A report published Thursday by United Nations human rights experts condemns systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system and policing, while describing “appalling” prison conditions and decrying forced unpaid convict labor as a “contemporary form of slavery.”
The U.N. International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement report follows a visit to the U.S. earlier this year by a team of human rights experts. The U.N. officials collected testimonies from 133 affected people, visited five prisons and jails, and held meetings with advocacy groups and numerous government and police officials in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
Amid speculation that former U.S. President Donald Trump will announce his 2024 run next week, Rolling Stonereported Tuesday that the Republican leader has sought advice about how he could ramp up his war with the news media by jailing journalists if he regains control of the White House.
Trump’s first presidential campaign and four years in office featured constant attacks on reporters, outlets, and the industry in general, from his frequent declarations of “fake news” to going after journalists for reporting on leaked information. Continue reading →
The entrance of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola and nicknamed the “Alcatraz of the South” and “The Farm” Photo: msppmoore /Wikimedia Commons/CC
Critics of mass incarceration are condemning a ruling handed down late Friday by a federal judge in Louisiana, who admitted the state’s plan to send teenage inmates at a juvenile detention center to the notorious state penitentiary at Angola was “disturbing” even as she decided the plan could move forward.
Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick ruled that the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) can send two dozen children under the age of 18 from Bridge City Center for Youth, located outside New Orleans, to the Louisiana State Penitentiary, denying a motion brought by several law firms and the ACLU to halt the plan. Continue reading →
Protesters from the Decarcerate Minnesota Coalition and the Twin Cities Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee outside the Department of Corrections headquarters in St. Paul.in July 2021. Screenshot: KARE 11
Rights advocates and progressive U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday welcomed an announcement that some federal prisoners released to home confinement during the Covid-19 pandemic will not be required to return to prison—a reversal of a controversial Trump administration policy.
“We commend the attorney general for listening to thousands of families who asked not to be separated from their loved ones,” tweeted the ACLU. “Thousands of people can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will be able to remain in the communities where they have been living and working.” Continue reading →
Advocates on Wednesday condemned Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey for her plan to use coronavirus relief funds to construct prisons. (Photo: Josh Rushing/cc/ACLU of Louisiana)
Local activists in Montgomery, Alabama were joined by rights advocates across the country on Wednesday in condemning Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s plan to use federal coronavirus relief funds to build three new prisons in the state—what the governor called “an Alabama solution to this Alabama problem” of overcrowding.
At a rally outside the State House as legislators debated the plan, demonstrators spoke about some of the inmates and prison workers who have died of Covid-19—at least 69 people, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.Continue reading →
George Floyd protest in Philadelphia 6-1-2020. Photo: Joe Piette/flickr/CC
As Black Lives Matter protests grew across the U.S. following the police murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, so did the federal government’s persecution of activists who marched in support of racial justice.
That’s according to a new report released Wednesday by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) clinic at the City University of New York School of Law. Continue reading →
A new report Wednesday shows President Donald Trump’s estimate that the U.S. could see “substantially under” 100,000 coronavirus deaths may be a massive underestimate because of the nation’s huge incarcerated population.
Adding in the conditions of the U.S. jail system means the death toll—even with highly effective social distancing measures—could be 200,000. Continue reading →
Organizers in Washington D.C. with D.C. Abolition Coalition and the D.C. Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee deliver the demands of South Carolina Prisoners to the local United Nations Office. (Image: Fight Toxic Prisons)
Prison rights activists and advocates are appealing to the United Nations Wednesday for relief of conditions under which prisoners in South Carolina are suffering—conditions that are creating a situation where all prisoners are effectively living in solitary confinement.
“For years, prisoners and their families have been decrying the notoriously bad conditions within South Carolina prisons, as the U.S. Department of Justice has demonstrated through reports and consent decrees with states in violation of basic human rights protections,” the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons said in a statement. Continue reading →
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.