14 Responses to A Woman, Her Son, and an Elderly Woman: [Frog Gravy with jail art]

  1. Dave says:

    Crane, I’m glad to see you posting your “Frog Gravy” essays here. I started reading them a long time ago at Smirking Chimp and that led me to following Fred’s writing as well.

    Thanks so much for all the fine writing and beautiful art as well.

  2. Deborah Moore says:

    C-S, looking at the web site, this information jumped off the page:

    Problems at Sylmar Juvenile Hall

    After receiving numerous complaints by children, lawyers, and community leaders, the United States Attorney Generals Office initated an investigation at all Los Padrinos, Central and Sylmar Juvenile Hall. A special prosecutor and a team of experts assigned to the case visited Sylmar Juvenile Hall in February, March and June of 2001 and found the facility “violated the constitutional and federal statutory rights of the youth residents.”

    Excessive use of pepper spray at Sylmar Juvenile Hall

    The Department of Justice found that Juvenile Hall staff had been using Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spary “excessively,” and in situations where “such use of force were not necessary.” This includes sparying handcuffed children, children with asthma, pregrant girls, suicidal children and children with special mental health needs.

    Mental Health needs not met at Sylmar Juvenile Hall

    It is estimated that approximately 50% of the 700 children at Sylmar Juvenile Hall have mental health issues. However, the majority of those who have such issues no not get any mental health care. Approximately 75% or 262 children receive no such help at Sylmar Juvenile Hall.

    That’s just two minutes of checking. I’d like to find out what, if any, changes they have implemented. Will let you know.

    • Wow, oh my God. Pepper spray is dangerous and can and has killed. Un Fucking Believable. Who the hell does this?

      The United States, that’s who. I wonder if we can find the truth about any changes.

      The deal is, a jail, a juvenile detention facility, or whatever can look great on paper. They are given all sorts of notice before any ‘inspections,’ but, the day after inspectors leave, it’s back to business-as-usual. That means denying any exercise time for weeks, even months at a time, pepper spray and other creative kinds of torture.

      On children now.

      Please keep us posted. This should be the subject of an article, I believe.

  3. Sophia33 says:


    Wow! Crane! I am new to this blog. I had no idea that you were so talented. Beautiful.

  4. Deborah Moore says:

    Good Morning, Crane-Station.
    The jailhouse stories you are sharing are creepy and unsettling. They also show our connected humanity. Our connected fears.
    Thank you for sharing them from your particularly compassionate point of view.
    We learn, once again, that we cannot judge each other unless we can walk in someone else’s shoes. In this case, we do it once step removed, vicariously, and it’s still disturbing.
    I recently learned that the town where I live has a Juvenile Detention Facility. Call me crazy, but I’ve been thinking lately of calling there to see if they need any volunteers to work with the kids.

    • These kids need people like you so bad, I wish you would! I have read some very unsettling stuff about the soaring rates of locking up children in America. In Kentucky, they put kids into the jails right along with the adults, or else in some other type of cement-steel hole, for NON-crimes called ‘status offenses.’ (late to school? Jail. It so wrong it’s mind boggling)

      • William Walton says:

        Crane, the drawing of the barn brought back memories from the past. We had several barns like that in McHenry County, Illinois where I grew up. Awesome. In the early ’50’s as a young kid, Dad advocated for drug addicition to be treated as a disease. I remember him telling a young intern who was concerned that they were snowing under a cancer patient with morphine that if she survived, she would become an addict. Dad told him, if she survives the cancer, which is unlikely then we as physicians who are trained in Pharmacology will be able to treat her and allow her to withdraw from her addiction. The patient did not survive so the point was moot. However, Dad felt that drug addiction should be treated as a disease and treated by a physician instead of the patient being incarerated with no treatment at all. On a lighter note, you mentioned in a previous post that you were interested in Medical History. You might want to read the book Horse and Buggy Doctor by Arthur E. Hertzler, MD. Dad met him when he came to Chicago to give a talk before the Chicago Medical Society. Hertzler liked the fact that Dad had a farm and also practiced rural medicine in McHenry County. Hertzler joined Dad for dinner and he went over his practice as a Horse and Buggy Doctor. Dad found it amusing that Hertzler did not appreciate the invention of the motor car. His comment was in the Old Days, after making a late night house call, he could just crawl up in the buggy, if cold, wrap himself in the buggy blanket, fall alsleep, and let the horse take him home. He stated that these damn motor cars will not do that. As for using his horse and buggy, his comment was there were too many of these damn motor cars on the road and all they do is scare the horse. Thought you might enjoy this bit of medical history. It is a very interesting book to read.

        • Thank you, I would love that. My mother remembers the doctor in the buggy coming around in rural farming Missouri, and they gave him a chicken for payment, usually. Your father was so wise. I think any doctor today would agree, but our incarceration system is specifically designed for profit, repeat offenders, failure and recidivism. It is the poor without clout who are doing the hard time in this country, as we turn county jail cages into prisons, knowing full well that nonviolent and mentally ill or very poor offenders will never protest.

          • William Walton says:

            Crane, you may also enjoy this bit of history. Mom rented out the farm for hunting a a group of pharmaceutical salesmen from the Chicago area. At noon, November 11, Armistice Day these hunters would arrive early at the farm with their cars loaded with samples. They would ask where Dad;s home office was and unload boxes and boxes of samples which Dad would use to treat people who could not afford medication. They would then call the pharmacist, Arlie, in town and ask what he needed replaced since he would fill Dad’s scripts if Dad did not have enough samples. This was the way and should still be the way Medicine is practiced. Another interesting note, the office in Chicago where Dad had his practice, there were dentists and attorneys who graduated Northwestern who took care of each other and their families. It was called Professional Courtesy.

          • Oh yes I do appreciate that and I remember very well the days of Professional Courtesy, in Medicine.

            Lovely lovely story about the samples. It has to be a sad shame for the doctors who remember those days to see what is happening with health care these days.

            The most recent book I have read concerning medical history is about the Great Influenza pandemic of 1918.

            Nearly anyone in their 80s or 90s remembers this flu. It’s been a ‘minute’ since I read, but I believe the epidemic may have started in Kansas and may have been related to crowded conditions among troops. If memory serves.

            Correct me if wrong!

  5. MDH says:

    Note that the maniacal War on Drugs is arguably the root cause of the old lady being a victim. Addiction is a disease that requires treatment and often runs in families. So the mother was not there for her son and neither was given treatment. The need for money to feed the beast {addiction} leads to desperate acts committed by the addict.

    As we have seen in the Trayvon debacle, rational thought and critical thinking has exited stage right in the USA.

    • Exactly. Thank you so much for the insightful comment. The boy needed a mother, and the mother needed some drug treatment; instead, she was caged like an animal, and an elderly woman is now an additional tragic victim.

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