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Articles by Dan Pens

Hand Me Downs

By Dan Pens

I was only five.

My mind didn't belong entirely to me yet. So much of it belonged to the world, especially to whomever I was with, and double-especially to adults, and triple especially to Grandpa 'cause he knew everything. He was so large and wise and funny ...

A Lesson From Japan

The Japanese may arguably have the most effective justice system in the Western World. A glance at the accompanying graphs will readily verify this statement.

So what are the Japanese doing right? If one were to believe proponents of popular trends in the U.S., you'd think the Japanese must build ...

Racism: The Clouded Lens

By Dan Pens

The other day I flipped on the Donahue Show to kill a few minutes before chow. The featured guests were families who raise their children to be racists. Instead of teaching them familiar Mother Goose rhymes, the children are taught to recite:

Adolf Hitler is our friend, ...

Civil Commitment Roasted on ABC's Nightline

By Dan Pens

I had gotten word through the grape vine that Nightline was going to do a show on the Washington civil commitment law. So I stayed up several nights in a row to check it out. The plight of the Kurdish refugees seemed to be the dominant story ...

"Rehabilitation" Hoax Unveiled at ISRB Meeting

"Rehabilitation" Hoax Unveiled At ISRB Meeting

By Dan Pens

Any good confidence-artist can tell you that flawless teamwork is needed to pull off a complicated sting. If the players don't keep their stories straight the "marks" might catch 'em in a contradiction and expose them for the liars and cheats ...

Sex Offender "Treatment" in Washington State, In Whose Best Interest?

Sex Offender "Treatment" in Washington State, In Whose Best Interest?

By Dan Pens

The Washington State Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) currently ensconced in TRCC receives national acclaim. They publish statistics which portray them as an unqualified success story. Taken at face value the statistics are impressive. The overall recidivism ...

Repeal "Point 100" Statute

By Dan Pens

All pre-SRA prisoners must jump through an invisible hoop before they can be paroled. Sound like something out of Alice in Wonderland? Well, it's the law.

RCW 9.95.100 ("point 100") is a 1939 statute that has remained unchanged since 1955. Kit Bail is quoted in a recent ...

Small Fry

By Dan Pens

I'd have to bone up on my state history to say for sure which agency pioneered the strategy, but the Department of Corrections and the State Fisheries Department both have a good thing going. And they know it.

If I had to put money on it, I'd ...

The Terror


The still air of my prison cell, thick with smoke, swallows my brooding thoughts, spitting them back at me stinking of loneliness.

I stare at tobacco stained fingers, wondering at how I can bemoan the years taken from me, and yet steal some more.

And somewhere still, in ...