Roots planted in the Ozarks, Heart linked behind walls and bars, Growing in the Bootheel
At her website, www.BoonieHatBandit.com, you can learn that Caroline Giammanco was born and raised in the Ozarks, plus, that she has had a fulfilling career teaching in schools across the country before she came back to the Ozarks to teach. A few years after that return, she accepted a position to teach inmates at one of Missouri’s maximum security prisons. During that time, Caroline met Keith Giammanco, an inmate and tutor for the classes.
Keith is serving sentences due to a non-violent bank robbing spree during which he became known as “The Boonie Hat Bandit.” BANK NOTES is Keith’s story — who he is, why he chose to rob banks and what his experiences have been while incarcerated.
Caroline grew up in a military and law enforcement family in conservative southern Missouri. Soft-on-crime is not a part of her vocabulary. She soon got a disturbing glimpse, however, into the heavily shrouded arena of the prison system. As a member of the staff, Caroline saw activity that should concern every taxpayer. Over time, what she witnessed solidified opinions about conditions within the system, plus flaws in the Missouri prison policies. Caroline’s research points out issues that are wide-ranging in the system: abuse of inmates and families, increased recidivism through weak rehabilitation programs, harsh parole percentages and other issues such as double jeopardy violations.
Of Missions and Marriage
Caroline and Keith’s relationship has led to a mission to get legislative reform for first time offenders, appellate justice and also respect for families who try to support inmates who are part of their beloved family. Their blended family includes Caroline’s two sons and Keith’s twin daughters who are perpetually loyal to both parents.
Change will not come to Missouri without effort on the part of Missourians to inform and track legislators and governing policies.
I encourage you to follow Caroline’s blog on the Newsy Notes page at BoonieHatBandit.com. She will be invited to be a guest author here at Ozarks Mystique.