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September 23, 2010 | By Robert Abele
Informally sketched but deeply felt, Bradley Beesley's documentary "Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo" mingles with the spirited cowgirl inmates who compete in Oklahoma's annual state penitentiary rodeo, a 70-year tradition of Wild West-style showbiz that began to allow females to participate only in 2006. Although there's a queasy tinge of gladiatorial bloodlust in seeing society's punished put themselves in hooves' and horns' way for spectator sport, the tears in one woman's eyes as she describes leaving the correctional facility for an afternoon of outdoor training speak wonders.
July 12, 2013
Re "Mass protest sweeps state prisons," July 10, and "The strike against solitary," July 10 The fact that many prisoners in California are treated inhumanely by the state shocks the conscience and haunts the soul. It's not "tough on crime" to keep inmates in solitary confinement or to fail to provide prisoners basic humane services; to the contrary, it contributes to the high recidivism that affects us all. The answer is to get smart on crime and be humane to those incarcerated.
December 3, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
With her stringy gray wig, elastic-waisted jeans, frumpy sweater and thick glasses, Melissa Leo is barely recognizable as the middle-aged loner Holly Jones in the recent kidnapping drama "Prisoners. " She disappears so fully into the role that it's almost hard to imagine she nearly passed on the film. Speaking at the Envelope Screening Series , Leo discussed why she hesitated to take on the role, what finally convinced her and how she approached her character. Leo said her first reaction to the "Prisoners" screenplay was: "Well, it's a fascinating and well-written script, but no thank you. " Pressed further, she watched director Denis Villeneuve's film "Incendies," was impressed, and then agreed to meet with him. Villeneuve, Leo said, "understood that I was fearful.
April 6, 1999
I see by The Times (April 1) that there is a bill in the California Legislature to prohibit prisoners from watching television. If the object is to punish them, they should be made to watch it. Let them pay for their crimes to the fullest extent. IRV ELMAN Pacific Palisades
November 12, 2002
Re "Source of Terror Suspect Photos Sought," Nov. 9: I would like to thank whoever leaked the photo of the suspected Al Qaeda prisoners on their flight to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and The Times for printing it, if only on A20. I can understand that the prisoners would need to be restrained, but I fail to understand why they were not seated in proper chairs, or at least leaning against the side of the plane, and were instead barely supported by ropes around...
October 20, 2001
The persons being detained for terrorist investigation (Oct. 17) are essentially prisoners of war, whether they are captured in the U.S. or in another country. After all, we are at war and they very well might have information that we can use to protect ourselves. It is unfortunate that some of them are here illegally or some from repressive regimes, but if they ask for rights that we guarantee to our citizens they have to at least adhere to our laws. Herb Yellin Northridge
March 20, 2009
October 29, 1999
Re "Medical Neglect, Abuse Lie in Wait for State's Women Prisoners," Oct. 27: The drug war is now incarcerating bit players and users in record numbers for long mandatory minimum sentences voted by our ever-tough politicians. We say it is to "help" them, but Amnesty International has us on the list of nations that torture political prisoners with such conditions. Drug prohibition sends these nonviolent "offenders" to death and degradation in the name of "sending a message" to the children.
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