Tag Archives: incarceration

Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals

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Several people have asked me about the release date for the printed version of “Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals.”  The release date has been moved to November 2017.  I’m sorry for the delay, but it is what it is.  However, I do have several advanced copies of the book that I use for book signings, etc…  If interested,  contact me at 618-521-5041 or my email address llfranklin12@gmail.com, and we can make arrangements for you to have the paperback at a cost of $20.

Please check out the following link for information about a recent book celebration party.

http://www.annanews.com/news/new-book-about-supermax-prison-tamms-unveiled

 

 

 

 

Investigative journalism — why this, why that, why not, why?

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(Most likely a photo of group therapy in a supermax setting.)

Investigative journalism is to discover the unknown, the information that escapes the public eye.  As adults, we seem to have lost the inquisitive nature of childhood — why this, why that, why not, why?  Instead, we engage in the comforts of social media where like-minded individuals support our stationary beliefs.  Perhaps we need to rediscover our scientific nature where we question, probe, and examine the meaning of “whatever.”

In the pursuit of my most recent book, “Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” the available literature is focused on the negativity of the supermax prison.  While there are stories of unimaginable violence, sadness, and injustice, there are hues of happiness and hope.  But any piece of investigative journalism moves past the obvious and seeks the information hidden within the unfamiliar.

One cannot explore the history of the supermax without asking if there is a better way. That’s when I discovered the 1935 writings of Frank C. Richmond, Director of the Wisconsin Psychiatric Field Service.  Sanford Bates, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, gave a challenge to his friend, Frank Richmond.  “How can we devise a system that will be at once a present protection and still comprehend a program of sound humanitarian rehabilitation?”  In time, Richmond combined his imagination, creativity, and scientific truths to develop a blueprint for the prison of the future.  “It would be a scientific laboratory where the bodies, minds, and souls of the inmates would be subjected to the utmost scrutiny, and where every step known to modern science be taken to prepare the inmates to resume their places in the world.”

In Supermax Prison, I combine the writings of Frank C. Richmond with current scientific findings to show an imaginary place — the prison of the future — for the incarceration of violent inmates.  For the doubters, I suggest going back to the inquisitive-nature of our childhood.  Why, why, why?  Why not?

An indepth discussion on the prison of the future can be found in “Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals.

 

Book Titles, Subtitles, and Blurbs

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When I finished my manuscript and found a publisher willing to take a chance on me, I thought the journey was complete.  After all, I had written a 250-page manuscript and was proud of my accomplishment.  I even had a title — “Maxed Out:  The birth and death of the Tamms supermax.”  It’s time to rush the book to press and make some money.  Not so fast, my publisher said.  Marketing, the part authors don’t like, is the name of the game.  Without marketing no one will read your book.

Been there, done that.  What a devastating thought.

I can’t tell you how many titles and subtitles we explored.  In the end, the publisher suggested the obvious, Supermax Prison.  Of course we needed a subtitle for additional information on the book.  I told the publisher that “control” was the original reasoning for a supermax, and that prisons were out-of-control.  Hence, the subtitle was born.  Controlling the most dangerous criminals.

Next we needed book blurbs from people who are smarter and better writers than myself.  It helps if they are experts on the prison scene.  We have three blurbs from writers familiar with the incarceration of violent inmates.

As a member of the FBI Swat Team that put down the Atlanta prison riot in 1987, I recognized the need to separate the average inmate from the violent prisoners quick to instigate a prison uprising as the killing of a fellow inmate.  Supermax Prison does a remarkable job of informing the reading public of an important and little known subject. Highly recommended.
Jack Owens, Special Agent of the FBI (Ret.) Author Pock Trilogy

Rarely does a book come along that truly shows the final point in the life of a violent criminal. Supermax Prison does just that. It brings the reader into the lowest depths constructed for  human life in the United States: incarceration for the human being too violent to live with others, even other convicts. A must read for everyone interested in criminality, law and order and  well written books. 
Terry Turchie, Special Agent FBI (ret)Unit Dir. Unabomb Task Force
Supermax Prison is a splendid work. The authors have captured how civil authorities have managed to separate the bad from the very worst. This book captures the soul, if that is the right word, of a place in this world where those who inflict carnage on their fellow man are prevented from doing so again. To the authors, I say “well done.”
John Monaghan, Capt. NYPD (Ret.) Author, forthcoming novel :  Head On: NYPD Takes on ISIS.
In the meantime, I’ve received some nice reviews and will include a couple of them in the Foreword.  Others will appear in various outlets like Amazon when the book is released on August 1, 2017.  Good or bad, the reviews serve as a learning experience for me.  Please keep them coming.  Let me know if you are interested in receiving an advanced review copy of the manuscript.
Many thanks to those who support my writing.
Larry L Franklin

 

A book review to die for.

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A book review can provide a “writer’s high,” or reduce the author to a pile of rumble.  But when the words come from his mentor, the review is a big deal.

Elizabeth Theresa Klaver was a Professor of English at Southern Illinois University; my client when I had a financial planning practice, and a friend as I shared my history of physical and sexual childhood abuse.  Poetry was my means of expression. I shared my poems with Elizabeth, and what followed were months of private sessions where we worked on my writing skills. What happened, we never could have imagined.  My fourth book is about to be published.

Supermax Prison is the best of Franklin’s books to date.  It’s a must read for anyone interested in the US criminal justice system and its Supermax prisons.  Franklin provides the historical context for the supermax and the philosophy behind it, the pros and cons, the supporters and detractors, and whether it can actually work in practice.  The supermax at Tamms, Illinois, is his case in point.  Covering its rise and fall, Franklin shows how local developers in Southern Illinois, one of the state’s most impoverished areas, convinced the governor to award the supermax to the village of Tamms, bringing with it hundreds of jobs.  Soon, though, it became a subject of controversy, lauded on one hand as a model of rehabilitation, therapeutic support, and security for both inmates and employees and on the other as a torture chamber. Recognizing that there are no easy answers to the problem of what to do with the most dangerous inmates, Franklin gives a fair hearing to all sides of the supermax question, providing documents and interviews with Tamms inmates and their court appeals, guards, psychiatrists, therapist, the warden, and even the chaplain.  Though the story of the Tamms Supermax ends with its closing, Franklin draws on his research to imagine a prison of the future that might just work.                                                          

Elizabeth Theresa Klaver, Professor of English