October 19, 2012

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."
October 18, 2012

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.
October 18, 2012

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.
October 17, 2012

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.
October 17, 2012

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.
October 15, 2012

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
October 13, 2012

“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
October 13, 2012

Conditions Affect Staff as Well

We need to remember that once anyone enters jail or prison, those In Walls conditions affect them. All of them. Oklahhoma Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview is investigating the wide-spead turn-over of prison staff. “These prison staffing levels are life and death situations now,” Hickman said. “Someone is going to die if we don't make some changes and make
October 13, 2012

Lifetime Lockdown and Reentry

The American Friends Service Committee of Tucson, AZ, released a major report recently, following the statistics and stories of inmates left in lockdown for extended periods. "The sustaining societal and economic consequences of solitary confinement, supermax prisons, and prisoner lockdown are detrimental to families, our communities, and the economy, and need not be expanded, but rather reduced and eventually halted all together" (p. 40). http://nicic.gov/Library/026373
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