So many of the [1,200] women here in Alderson will never have the joy and wellbeing that you and I experience. Many of them have been here for years -- devoid of care, devoid of love, devoid of family.Stewart's opinion is shared by many. A poll conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc. shows that public attitudes toward criminal justice have changed dramatically: "In 1994, . . . 48% favored addressing the causes of crime and 42% preferred the punitive approach. . . . The public now favors dealing with the roots of crime over strict sentencing by a two to one margin, 65% to 32%" (emphasis added, Changing Public Attitudes toward the Criminal Justice System, February 2002). What is most heartening is that rehabilitation and reentry programs have surprisingly broad-based support:
I beseech you all to think about these women -- to encourage the American people to ask for reforms, both in sentencing guidelines, in length of incarceration for nonviolent first-time offenders, and for those involved in drug-taking. They would be much better served in a true rehabilitation center than in prison where there is no real help, no real programs to rehabilitate, no programs to educate, no way to be prepared for life "out there" where each person will ultimately find herself, many with no skills and no preparation for living.
Americans strongly favor rehabilitation and reentry programs over incapacitation as the best method of ensuring public safety. Nearly two-thirds of all Americans (66%) agree that the best way to reduce crime is to rehabilitate prisoners by requiring education and job training so they have the tools to turn away from a life of crime, while just one in three (28%) believe that keeping criminals off the streets through long prison sentences would be the more effective alternative.Perhaps, Stewart's call for prison reform won the hearts and minds of many incarcerated women and their families, and she found herself in their prayers:
This idea has broad-based support, with solid majorities of whites (63% / 31%), fundamentalist Protestants (55% / 36%), and Republicans (55% / 38%) supporting rehabilitation over incapacitation as the best way to reduce crime. Interestingly, the 23% of Americans who report that they or a close family member have been the victim of a violent crime endorse rehabilitation even more strongly than the general public, by a decisive 73% to 21% margin. (emphasis added, February 2002)
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., among the biggest U.S. targets of "short selling" last month, rallied amid optimism that the company can rebound from its namesake's jail term and return to profitability.Let's make sure that no prisoner will be sold short and that all prisoners -- especially incarcerated women, more than 70 percent of whom are nonviolent offenders and almost all of whom are classified as "low risk" (Vincent Schiraldi and Judith Greene, "Cutting Prison Costs is Tempting in Times of Fiscal Crisis," San Diego Union-Tribune, February 27, 2002) -- will be able to rebound more strongly than Stewart's company did.
Shares of the media and housewares company rose 43 percent during the past six weeks in New York Stock Exchange composite trading and reached $30.05, a four-year high, on Dec. 15.
Thirty-one percent of the New York-based company's shares available for trading were sold short, or borrowed and sold to profit from lower prices, as of Nov. 9. The figure was in the top 5 percent for U.S.-listed companies. (Laure Edwards, "Martha Stewart Living's Shares Gain, Thwarting 'Short Sellers,'" Bloomberg.com, December 21, 2004)