forecast calls for pain

When people show up at the prison with cameras, everyone’s on their good behavior.

The production crew for Young Kids Hard Time: Bennie and Blade—which runs today at 2:00 pm eastern, 1:00 pm central, on MSNBC—has special permission from the Indiana Supreme Court to film anywhere they wish in Indiana’s system of youth courts and prisons.

Everybody knows they have friends in very high places, friends with career-busting power.

So when the film crew arrives, prison administrators put on their best Sunday manners and the guards who normally take so much pleasure in baiting and tormenting prisoners fade from view.

Even the prisoners, delighted with the interruption to their monotony the film crew’s arrival occasions, play along.

Today’s program shows a only vignette, a staged incident. It is a brief scene in the lives of Bennie and Blade Reed that would not have happened if the film crew weren’t there.

You see, even though Blade Reed and his older brother Bennie are both being held at the same prison, they never see one another. Blade is housed in the youthful offenders’ wing of Wabash Valley Correctional Institution, and Bennie is being held in the much larger adult section.

“Over the course of our filming, the boys got word that visits would be allowed, so we filmed them together for the first time,” producer Karen Grau explained. “It’s a sweet, poignant moment.”

What the encounter does not show is Bennie’s deep remorse for having ruined his life, and Blade’s too, as well as the lives of his victims. Nor does it show the seething anger that Blade still harbors towards his brother for having gotten them into this bewildering nightmare.

“It is hard to talk to him,” Blade wrote. “I want to just scream at him and cuss up a storm. I feel empty inside when I see him. He has said he is sorry to me every time we met, but it does not mean anything. In my heart I feel he doesn’t mean it. He hurt me, and he didn’t care. How can a brother do that?”

Today’s program does not illuminate the cruel, inhumane treatment to which Blade has been subjected—the rapes and beatings, the taunts and tortures by guards, the months of solitary confinement—that only exacerbate Blade’s autism and other mental disorders, and which have repeatedly driven Blade to the brink of suicide.

With everyone at the prison having been on their good behavior, you would have to read between the lies to see the truth. If fact, a photographer who was part of the production crew couldn’t see it and later accused me of having fabricated the litany of abuses Blade has suffered as reported in these Diary posts:



In point of fact, we have in our possession authentic documentation from the prison which confirms the truth of all my assertions. In following Blade’s travails at Wabash, we know that placing an autistic child in an adult prison (the staff of which is trained only to administer punishment, not treatment) can only have disastrous consequences not only for Blade, but for the sadistic guards who, until we attracted worldwide attention to Blade’s inhumane treatment, appeared to have been driving Blade to suicide:


If you (like the errant photographer) think our claims of torture and abuse are simply too fantastic to be believed, check out this article which recently appeared in The Nation, “Why Are Prisoners Committing Suicide in Pennsylvania?”, by investigative reporter Matt Stroud. It describes a cultural paradigm that’s endemic to the solitary confinement units of prisons everywhere in the US:


We are working very hard to get Blade Reed reassigned to a facility that is better suited to meet his needs. We first need to get the court that condemned Blade to the living hell of adult prison to recognize that a child who had the mental capacity of an 8-year-old at the time of the crime has no business being placed in a facility that makes no effort to rehabilitate its wards, but only drives them further into a dark corner of torment, despair, and hopelessness.

The original court in Brown County IN received testimony from several professionals who testified on Blade’s behalf that he shouldn’t be treated as an adult, but it did not heed this advice. Now we are faced with the difficult task of not only getting the court to do the right thing, but to admit that it previously made a grievous error in judgment.

We cannot carry forward this struggle without your help. Please visit Blade’s website at www.redemptionforkids.org, familiarize yourself with the facts of his case, and contribute as you can. We must end his nightmare now.

Blade didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t want to hurt anyone. And now the State of Indiana has placed him in circumstances which may succeed in killing him if too much time passes. Unless something changes in a big way, the forecast only calls for pain.

Blade urgently needs your help today. Please do what you can.

Thank you.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to the Robert Cray Band performing “The Forecast Calls for Pain”


8 Responses to “forecast calls for pain”

  1. April 21, 2012 at 10:40 am

    i have 2 words for the guards at walbash valley adult prison who deals with juveniles. the 2 words are 1) hyporcrate 2) corrupted. That prosecutor and that judge and jury and whoever else saw to it to give BLADE 30 YEARS IS SO WRONG. Blade was outside and did not wanna perticipate on the murder that his sick and twisted brother did. CAUSE IF Blade did not do as his brother says BLADE WOULD OF BEEN LAYING NEXT TO THE ELDERLY people.. Blade is the one that needs to be released. Blade was only 13 and has a mental illness mind of 8 old. Blade is Innocent. Sounds like to me the prosecutor jim oliver and the judge are creeps and needs to go to diaper school and law school cause they have no idea of things on justice and way to treat BLADE. i tell u this much HELL IS WAITING FOR JIM OLIVER. THATS A FACT, NOT BOLONIA. tAKE THAT TO THE BANK jim oliver and guards thats has more interest in millions of dollars and wants to put a child in adult prison for what he did not do and wanted any part of it. his brother has destroyed Blades future. AS FAR AS THE GUARDS GOES WELL THEY NEED TO BE FIRED AND FRIED AND BE ARRESTED PUT IN PRISON WHERE INMATES HATE CHILD ABUSERS PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, MENTAL, VERBAL, SEXUAL ABUSE. THEY SURE HAVE FUN WITH THOSE INMATES THAT BEATS BLADE AND MORE AND ANY OF THE OTHER KIDS THE GUARDS ABUSED VERY SEVEARE. BLADE NEEDS TO BE RELAESED, PUT IN WITH BOYS TOWN, HE WONT BE ABUSED THERE I TELL YOU THIS MUCH. THEY DON’T PUT UP WITH ABUSERS IN BOYS TOWN. CHILD SERVICES NEEDS TO SEE TO IT GUARDS BE IN JAIL AND TAKE ALL KIDS OUTTA WALBASH VALLEY. OR JUST GET BLADE RELEASED WITH HIS GUARDIAN AND GET SPECIAL COUNSLING, EDUCATUION AND LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, SKILLS, HELP. BLADE REED I AM HERE FOR YOU. I BE HONORED TO HAVE U AS A PROTECTIVE BIG BROTHER, WHERE NO ONE WOULD HURT YOU. THE GUARDS WILL BE JUDGED IN HELL.

  2. 2 matt
    April 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Well, that could have been billed as “The Brady Bunch Does Time”; non-provacative, and didn’t really address Reed’s issues in YIA. At least they closed by mentioning that advocates were working on his behalf.

  3. 3 justicebedonenow
    April 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    saw the program, saw blade, what he looks like and his brother bennie. saw a little smile on both of them when came face to face. welli can tell blade was trying his hardest to communicate hole a conversation with bennie his bro,,cause i know if it wasnt for bennies threats and scaring poor blade blade woul not even gone with bennie. sad that both of them are where he is at. heart goes out to blade thou more cause of whats happened in life. He is not safe behind that valley coreectional. poor kid hes been thru hell even before the arrest. tHE GUARDS ARE SO PROUD OF PHYSICALL ABUSING A KID AND SEXUALLY RAPING A KID. THATS SO WRONG. i be honored of telling the punk guards that too and to leave blade alone. too bad i don’t work there no inmate no guard would not hurt blade. May be fired for protecting blade but atleast i be theree to stand up for blade. ANYWAYS its in God’s hands that blade and bennie wants to connect. oh and dan it was so cool to talk to you. your a really cool caring guy thats all heart, peace dude take care. MAY JUSTICE BE WON FOR BLADE, JORDON. I have to admit when I SAW blade speak into camera heart broke and I cried. BLADE DID GOOD JOB speaking up with his autism, he lookedd scared around other inmates and guards and the part on the search they did before visit bennie. Well who can blame blade being nervous and angry. BLADE I GOT YOUR BACK BUDDY. AND MAYBE one day you and bennie will talk to each other more. BUT DON’T GET DOWN. I am here for you. I AM IN TEARS NOW TYPING THIS on here.

  4. April 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I am proud of Blade and his involvement in the MSNBC Documentary Young Kids Hard Time-Bennie and Blade. Every time I talk with him, he puts himself down on how he felt he came across in the episode. He was just being himself, and I have to say once again, how proud I am of him, and also how proud I am to call him a close friend and family.

    I do agree with Matt. The episode could have been much more. Bennie and Blade only were on maybe a third of the program, the rest was other inmate interviews. Blade’s issues were not addressed in the program, but I don’t think it was their intent to do so.

    • 5 matt
      April 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      I would agree that it was likely not the producers’ intent to address Blade’s issues in-depth, and I’m sure they are walking a fine line with IDOC, to maintain access. It’s just that Blade comes across a bit too carefree, and while that makes him appear pleasant and likeable, we know that he is actually having a much more difficult time of it, in YIA.

      My concern is that It may be difficult for those with limited familiarity with Blade and his situation, to resolve the disparities between the details Dan has provided in this blog, with what they’ve just seen in this documentary.

      • April 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm

        Matt, what people don’t realize is that this segment was filmed a long time ago. The producers didn’t realize everything that Blade had been experiencing until after the segment had been filmed and was in final production. Plus, Blade does an effective job of shielding his inner torment from our view.

        I haven’t seen the segment yet (remember, I don’t have television), but it doesn’t appear that many people saw it, probably due to its Saturday afternoon time slot. When pieces about our kids run in prime time, there is always a spike in visitors to this blog. But the traffic today was like any other unremarkable, average day.

        I’m not concerned about the piece having hurt our efforts. It just didn’t help much.

  5. April 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

    i wished i can talk to blade. if i was in inthe situation in prison, jail or juvenile, don’t think i personally can speak out cause i have problem standing up for self and would not look at camera at all and i be so soft spoken and cry. thats good blade was able to tell some of his feelings, but more could of been told on blade and bennie. they cameras would of left out the abuse he has got and is still getting from inmates and low class guards who don’t give a rats @sss of kids. Sw blade hes like smallest guys in a prison. Big men was around blade at age 14 15 16 how what a disgrace him surrounded by rcreepy men who takes advantage of blade physical, weak, emotion and mental and sexually abused by guards and inmates.they wanna use bodly harm on blade nd bust my bubble t see this happen. one sad kid. the guards brainwash him and mistteat him verbal abuse and beat his body, no wonder hes down on self always negative on self and wants to suicide. tt’s cause the way court did blade and guards. child abuse is wrong no matter what and guards get away with it. hmmmmmmmmmm well something don’t sound right. guards need to be fired and be put in prisn for physical abusing beating a 13 14 15 16 old minor and sexually abusing blade and letting inmates hurt him. the guards doing illegal things. and should be brought to justice and release blade. 30 years wasted cause of some judge proseutor jury guards cop cop cops well blade is no evil kid hes a great guy who deserves the best for him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: