Monday, April 14, 2014

Description of Manson's home at Corcoran

Have y'all ever wondered what Manson's home looks like? Home meaning cell block, that is. I found an interesting radio report from KALW in San Francisco (91.7 FM) on the PHU (Protective Housing Unit) area of Corcoran State Prison. The press having access to this area is usually off limits, until they let this reporter have (limited) access. Nancy Mullane, the author of Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption (see Austin Ann's Recommended Reading posting) takes the listener/reader deep inside this area of the prison. Her access, of course, was extremely controlled, and planned well in advance. The prison authorities even reviewed the photos she took to see which ones were acceptable to show. Charlie wasn't around for this particular story, but it still was interesting to hear the description of where he lives. When I heard this radio story, I was reminded of the recent Rolling Stone article that was written a while back which had a description of Manson's daily routine, which consists of waking up in the morning, leaving his cell to go to breakfast, grabbing a bag lunch, going back to his cell, napping, eating his bag lunch, napping again, then pacing back & forth a while, maybe playing a game of chess, going to dinner, then having to be back in his cell by 8:45 PM. Now, imagine doing that exact same thing every day for the rest of your miserable life. Ugh! By the way, the men in this unit have a bit more so-called privileges, and actually grow their own watermelons along the chain-link fence! Ha! You learn something new everyday, huh? Please click on the link:


AustinAnn74 said...

I don't know how any human being could live in such a place.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Don't know if this relates to this post or no,. but I sat in court one day and one case involved a young man who was up for something. His well-spoken lawyer went on and on about how his client had stayed out of trouble for a certain length of time and that was proof he had changed to a law-abiding citizen.

The judge listened to the lawyer's elequant speech and then said: "Yes, it would seem that way, but maybe HE just learned how NOT to get caught.

Maybe prison is just an institution where most criminals go to learn how NOT to get caught.

I mean don't most folks just go to an institution of higher learning so they won't "get caught" in some lower paying job ?

Interesting stat: Readers of "TRUE CRIME" are mostly "highly educated" OR near the bottom of the social ladder. Is the "middle class" just "caught" in some kind of a "mental prison."

NOW my comment relates to Charlie's modern day home.

AustinAnn74 said...

Mr. Hendrickson, your comments always make me feel stupid somehow, I don't know why. Maybe they make me use the part of my brain I am not used to using.

Panamint Patty said...

why is there toilet paper by the phone?

Panamint Patty said...

Top photo looks like the dorms at UCSB before they were redone in the 90s. Ugh.

AustinAnn74 said...

The only pleasant thing in the whole place is the watermelons! Of course, I know there are some horrible people in those cells, but it still is awful to think about ANY human living in such conditions. I don't think the parents of the murder victims of John Gardner would have any problems with him living in such a place though. Manson, on the other hand should be at a prison for elderly people, if one existed.

bucpaul2812 said...

That "average day in the life of Charlie" narrative was an eye opener for me. Looking at the footage surrounding the trial, whenever listing to him speak, Charlie seemed to come across as quite lucid. Despite the propensity for courtroom theatrics, he never seemed to come across as "deranged". He seemed thoroughly versed in the talk that constituted 1960's stream of consciousness, with a bit of cod-psychology and Scientology-speak thrown in for good measure.

Fast forward several decades. Looking at subsequent interviews and parole hearings, I assumed his rambling streams of "consciousness" were. again, theatrical in purpose. Looking at how he's been spending pretty much every day for the best part of four decades, I think he's finally become the batshit caricature that he once merely pretended to be.

Max Frost said...

Where's the microwave and swimming pool?

Don't forget, those are also Phil Spector's digs.

And Robert Downey Jr. vacationed there for a while.

Cielodrive.Com said...

A couple of years ago, CDCR shared with me what life was like for Manson and other inmates in the Protective Housing Unit.

Inmate Manson is housed in the Protective Housing Unit (PHU) at Corcoran State Prison. It is a small unit and is operated like a general population unit. It is the only protective housing unit in the state prison system and houses inmates whose safety would be endangered by general population placement.

PHU inmates eat a hot breakfast and a hot dinner in the dayroom. They receive a sack lunch and can eat it either in the dayroom, their cell or their yard. They are not locked down 23 hours a day. They can go to the dayroom in the morning, early afternoon and evening and can go to the yard in the morning and in the afternoon. They can and do interact with other inmates in the PHU.

The PHU has education programs and small inmate support groups. PHU inmates have contact visits, can make outgoing collect telephone calls, have TVs in their cells and canteen privileges -- just like general population inmates. Visiting is two times a week, like it is for all CDCR inmates, but because the unit is so small, they can often visit longer, up to five hours.

All CDCR inmates are escorted by officers and are nearly always cuffed.

PHU inmates are driven to medical appointments escorted by two correctional officers. They are not escorted through other parts of the prison. There is a designated day for PHU inmates to go to the Law Library, which is in a nearby facility. When PHU inmates are in the Law Library, there are no other general population inmates there.

There are two showers in the PHU, one upstairs and one downstairs. PHU inmates can shower every day. They shower during dayroom hours.

Inmate Manson is single-celled.

AustinAnn74 said...

Thanks Cielodrive!! That is interesting. Of course, they make it sound like a picnic in the park, but I bet it is miserable. Sounds better than general population though. I just couldn't imagine having to spend the rest of your life inside that place with no freedom. I thin the dog kennel I used to work at back in high school looks like a better place than Corcoran PHU.

orwhut said...

Is the first picture a typical cell with concrete bed and tabe?

strix aluco said...

The cell photo reminds me of a church crypt or one of those cave burial grounds.
I think your prisons are harsher than the uk ones , although our "most dangerous" are often housed in psychiatric hospitals run on the same lines as prisons ie Broadmoor..One thing puzzles me, Manson has a cell to himself so how come when he had those black eyes and bruises it was said he fell from a top bunk.If he was in a bunk then he must have been sharing a cell.So if he didnt fall was he pushed?

AustinAnn74 said...

I don't know, but I think that is actually one of the cells there, even though it is empty.

AustinAnn74 said...

I think bunk just means a bed. It doesn't mean an actual bunkbed.

Cielodrive.Com said...

I imagine it's no picnic, Ann. Nor should it be.

AustinAnn74 said...

I agree. It shouldn't be Club Med.

orwhut said...

Concrete furniture, stuck to the floor and walls, would be more difficult to use as weapons and barricades.

fiona1933 said...

God what a system No rehabilitation, no reform.
One of Scotland's most violent criminals, Jimmy Boyle, was initially put in terrible condtions, and of course simply became worse. Lucky for him, he became part of a new and humane experiment to treat prisoners like human beings. Result: he and his fellows became genuinely reformed men, useful citizens, and also accessed real human feelings of guilt and remorse and tried to make amends.
Norway treats prisoners with respect, even calling them 'residents' and exploring the reasons they have ended up like they have. Again, the approach works. Over 80% never re-offend. They make amends, they become useful citizens.
And America? And England? Lock them up!! they are criminals! they aren't human! Let them become more brutalised and more dangerous!

How many times on Law and Order have I heard someone threatened with prison rape? Its obviously just routine. You'll be thrown in jail, if you dont tell us and you'll be violently gang-banged. Clearly nobody cares at all.

A society is judged not on how well the rich are treated with tax breaks and adulation but on how well the least are treated. My own country is nearly as bad...still, they take their lead from the States.