progressed from 20 years ago and maybe we still haven't hit the what the real rehabilitative mean should be and I expect this from the police because their whole job is to keep people in prison and put Put people in prison and keep them in prison and of public pays too much attention to the professional police and very little attention to the the psychologist or the psychiatrist that are train engines this type of thing, but for the public that doesn't know to pay attention just what the professional placement says is stupidity. As far as I'm concerned you think they're more concerned about some offender being punished instead of rehabilitated the police definitely I'll bet you're very few police ever visit the prison and I don't know. I've never heard of a policeman sitting in the Pro board our present correctional system has made a series of errors in judgment which statement. I think from the system and well, I I was suspected in the majority part from the way the system operates a series of but I think six mistakes which have in each instance caused Community to react to what they're doing the errors in judgment, which have permitted men to return the street who obviously weren't ready to return By the things that took place after they return to the community. I'm not saying that making a professional parole board will let me know those mistakes. But it should reduce them and open Parole Board hearing should give the community's concern and opportunity. To be aware of a man has changed since he went to prison is achievement his accomplishments and you can't do that private hearing people for the entire length of their life everyone who's in that institution Stillwater or St. Cloud or Jacobi is going to be back out in the streets some sooner than others and we still on for Chinle have mandatory sentences in Minnesota, which should I think I just dropped even and Ira self-defeating and insofar as Rehabilitation, but none the less. We still have them. I I'm hopeful that that is one area which can be eliminated. I think the public gets irritated and and justifiably so when it sees happened what happened in the Rankin case and it is a able to suddenly draw quick conclusion without any study that once again, we are conducting a golf club or some kind of a country club down in Stillwater. I think Studies have proven that it's not necessary to incarcerate a person and remove them completely for society. He's rehabilitated. But again, this has to be an individual type situation. Patient programs at Stillwater State Prison any good because as a society when these people do come out and they have a scale we don't accept them. They're not hired for jobs. And if they are they aren't giving the kind of job that a person would feel pride in or respect himself or so. It's nothing. Anyway, Flack me your own problems to go in and see how the prison system is operating. All they are concerned about is that these people don't get out on the outside where they can hurt somebody else and that's a very real fear and it's a very real concern but I think the idea of being able to someone instantly people from this public pressure from the uninformed public is most important. Ultimately wanting to keep that dangerous guy in there isn't there some disparity between that feeling and the very popular feeling that we should have a great deal of Rehabilitation in prison reform. Well, I think you should you seeing you from just a number of sources the public generally becoming aware of the fact that that everybody was any institution eventually gets back out on the streets if that's the case and you have that constant going then obviously people are saying well fine. Let him out if he's ready and then you had the professional saying well, here's what it takes to get people ready. And so there is with more communication more investigatory bodies more Republican relations. If you well in the part of the corrections system, I'm more of a public awareness that that you just don't keep people picked up in a in a institution and expect them to succeed. So I think there's a growing awareness and acceptance of the fact that Corrections is needed. I'm not sure there is an acceptance of the correct. Program as yet and I'm not saying that the part-time parole board is is all bad. I'm only saying that the system today is not succeeding and that the the short review it is not succeed and the time that these people are citizen members have to take away from this is time as being taken away from an in-depth examination of of each potential Parolees a background and I think that extend its it's harmful and it's got to be changed. My hope is again that we can have a full-time board. Would you have as a sole function at a relatively decent pay scale sole function being the sitting as a parole board looking into the convict the inmates the problems and not having any outside pressures in the outside job to do to make a living now, what do you mean by full-time forward and when I say a full-time proboard you what the hell does that mean to you? Files on people coming up for parole or going into prison and getting to know them or whatever all that might want to know them. Why not because they won't have the time. First of all, why don't you talk to me for an hour? Okay. Oh, come on now. That's that's you. That's not even a realistic worker twice a year of you. Very fortunate in prison. That's all he's that's all his job. He's a professional case worker. If you cease your twice-a-year, you're very fortunate. So first of all, you're not going to have five full-time members. You can eliminate that. What do you mean full-time? It's right because it's going to run into mucho money in your your file. Is there you got for 5 files are all the same and there's only so much in that goddamn final and that's what they're going to go by there not going to go come in and live with me for two weeks. You know, that's it's it's it's it's it's a nice concept but it's not going to be very well really know. I know that full-time parole board would operate a trip that it would be in hours per week more dedicated than a part-time parole board now, I don't Know whether that is a good thing necessarily or bad. Are you seem to imply that it wouldn't make that much difference I'm saying no matter what's a professional provider really, you know, it doesn't make any difference because they're not going to be a personally involved with you. There's no way that they're going to do what they're going to do is you're going to do the same goddamn thing. You're going to pay five five people 2030 thousand dollars a year to do just what they're doing now by taking classification information from a classification board that really knows the con and that's what you're going to go by so when people talk about it sounds roommates are professional proboard. I'd like to I like to eat that's what you got to do is go and talk to society and ask him. What is a professional Pro board mean to you and I like to be with you cuz they really don't know what the fuck you're talkin about. And I'll bet you on it. I don't think many people in society know much about the structure of the present for all this right. That's right. That's why they can see professional parole board. You can say computer and it's saying the same thing and that's just what my whole beef is the average person doesn't know what's going on in there. I don't really know anybody that's ever been out or what you mean by the question or anything more specific the parole board, you know anything about the parole board hearing. Yes. What would you like to know? About how these are set up and how they release different people. I think this would be very interesting, you know anything about the rehabilitation programs that at all. the construction of the corrections commissioner of the parole board here in Minnesota, but I really don't know too much about right now, you know anything about the people that make the decisions that that say a man can come out on parole thing about the construction of the corrections commission are the parole board know I don't I don't know that much about it. I don't even know anybody. No, I did I did. I don't know anybody that's on now. Protocol, maybe if I did why I could probably talk a little bit better when you indeed there are any well only what I've read in the paper. It seems to be somewhat disorganized from what I see in the paper. I'm not interested in prison Rehabilitation and parole Community is responsibility a man's life. This is Connie Goldman


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