NPR Part 2 of 3
On the East River just across from Rikers Island sits a barge officially called the Vernon C. Bain Center. But every judge, layer and inmate in New York knows it as The Boat — a giant, floating jail docked in the Bronx.
Sometimes when the wind blows, you can feel it list just a little.
It is here that I first meet Shadu Green in June 2009. He is locked in a day room, still wearing the T-shirt and jeans he had on when he was arrested three weeks earlier.
In here, "every day is horrible," he says, leaning against one of the green walls. "I mean, I try not to show emotion because in here, you show emotions and they eat you alive."
Green, 25, is charged with a series of misdemeanors after getting pulled over in his car. But he doesn't have to be here. He has been granted bail. A judge has decided he is likely to show up for court when he's supposed to — if he can post a $1,000 cash deposit. A bondsman has offered to post the money for him, for a $400 nonrefundable fee.
Green doesn't have $1,000. He doesn't have $400. He doesn't have 44 cents to mail a letter to his mother asking for bail money.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
NPR Part 2 of 3