2012 October

31 October 2012
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Aljazeera criticizes 3-strike laws

Nothing, finally, surprises me about prisons and prison law. But reading today a long story in Aljazeera: Power & People, I discovered that people in the middle east find our laws excessive. Whew!

In Saudi Arabia, they still cut off the hands of thieves. They hold public beheadings. But still, the authors of this article find that the U.S. 3-strike law, requiring life imprisonment for a third crime, to be excessive.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2012/10/2012103164254329343.html


30 October 2012
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Russians question US jail precedures

How bad is the Houston jail?  Well, acording to the Russian radio stories, 4 Russians are asking international human rights observers to investigate.  They contend they are denied legal acccess, among other complaints. Russians detained in Houston complain about their prison conditions. http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_10_29/Russians-detained-in-Houston-complain-about-their-prison-conditions/


30 October 2012
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Private federal prison implodes: who pays?

OK, so … the federal prison system hired a private firm to collect doctors together who would work on prisoners. But no one seems to have been watching what that private firm did with the money, or whom they forgot to repay–like the doctors and the hospitals. By Jay Price – jprice@newsobserver.com
“BUTNER — A Florida-based company that lent its CEO more than $5 million f


19 October 2012
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John Howard Society endorses graphic novel

The international organization, founded in 1777, investigates prison abuses; keeps the public informed; advocates for humane conditions in prisons.

And their executive director has just announced that he will “be honored to support” Prison Grievances. They read it and announced that it is “Brilliant!” and “much needed.”


18 October 2012
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GOA report traces problems to prison growth

Spet 2012 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office to Congress found that in 2011, 48% of federal inmates were incarcerated for drugs.

The most severe crowding, puzzlingly, was in the highest security facilities: 55% are overcrowded. Perhaps that gang tag (discussed yesterday) has pushed this crowding.


18 October 2012
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Man Who Spent Time In an Iranian Prison Thinks California’s Are Worse

Well, can you think of something to say about American prisons that would be worse than what Shane Bauer concludes? Shane was one of three American hikers arrested in Iran after the crossing over the border from Iraq in 2009. He spent 26 months in Tehran’s Evin Prison, the first four in solitary confinement. “He wasn’t given a lawyer, a trial, or even an idea what he was supposedly guilty of,” reports The Atlantic Wire. But it was better tham California solitary confinement.


17 October 2012
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Ohio turns to sentence reforms; privatizing failing

Ohio sold the Northeast Ohio prison to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) in 2011; a recent audit revealed that the private prison is meeting only 66.7% of the state’s standards, including low staffing, lack of training, overcrowding (mattresses on floors), lack of santitaion, and–most worrisome perhaps–inadequate contraband services.

These oversights create an unsafe environment for both staff and inmates.


17 October 2012
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How to Give up Gang Status?

California inmates in two prisons, at prisons near Tehachapi and Corcoran, are refusing food over new policies, policies that were supposed to relieve those in solitary confinement of lengthy stays.

How does someone ‘quit’ a gang while he’s in solitary? Good question. Currently, wardens from around the state are attempting to read and understand the guidelines.


15 October 2012
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Overcrowding from 3 strikes? Unnecessary

Sociology professor Robert Nash Parker determined that crime has been decreasing at about the same rate in every state for 20 years, regardless of whether three-strikes policies are in place or not.

Parker’s findings appear in the paper “Why California’s ‘Three Strikes’ Fails as Crime and Economic Policy, and What to Do.”

http://phys.org/news/2012-10-california-three-strikes-law-successful-crime.html#jCp


13 October 2012
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“Gang of Deputies” in L.A. Jails

Gang-like cliques of sheriff’s deputies operating with impunity inside L.A. County jails. Department top brass encouraging a culture of violence and brutality against inmates. And a sheriff with his head in the sand.

We at the ACLU have been calling attention to the medieval conditions inside L.A. County jails for years. But on September 7, 2012, the blue-ribbon Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence held its penultimate hearing on deputy violence in the L.A. County jails. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors created the Citizens’ Commission last October, shortly after we released a report detailing dozens of sworn statements

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