Cracking Down

Rising repression means escalating tensions at Oak Park Heights, the state's only maximum-security prison.

"A law is a law," says Skon, "and hopefully the inmate population will understand that this is coming from our legislative bodies, that this is not something that we're creating. I believe that our commissioner and deputy commissioner are down there fighting for the level of programming that we offer inmates on a daily basis at the Legislature. We're a protection to the inmate population from the public. We are the buffer. If the public had their way, with current sentiment on punishment, they would say, 'Reduce all this programming. Reduce your budget at the same time. And increase cell time.'"

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