The Texas rascals are at it again; the Organization of American States organized a meeting of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The group met in DC to discuss the deaths of 14 Texas inmates. Guess who didn't show up? Yes, that would be the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. Ands the Attorney General of Texas, Greg Abbott, who is preparing to move into the governor's mansion soon. He's plain busy. Instead, the Human Rights Clinic at University of Texas School of Law and plaintiff attorneys across Texas, and the Texas Civil Rights Project met with international investigators to discuss the inhumane temperatures that are maiming and killing people. Texas holds 150,900 people in ancient prisons with no air conditioners and cement walls. The people charged by the citizens of the state--don't even show up. They're waiting for litigation to resolve the complaints. Of course, getting into court, and getting aid from the court, can take years--obviously. Meanwhile, people die.Read the full article...October 31, 2014
It's comforting when people actually investigate prisons. In Vermont, they looked at female populations and discovered that a whopping 70% of those in prison are there as repeaters--but because of a technical parole violation. And why is that? No child care. No transportation to parole office. No money for telephone to call in. These problems can be resolved with a little common sense, not with yet more incarceration--paid for by taxpayers. And not resolved by tearing mothers away from their families again, leaving many of them without any financial support. When will legislators listen to families? to common sense instead of their political/monetary supporters? Follow the money.Read the full article...October 25, 2014
Management and Training Corporation, is not being sued by ACLU and SPLC. "The lawsuit describes a facility where prisoners were often locked in filthy cells and ignored even when they were suffering from serious medical issues," according to a statement from SPLC. "Many cells lacked light and working toilets, forcing prisoners to use trays or plastic bags that are tossed through slots in their cell doors. Rats often climbed over prisoners’ beds. Some prisoners even captured the rats, put them on makeshift leashes and sold them as pets to other prisoners." Gray said the incentive behind for-profit groups has to be examined carefully. "The incentive for a for-profit prison is to house as many persons as possible," Gray said. "The state has an incentive to use the private prisons. The incentive of the state is to reduce costs and the incentive for the private, for-profit is to increase profit. It becomes kind of a perfect storm."Read the full article...October 18, 2014
So you screw up with the IRS. Bad. But then you're placed into the Florida prison system: really, really bad. Latandra Ellington sent her sister two letters saying she feared a guard was going to kill her. She died. The prison responded, basically, "oops." "DOC officials would not say how Ellington died. But the results of an independent autopsy ordered by her attorneys found that Ellington died of 'hemorrhaging caused by blunt force trauma consistent with punches and kicks to the lower abdomen.'" Take that, 1040 filers! Meanwhile, she is dead. The family requested the autopsy, and lawyers are involved. They worry that others don't know to call lawyers when a loved one dies, or know to get the evidence established ASAP.Read the full article...October 15, 2014
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