law, true crime

Wonder if Josh Duggar will see a video like this when he gets to prison…

A couple of days ago, when I mentioned “diesel therapy” on this blog, I ran across an article written for The Marshall Project by an ex-con, who was initially doing time in a minimum security camp. The author of the article, Michael Rothenberg, was a white collar criminal who had made the mistake of befriending another white collar criminal who escaped from their lockup at FPC Montgomery, in Alabama. Because he had associated with the escapee, prison officials figured he somehow knew the guy was going to escape. They decided to send Rothenberg to a harsher facility in Lovejoy, Georgia. He and other inmates were shackled and handcuffed, then put on a bus with an overflowing toilet for a drive that lasted several hours.

When Rothenberg got to his destination, he was kept in a crowded holding cell for hours. Then, he was shown a video about avoiding prison rape, which freaked him out. Rothenberg had never been to a “real jail” before. His camp in Alabama had been more like a dormitory than a prison. The idea that he might be raped while he was in prison was, naturally, very upsetting.

While I can understand why Rothenberg was unsettled by the video about prison rape, I thought it was kind of progressive. And then, completely by coincidence, I was watching YouTube the other day, and in my queue of suggested videos was a video made by the Alabama Department of Corrections. It was about how to avoid being raped or sexually harassed in prison, and how to make a report if an assault happens. I watched it, and was actually surprised by how respectful and well done it was.

Several inmates spoke about their experiences, and there were also comments by correctional officers and the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections. The commissioner explains that the video was made in response to the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA). PREA requires that federal, state and local correctional facilities maintain and enforce a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual assault for both inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate misconduct. Given that this is a law that applies to all facilities, I’m surprised that Rothenberg’s first encounter with an anti prison rape video was at the second facility.

I don’t know how seriously people take this video, but it seems like a good idea to show it…

Since Josh is going to a federal facility in Texas, at least initially, he’ll probably see a film much like this one, only it will be made by the feds. I’m not sure how much this video and others like it actually help prevent prison rapes and sexual misconduct. Based on what I’ve heard about prison, a lot of correctional officers don’t care too much about making sure prisoners avoid harassment. It could be that showing this video is just a way to comply with the law. I still thought it was an interesting video, though… and surprisingly well done. It would be nice if the correctional officers who say they want prisoners to get through their time safely really mean what they say. I don’t like Josh Duggar, and I hate what he did, but I don’t wish for him to meet violence. On the other hand, I don’t have high hopes that he can be reformed.

The above video, by the way, comes with a trigger warning. I didn’t think it was hard to watch. It was certainly a lot easier to watch than whatever Josh was watching on the videos that got him sent to prison in the first place. I’m sure it won’t make him as squeamish to watch it as it did Michael Rothenberg.

Rothenberg writes that after he saw the video, he was taken to solitary confinement, where he listened to other inmates scream. One guy passed him a note begging him to give him the food he wasn’t going to eat, since he was starving. Meanwhile, Rothenberg’s wife and children were in Alabama, planning to visit him in the prison camp in Montgomery. They didn’t know he’d been moved. Rothenberg was threatened at the Lovejoy facility, then sent to Oklahoma City, where he spent three weeks of hell before he was sent to South Dakota. On the flight to South Dakota, another prisoner begged to use the toilet, but was denied. The prisoner said he was going to piss himself, and the guard told him he’d tase him if he pissed himself. The prisoner said being tased would also make him piss himself. When he finally did pee on himself, he got tased, as promised.

Rothenberg was then moved to a private facility in Nevada, where he saw lots of ICE detainees. To comply with the kosher diet he maintained as an observant Jew, he was given nothing but celery and rice to eat. Then, from Nevada, he went to Utah, and on the way there, he was shackled to a Neo-Nazi, who had “white power” tattooed on his knuckles. The Nazi told Rothenberg that he was okay with most Jews. He just didn’t like the Jews involved with banking. Rothenberg wrote:

We remained stuck together for the next two weeks. Over that time he told me his story—how he dropped out of school and followed in the footsteps of his older brother, whom he idolized and who was serving time for a hate crime as well. His father had left them. He was not able to afford his mental-health medication. He took a gun and went to the local synagogue. It was empty; he was intending to kill himself. At the last minute, he decided he couldn’t go through with it and emptied his clip into the empty synagogue instead.

He asked me for forgiveness for what he did. I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing.

When Rothenberg’s mom called to complain and demand accountability as to where her son was, the prison officials said they’d never heard of “diesel therapy”. Hmmm… As I mentioned before, I first heard about “diesel therapy” listening to Jim Bakker, of all people.

Rothenberg is now an ordained Rabbi and prison consultant. It sounds like he’s mended his ways. I hope he avoided being sexually assaulted. I hope Josh does, too. But it’s probably not very comforting to be welcomed to prison with a video about how to avoid and report prison rape. I bet it makes settling in a bit difficult.

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documentaries, Duggars, law, true crime, YouTube

Tomorrow is the big day… Josh Duggar’s fate will be sealed… and a little more about Amber and Daniel Carter…

Several months ago, I watched the French documentary, “America’s Broken Dream”, and found myself writing about a young married couple whose story captivated me. I did some checking back in December and discovered evidence that Amber Carter, who had seemed like a really good mom in the video, might have gotten in trouble with the law for having a couple of babies who were addicted to meth.

I still don’t know for certain that the Amber Carter I found is the same one who was in the documentary. Some people point to the discrepancy in the women’s ages. But– the narrative seems to fit, and there is a very strong physical resemblance.

A couple of days ago, a reader left me a couple of comments on the Amber and Daniel Carter story. The person told me that it appears that Daniel Carter is in San Diego, California, and his mother, Cindy, has custody of the children. I don’t know how true that is, but I will try to do some checking to see if I can find any evidence that the girls are safe. I hope they are.

What’s more on my mind today is that Josh Duggar is going to get sentenced to prison for receiving and possessing images of children being sexually abused. A lot of people are hoping that Josh gets a very stiff sentence. I agree that Josh’s conduct during the trial was pretty outrageous. There were a lot of images of him smiling, joking, and just being generally disgusting and disrespectful. His crimes, too, are pretty shameful. What I find especially terrible, though, is that Josh and his posse have been trying to pin the blame on Caleb Williams for what was found on Josh’s computer.

Caleb Williams was, a few years ago, falsely rumored to be courting Jana Duggar. The truth is, he was betrothed to a young girl, whom he got pregnant out of wedlock. She was sixteen years old, and he was 23, when they had sex. Because the girl was underage, her parents prosecuted Caleb for sexually abusing a minor. Caleb is now a registered sex offender, and is not allowed any contact with his daughter. The Duggars, being “fine, upstanding Christians”, (/sarcasm) decided to try to blame Caleb for what is clearly Josh’s crime.

Heigh ho, heigh ho… it’s off to the joint you go…

I find it absolutely disgusting that a family that is supposedly Christian, is trying to frame an innocent man for a truly vile and reprehensible crime and against children– to include toddlers and babies. It’s true that Caleb is a sex offender, and he did do wrong, but what Caleb did isn’t even in the same stratosphere as what Josh has repeatedly done, and never had to pay for in the criminal sense. Moreover, how can a person call themselves Christian, yet be so dishonest and unwilling to repent? I guess, in the Duggar world, if one just prays and asks Jesus for forgiveness, dresses the “modest” way, and listens to Jim Bob on all matters, that’s enough to win God’s favor. The cognitive dissonance is astonishing.

I hope and expect the judge will see through this, and give Josh some time to consider his actions. But, given that this is officially his first offense, I won’t be surprised if Josh doesn’t get the time a lot of people are hoping for, which is 20 years locked up in federal custody. Personally, I think he may get twelve to fourteen years. That would still give his children some time to get older, and hopefully, escape the fundie cult. Maybe Anna will even consider divorcing Josh during that time, although she definitely doesn’t seem to want to do that at this point.

There are a whole bunch of videos on YouTube about Josh’s potential fate right now. I’ve watched a few of them, and all I can say is that everybody seems to be saying the same thing. Just pick your channel– Without a Crystal Ball, Down the Rabbit Hole, or any of the other people talking about Josh and his gross crimes against children, his enabling parents, and his completely brainwashed wife. I don’t have too much to add to what the people on YouTube are saying. I think Josh should be out of society, because he can’t control himself, and I think he WILL reoffend, if he has the opportunity. I’ve seen and read too many stories about sex offenders who could not control their dark impulses.

In fact, I even know of a guy from college who was once a pillar of his community, until he was caught with illegal pornographic images and videos involving minors. He was sentenced to fifteen years in federal prison. He went to prison and was eventually released early, after just four years– only to reoffend within weeks. The person I knew in college moved to Texas and, to my knowledge, is now in a federal prison in Texas, receiving treatment for his issues. Maybe he will meet Josh Duggar. Who knows?

It will be interesting to see where Josh goes to prison. I know that many people expect that he’ll go somewhere with a child sex offender treatment program. But I don’t know if he would be required to get treatment, or if there is space available for him. And, to be honest, I’m not sure how effective treatment programs are, particularly when someone is in denial. Given that Josh hasn’t accepted responsibility for what he was caught with, is trying to blame Caleb Williams (and Joe Biden, WTF), and has made some very damning statements indicating his guilt, I think Josh has a ways to go before he can be helped with his obvious problems. But that’s just my opinion.

Anyway… I hope justice is served. Josh will probably soon get some “diesel therapy”, as the “Reverend” Jim Bakker put it. Diesel therapy is when prisoners are loaded up into a bus (or on a plane) and driven (or flown) to new facilities. It’s not pleasant at all. Actually, I think transporting prisoners without giving them bathroom breaks is inhumane. However, I understand that it’s done that way because of the security risks. In any case, at the very least, I think Josh is about to experience prison transportation. Based on what I’ve heard, and read, it’s going to suck. Below is a video about “diesel therapy”.

Yikes.

My guess is that Josh will soon be intimately acquainted with this aspect of the federal prison experience, along with many others… We shall see. I don’t think it’s right to “torture” prisoners, even ones as yucky as Josh is. And as gross as Josh is, he isn’t the worst person in the world. However, he is pretty vile… and he may soon become more vile, as he meets and mingles with others who are as icky as he is.

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