(28 min) audio link to Frank Cordaro’s talk to 30 US Fed Judges in a workshop at their August 2014 Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference:
Hats off to retired Judge Robert Pratt, a friend of mine, who got his friend Judge Joe Bataillon, the Omaha Federal Judge hosting this year’s Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference, to give me a small session speaker slot to address the issues of conditions in federal prisons.
I came right from the vigil at STRATCOM during our annual Aug 6-9 vigil.
It’s not a very good audio recording and my best stuff was in the hour Q&A session after my prepared remarks. And I confuse my spoken words; they are not as clear and precise as I’d like. Without seeing me, the visual animated body language I use when I speak, my words alone miss a lot.
Still, it was a speaking venue I could only dream of doing, especially whenever I was before a judge or during my six-year tour of prisons over the last 35 plus years.
This talk shook me up so much that I drove into a concrete pillar in the parking lot trying to leave the conference.
The introduction the conference gave me in their conference booklet.
Frank Cordaro, Former Catholic Priest Co-Founder and Member of the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community http://dmcatholicworker.org/
Cordaro subscribes to civil disobedience as a model and means for effecting social change. He identifies with the Berrigan brothers, Dan and Phil, and their direct action approach to peacemaking, based on a biblical Jesus who was a radical, nonviolent, egalitarian reformer, acting his way to the Cross and inviting others to do the same.
His first arrest and conviction was a blood spilling at the Pentagon Aug 9, 1977 and did 30 days of jail time. Since then, Cordaro has done close to six years of jail time, mostly federal time, never more than six months at a time. Most of his federal time came with eight ‘six month’ sentences for trespass at Offutt AFB south of Omaha. His for life BOP # is 13093 047. His last six month sentence in Omaha was in 2005. He also participated in the 1998 God’s of Metal Plowshares witness http://www.jonahhouse.org/archive/godsofmetal.htm and got a six month sentence.
Cordaro has done Federal BOP ‘time’ in the last four decades, half the time in transit. He has done time or passed through the following BOP facilities in the Midwest: Leavenworth, Marion, Terre Haute, Oxford, Duluth, Sand Stone and Yankton. He has flown on Con Air numerous times and gone through the OK City BOP Airport joint.
Cordaro brings a first hand experience of the BOP over a 36 year period from an inmate’s perspective.
Text taken from the Conference Speakers List…