Tag Archives: prison

The national prison strike is over. Now is the time prisoners are most in danger

Heather Ann Thompson, University of Michigan

Photo: Pixabay

Over the last few weeks men and women across the United States – and even as far away as Nova Scotia, Canada – have protested to demand humane treatment for the incarcerated.

In 2016, when prisoners engaged in similar hunger strikes, sit-ins, and work stoppages, their actions barely registered with the national media. As someone who regularly writes about the history of prisoner protests and prison conditions today, this lack of interest was striking. Continue reading

Share

Demanding Wide-Reaching Reforms and an End to Slavery, Inmates in 17 States Plan Prison Strike

“Every single field and industry is affected on some level by prisons, from our license plates to the fast food that we eat to the stores that we shop at.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-18-2018

Supporters of Florida’s prison strike in January. (Photo: @IWW_IWOC/Twitter)

Incarcerated Americans in at least 17 states will go on strike this coming week, refusing to perform labor and engaging in sit-ins and hunger strikes to demand major reforms to the country’s prison and criminal justice systems.


Continue reading

Share

Citing Poor Care for Mental Health in US Prisons, UK Court Refuses Extradition Request

For a second time in six years, the U.K. has declined to send an accused hacker to the U.S. out of concern for his safety in the care of the Department of Justice

By Julia Conley, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 4-6-2018 

Lauri Love. Photo: HackRead

An accused hacker will not be extradited to the United States after a British appeals court ruled that detaining the man in U.S. prisons would be harmful to his health and safety.

Lauri Love, who is accused to stealing information from U.S. military agencies and private companies in 2012 and 2013, had argued that his medical and mental health conditions—including severe depression and Asperger’s syndrome—would likely be mistreated in the U.S. prison system, putting him at risk for suicide. Continue reading

Share

‘A Call to End Slavery’: Nationwide Prison Strike Kicks Off

‘When we remove the economic motive and grease of our forced labor from the U.S. prison system, the entire structure…must shift to accommodate us as humans’

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-9-2016

Angola Prison, Louisiana. Photo: Refractory

Angola Prison, Louisiana. Photo: Refractory

Prisoners across the United States are launching a massive strike on Friday, on the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, to protest what they call modern-day slavery.

Organizers say the strike will take place in at least 24 states to protest inhumane living and working conditions, forced labor, and the cycle of the criminal justice system itself. In California alone, 800 people are expected to take part in the work stoppage. It is slated to be one of the largest strikes in history.

In the era of Black Lives Matter, the issues of racist policing, the school-to-prison pipeline, and other factors that contribute to the mass incarceration crisis are coming to the forefront of civil and human rights movements. Continue reading

Share

Admitting Failed Experiment, DOJ to Phase Out Private Prisons

Private prisons more dangerous and costly, Justice Department finally admits

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-18-2016

Corrections Corporations of America is one of the largest private prison corporations in the country, and currently runs 47 prisons nationwide. (Photo: CCA.com)

Corrections Corporations of America is one of the largest private prison corporations in the country, and currently runs 47 prisons nationwide. (Photo: CCA.com)

After years of documented human rights abuses by the private prison industry, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is finally ending its use of privately-run, for-profit prisons, the Washington Post reports.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memo Thursday announcing that the federal government is ending its contracts with the private prison industry, days after the department’s Inspector General issued a damning report about the danger and abuse facing inmates in private federal prisons. Continue reading

Share

‘Wholesale Destruction’ Awaits as Louisiana Public Defense System Goes Broke

Public defense offices in world capital of incarceration poised for massive shutdown by 2017, which could leave tens of thousands in jail indefinitely

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-4-2016

A spokesperson for the Orleans Parish office said defenders there had already turned away 39 cases, leaving 28 people in custody. (Photo: Sandra Cohen-Rose and Collin Rose/flickr/cc)

A spokesperson for the Orleans Parish office said defenders there had already turned away 39 cases, leaving 28 people in custody. (Photo: Sandra Cohen-Rose and Collin Rose/flickr/cc)

The public defense system of Louisiana is on the brink of financial collapse.

A new assessment by the Louisiana public defender board, obtained by the Guardian, is warning that most of the state’s district offices providing legal counsel to low-income people are set to cancel new cases or shut down completely by next summer.

The Guardian reports: Continue reading

Share

Explosive Rates of Mass Incarceration Called Major ‘Civil Rights Issue of Our Time’

Published on Friday, January 16, 2015 by Common Dreams

Over the past 40 years, U.S. incarceration has exploded, the report notes, not due to a corresponding increase in severe crimes, but due to society’s “collective choice to become more punitive.” (Image: okayplayer.com)

The disproportionate mass incarceration of people of color in the United States, particularly of black men, is no accident, finds a new report from the Economic Policy Institute. It stems from deep racism in U.S. society—enacted through public policy, policing, a dual court system, media representations, and more—and constitutes “one of the most pressing civil rights issues of our time.”

Entitled Where Do We Go from Here? Mass Incarceration and the Struggle for Civil Rights, the analysis was written by Robynn J.A. Cox, assistant professor at Spelman College. Published Friday, the report comes amid mounting nationwide protests to reclaim the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr in the lead up to the federal holiday, at a time of protracted and large-scale movements to declare Black Lives Matter.

Continue reading

Share

What Price Security – Kenyan Style

Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya. Photo by Nairobi123 (State House of Kenya/ Government of Kenya)  via Wikimedia Commons

Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya. Photo by Nairobi123 (State House of Kenya/ Government of Kenya) via Wikimedia Commons

All around the world, governments are worried about terrorism.  And, under the guise of stopping terrorism, tthey make laws. These laws differ in the exact details, but one theme that seems to run through them all is restrictions placed on their citizens. The latest to follow this trend is Kenya.

On Tuesday, the Kenyan government’s NGO (non-governmental organization) coordination board announced the deregistration of 510 NGOs. The board said in a statement that “some NGOs have been and continue to be used for criminal activities, including as conduits of terrorism financing in Kenya and in the Horn of Africa”. Fifteen of them are suspected of money-laundering and financing terrorism.

The statement went on to say; “The board has with immediate effect deregistered these organizations, frozen their bank accounts and forwarded information on them to relevant government security agencies for immediate action.” Continue reading

Share

The 6-Step Process to Wipe Out the Poor Half of America

Published by CommonDreams.org on December 15, 2014.

By Paul Buchheit

One of the themes of the superb writing of Henry Giroux is that more and more Americans are becoming “disposable,” recognized as either commodities or criminals by the more fortunate members of society. There seems to be a method to the madness of winner-take-all capitalism. The following steps, whether due to greed or indifference or disdain, are the means by which America’s wealth-takers dispose of the people they don’t need.

Continue reading

Share

Call It Deep Pocket Corizon

If someone were to say Deepwater Horizon to you, you’d more than likely think of the massive oil spill that started on April 20, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. You remember the eleven people who died when the Deepwater Horizon exploded. You remember the camera capturing the oil gushing out of the wellhead for 86 days until it was finally capped. You remember BP and Halliburton trying their best (and succeeding to a large degree) to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, and damaging both the ecosystem and the lives of people around the Gulf for years to come. Such is the power of those two words.

Lately, there’s been a horrific story that’s been covered in bits and pieces by the (mostly local) media, but isn’t getting the coverage or outrage it deserves. It’s a story that concerns a company that exists on government contracts; a company that consistently underperforms in a way that is truly fatal to the people it’s supposed to be serving. Yet, we hear nothing about it. Why is that? Continue reading

Share