Drug Policy

Serves Her Right for Being Related to a Drug Offender

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Ten-year-old girl Jayci Yaeger lies in a Nebraska hospital with terminal brain cancer. Her dying wish is to have her dad at her bedside. Unfortunately, dad is in federal prison on a five-year drug sentence. He's due to be released next year.

The prison warden has the discretion to grant a furlough to prisoners under "extraordinary circumstances." He has thus far refused, concluding that this situation doesn't meet that standard. One wonders what would.

Still, I understand his decision. We can't risk any compassion when it comes to illicit drugs, lest other 10-year-olds with terminal cancer get the wrong message. This is a "war," after all.

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  1. It’s for the children.

  2. The people that actually think we have a drug war, seem to be too stupid to know that in war, both sides can legally kill each other.

  3. I just scanned the stories. On its face, this certainly seems unconscionable.

    But given the scant details beyond “drug charge”, I’m wondering if there are other circumstances. Like the father is a violent inmate with a high liklihood to attempt an escape?

  4. There was a case in south-side Virginia where a couple got caught for welfare fraud and neglect in running a group home & farm for mentally retarded adults. The state allowed them to serve their time alternately (the man did six months, then the woman did six, then the man. . . ) because they had livestock to take care of.

    Meanwhile, drug offenders with kids get their kids shipped off to foster care.

    Maybe the prisoner can get his kid re-classified as an animal.

  5. “””Like the father is a violent inmate with a high liklihood to attempt an escape?”””

    Probably not being he has served around 80% of his time.

  6. Paul- Perhaps. But one would think the warden would say so if that were the case.

  7. I agree, #6, the story just seems a little scant on details. I don’t know how prison officials deal with prisoner behavior. There may be policies where they don’t release details on prisoners to the press for privacy reasons.

  8. The guy is set to be released in a year. How dangerous could he be?

  9. If they let him out, prison officials might accidentally put a murderer or rapist in his cell while he’s out and there won’t be any room for him when he comes back.

  10. The family said that what makes the situation even more difficult is that Jason Yaeger is scheduled to be transferred to a half-way house in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in August. That would make it possible to visit Jayci, but her mother said it will probably be too late.

    Surely violent inmates with high chances of escape aren’t customarily transfered to halfway houses before the completion of their sentences.

  11. The warden is a dick. Not much else I can say.

  12. Oh come on! If the state started releasing political prisoners early, people might stop fearing the state!

  13. Per the article…

    However, her father, Jason Yaeger, is in a federal minimum security prison in South Dakota, serving five-and-a-half years for a drug conviction. He has less than a year left in his sentence, and is set to be released to a halfway house in four months.

    Sounds like the warden made either a policy or sanctimonious decision early on. Now he is probably less likely to act because he doesn’t want to be seen as caving to media pressure.

    And he damn sure doesn’t want to get an relentless earful from a bunch of right wing law and order types.

    In other words, he’s a stupid prick.

  14. The father has seen the daughter previously accompanied by a single guard. I can’t imagine what the warden has a beef with.

    http://journalstar.com/articles/2008/03/21/news/local/doc47e42f053ec47715300632.txt

  15. They’re waaaay overplaying the girl’s condition. She has more time than is being pitched, as a result, they’re are no doctors coming to bat for them….just relatives (and a commercial press outlet). All it would take to sway the warden is ONE doctor telling him what the family is. And yet…

  16. The guy is set to be released in a year. How dangerous could he be?

    Am I the only one who thinks that denying him the chance to visit his dying child, will make him more violent, less amenable to rehabilitation, than humanely granting this simple requst?

  17. He is going to be freed. He is going to be in the community. He is going to be mightily pissed off.

  18. Oh, who cares if they’re overplaying the girl’s condition?! Even if she had a cancer that would let her live 20 more years, if she’s sick and in the hospital I’d think you could let a dad out to see her. Here’s the thing about sick people – their estimated chances with cancer are only estimates.

    TrickyVic, in the second comment – that was well said.

  19. They’re waaaay overplaying the girl’s condition. She has more time than is being pitched, as a result, they’re are no doctors coming to bat for them….just relatives (and a commercial press outlet). All it would take to sway the warden is ONE doctor telling him what the family is. And yet…

    Dude, she’s in a hospice. You don’t get admitted to a hospice unless you’re actively dying.

  20. I just scanned the stories.

    [school marm]
    You mean you just skimmed the stories. Had you scanned them you would be acquainted with the details.

    Scanned is a perfectly good word that is in danger of loosing it’s meaning to something we already have another perfectly cromulent word

  21. I read some of the comments below the story, and feel like I have contracted brain cancer myself from having done so.

  22. Scanned is a perfectly good word that is in danger of loosing it’s meaning to something we already have another perfectly cromulent word

    Loosing?
    😉

  23. They can earmark the shit out of spending bills but no Senator or Congressman has the clout to pick up a phone and suggest to the warden that he might be a tad more compassionate in this case? Is President Bush such a lame duck that the warden wouldn’t take his phone call? Then again, Bush is probably a strict constitutionalist when it comes to such matters.

  24. JsD,
    Yeah, it’s hard to take a militant “screw the typos” stand when you’re smacking the back of someone’s hand with a ruler.
    [/school marm]

  25. Classic propaganda formula: dying child, last wish, evil warden, unjustly jailed dad.
    Nobody does it better than Radley. But to be brutally honest, the actors are just bit players in the greater drama, correct? There’s almost always more to these stories than meets the eye.

  26. Warren, the battle for scan was lost by 1969.

  27. some guy,
    It does seem a little too convenient, doesn’t it?

  28. Okay, some guy, fill me in: what are Radley’s sinister goals? Also, describe to me, in detail, this “propaganda” of which you speak.

  29. Some guy’s post is the best propaganda on this thread.

  30. But Jim Bob,
    He wants furlough. Furlough!!! A drug criminal! Can you imagine the message that would send to the children?

  31. You don’t get admitted to a hospice unless you’re actively dying.

    Queue beguiling profundities about how we’re all actively dying.

  32. Still, I understand his decision. We can’t risk any compassion when it comes to illicit drugs, lest other 10-year-olds with terminal cancer get the wrong message. This is a “war,” after all.

    You’ll feel differently about this someday when you have Jennifer’s children.

  33. Classic propaganda formula: dying child, last wish, evil warden, unjustly jailed dad.

    While some have suggested the child might not be dying, nobody said the warden was evil…just a dick.

    And nobody said the guy was unjustly jailed…merely that since he was almost through with a 5 year stretch in a minimum security prison, not letting him have a supervised visit with his dying daughter pretty much confirmed that the warden was a dick.

  34. Paul:

    sure, in the Sylvia Plath sense of the word, we’re all dying. But we’re not dying the way Chloe Bechter or Jayci Yaeger is dying.

    and yes, the warden is a dick. they don’t put high escape risk inmates in minimum security prisons

  35. The old resort to “well there’s always more to the story” is the standard sanctimonious refuge of the authoritarian. I’ve read enough of it in comment threads (elsewhere) about Ryan Frederick and the Guildford Four and others falsely accused. “Well, he had some drugs,” or “He knew some bad people,” and “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.” “You just wait. The real story will come out and you’ll see that this guy deserves what happens to him, even if this particular charge isn’t right on the money.”

    It’s confirmation bias run amok.

  36. also, as long as we’re correcting spelling:

    Paul, you mean “cue”, not “queue”.

  37. Coop: Uh… So uh, what seems to be the problem… with you, guy?
    Joey: I’m… m going to die.
    Coop: [upbeat] …Well, we’re all gonna die.
    Joey: Yeah, but not this week.

  38. While some have suggested the child might not be dying, nobody said the warden was evil…just a dick.

    Well fuck..Ill say it..this guy IS evil. This is an evil decision. It’s crossed the line of just being a dick.

    And nobody said the guy was unjustly jailed…merely that since he was almost through with a 5 year stretch in a minimum security prison, not letting him have a supervised visit with his dying daughter pretty much confirmed that the warden was a dick.

    Anyone who is jailed for drug offenses is unjustly jailed because drug laws are unjust.

  39. To avoid further pericombobulations, I’m calling for this guy’s interfrastic release.

  40. the innominate one:

    .. was going to say something, then decided to let it ride .. glad you mentioned it ..

    /pedant mode off

    .. Hobbit

  41. I did a study on recidivism and spent a few days looking up record in the NY state corrections database. While poking around in there I found that quite a number of inmates on work release programs (including those convicted of violent felonies) were rearrested while supposedly working. Not only that, some would go out to work one day and just never come back. I asked if this meant they were escaped prisoners and was told no, they were classified as jumping parole (even thought it was not parole).

    Now this happened 15 years ago and maybe only non-violent prisoners get out these days, but why can’t this guy get a break for his dying kid while those other knuckleheads got to smell free air many months before their sentences were complete?

  42. Anyone who is jailed for drug offenses is unjustly jailed because drug laws are unjust.

    No argument with the last 4 words, there ChiTom.

    I don’t know if being imprisoned for knowingly breaking an unjust law makes you unjustly jailed.

    But I do know the warden is still a dick.

  43. Strangely enough, I saw Bill O’Reilly defending the father tonight and saying that it makes no sense to not let him see his daughter. They also reported (fair AND balanced) that the father had been on supervised furloughs before and there were no problems that were reported.

    Even when the extremists come to your defense on the other side of the spectrum, this story is a no-brainer or we’re still in the dark about something…

  44. It always surprises me…folks who’ll use “the law is the law” to screw everyone from Art Garfunkel to illegal immigrants are faced with a situation that suddenly makes them decide that being a martinet is bad form.

  45. Some sort of hell awaits all those that would act in such ways. Burn slowly when you get there please.

  46. The father is in a minimum security federal camp; it’s not a “prison” as some are defining it. It’s an old college campus in the middle of the town of Yankton, SD. The father was granted a furlough from Minnesota to be moved closer to his family, and went – unescorted – from Minnesota to SD. The prisoners at a minimum security federal camp cannot be violent offenders in any way, shape or form. Martha Stewart?

    Nothing sinister is going on.

  47. I know that the little girl has passed away, but in retrospect the father is a meth addict. To be convicted of intent to distribute and setenced for 5 years he had to be cooking the meth. The last place you want to grant a meth addict and meth cook unsupervised access to, is a HOSPITAL. You flaming liberals need to wake up… what happens next week when the next guy convicted of a FELONY wants to visit their dying child, mother, father, spouse, etc… I understand that the little girl missed her father and she was dying, but she still had ALOT of family with her.

  48. For those of you who thought she wasn’t really that sick….I guess you were wrong huh?

    Lets hope that those of you who have shown just how much compassion you didnt have for the little girl never have children of your own. I can not imagine what their life would be like with a parent who was not capable of showing compassion for this little 10 year old girl. Shame on you!

  49. Don,

    It’s really easy. You take each case one by one. You don’t let the murder or the rapist go. You do however let the tax evader go.

    It really isn’t that hard to figure this stuff out.

    Our drug laws are in place to protect families. How did this decision help that?

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