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Alabama man who served 36 years of life sentence for $50 robbery to be freed | US news | The Guardian
Three-strikes law blew up one robbery (resulting in probation) followed by another in which $50 was stolen and no one was hurt into a life sentence.
prison  overprosecution  via:TheGuardian  TheGuardian 
august 2019 by mcherm
Court Sides With Prison Guards Who Forced Female Inmates To Expose Genitals During Training Exercise –
Court says it is not an illegal search for guards to order women prisoners to strip naked then pull open their body cavities while men ogle them from the adjoining room, simply for the sake of a "training exercise". (A different jury found the guards innocent of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment.)
law  prison  4thAmmendment  via:reddit 
august 2019 by mcherm
Banned behind bars: 20,000 books can't be read by Florida inmates
Some states, especially Florida, use unreasonable or baseless policies for banning books in prison.
prison  books  freespeech  law  via:reddit 
august 2019 by mcherm
Unloop – Breaking the prison cycle
One charity that tries to provide tech training for former felons.
prison  programming  via:reddit 
may 2019 by mcherm
Florida inmate says prison sold him $569 of music, then took it away | Ars Technica
Prisons sold $100 and $200 music players, and sold music at $1.70 per song. Then after a few years they found a new vendor and told prisoners at best they could send their music library on CD to someone outside the prison.
law  via:reddit  prison  drm 
february 2019 by mcherm
Bans on Shackling Pregnant Women Don't Work; New York Must Do Something Else
There is a specific law banning shackling during childbirth. It doesn't matter; law enforcement ignores it.
law  torture  via:reddit  prison 
january 2019 by mcherm
Test Your Knowledge of American Incarceration - The New York Times
Clever presentation: asks readers estimate what they believe the statistics are, then shows the actual statistic so they can see how well they understood the facts.
datavisualization  prison  nytimes  via:reddit 
december 2018 by mcherm
200 elderly lifers got out of prison en masse. Here’s what happened next.
They elderly released prisoners had a 3% revitisism rate. The biggest problem was those young enough to want to get a job (mostly they couldn't).
via:reddit  prison 
december 2018 by mcherm
Toothless Texas inmates denied dentures in state prison - Houston Chronicle
In Texas prisons they won't allow toothless inmates to get dentures, claiming that feeding them mush is a cheaper alternative.
prison  medicine  via:reddit 
december 2018 by mcherm
The Love Story that Upended the Texas Prison System – Texas Monthly
An incredible story about the elderly female civil rights lawyer who took on the Texas state prison system, and by some miracle managed to succeed. Includes the first ever US Supreme Court case to be written on toilet paper.
law  prison  history  via:HackerNews 
october 2018 by mcherm
Florida Has Been Stealing Votes From Black People Since the Civil War. That Could Change in November.
A constitutional amendment to allow former felons to vote might actually be approved by voters in Florida. But it excludes murderers and sex offenders.
voting  prison  via:boingboing  sexoffenders 
september 2018 by mcherm
Cheap Jail Calls
For $50/90days you can have call forwarding from a local phone number in order to save on prison phone costs.
august 2018 by mcherm
New Orleans Court Ordered To Stop Funding Itself On The Backs Of The Poor – The Appeal
Federal judge says New Orleans practice of funding the courts from a fraction of bail costs is unconstitutional. Savings in jail costs should immediately be enough to fund courts if fewer people are required to pay bail.
via:reddit  law  bail  prison 
august 2018 by mcherm
Opinion | Standing By as Prisoners Are Raped - The New York Times
Prisons where officers stand by filming while prisoners are raped get excellent marks when audited because the auditors are biased liars.
nytimes  via:reddit  prison 
july 2018 by mcherm
How to spot the hidden costs in a “no-cost” tablet contract | Prison Policy Initiative
JPay offered free tablets for prisoners. They were loaded with ways to gouge money from them whenever they communicated or spent money.
prison  via:HackerNews 
july 2018 by mcherm
How I Survived Cancer in Prison
She was told by doctors that she probably had a very serious case of cancer. Then months and months passed (with a few other increasingly concerned doctor's visits in between) in which she WASN'T sent to the hospital. Eventually, she threatened a lawsuit.
prison  medicine  via:reddit 
july 2018 by mcherm | Woman says she delivered own baby in cell after jailers accused her of faking labor
She begged the doctors, the judge, and her jailers to be sent to the hospital. Yet somehow she was alone in her cell when the baby was born.
prison  via:reddit 
may 2018 by mcherm
Prison without guards or weapons in Brazil - BBC News
Only works with a few of the best-behaved prisoners, but it's a model worth discussing.
prison  via:HackerNews 
may 2018 by mcherm
Former Daggett County jail inmates tortured by police say they hope their lawsuit will bring change to how prisoners are treated - The Salt Lake Tribune
Utah has a program shipping prisoners to jails in less-populous counties. One of them was abusing prisoners for fun. The abusers have received minimal (but not zero) punishment.
prison  policeabuse  policeimmunity 
may 2018 by mcherm
Florida Federal Prison Bans Books and Greeting Cards | Miami New Times
Another article on a prison banning prisoners from receiving books (and also letters written in marker or crayon).
prison  censorship  evil  via:reddit 
april 2018 by mcherm
York County partnering with PennDOT to get IDs for departing prisoners
A prison will work to get legal IDs for everyone it releases to make it easier for them to integrate into society.
prison  law  via:reddit 
april 2018 by mcherm
The teenager sentenced to 241 years in prison - BBC News
He was 16 when he spent a few hours committing some crimes (bad, but no lasting harm). He was sentenced until he is 112 yrs old. Even the judge who sentenced him regrets it.
prison  overprosecution 
march 2018 by mcherm
Alabama Sheriff Legally Took $750,000 Meant To Feed Inmates, Bought Beach House : The Two-Way : NPR
Sheriffs in AL can (personally) keep the leftovers if they spend less than budgeted on inmate food. The inmates are starving.
law  prison 
march 2018 by mcherm
The false hope of parole | The Outline
In some states parole boards are completely unprofessional, do not meet the standard of due process, and are not reviewable or subject to any sort of scrutiny.
law  prison  via:reddit 
march 2018 by mcherm
Man gets $75 after being wrongly imprisoned 31 years - CNN
The governor will not exonerate him so he is not eligible for compensation despite DNA evidence of his innocence.
law  overprosecution  prison  via:reddit 
february 2018 by mcherm
Arizona bill would give unlimited free pads, tampons to female inmates
The completely unreasonable previous policy was "12 pads per years, and that's it" -- any more had to be paid for. Bill to correct it is in motion, but not yet passed.
prison  via:boingboing  law 
february 2018 by mcherm
The US Coast Guard is operating floating prisons in the Pacific Ocean, outside US legal protections | Public Radio International
It's not quite Guantanamo, but people are being held in unreasonable conditions for 60-90 days on coast guard boats in the Pacific under the claim that they are not not prisoners nor in detention but "being held". And no opportunity to contest in court.
prison  via:reddit  terrorism  law  torture 
february 2018 by mcherm
Software used in judicial decisions meets its equal in random amateurs | Ars Technica
The software that predicts who will re-offend after prison is wrong 1/3 of the time. Using mechanical turk to ask random people to make predictions was just as accurate. So was just using JUST count of convictions and age.
ai  prison  algorithms  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica  bigdata 
january 2018 by mcherm
Private Prison Continues to Send ICE Detainees to Solitary Confinement for Refusing Voluntary Labor
If you don't do the "voluntary" labor, they put you in solitary confinement (but don't call it that).
prison  via:boingboing 
january 2018 by mcherm
In America, Prisoners with Money Can Pay Their Way to a Nicer Stay | Alternet
Apparently, near LA there are some private jails with lots of luxuries (including work release) that charge the prisoner $100/day.
wealth  prison  law  via:reddit 
january 2018 by mcherm
Alabama Sheriffs Filled Their Wallets by Starving Prisoners
Alabama has a law letting sheriffs *personally* keep any leftover funds from the jail food fund. The results are as you might expect: starving prisoners.
via:reddit  prison 
january 2018 by mcherm
A new program in New York is severely restricting the books available to people in prison – ThinkProgress
This new policy (already in use in a couple of prisons) says almost no books will be permitted in prison, only 53 books (plus some coloring books)! That is EVIL!
prison  books  evil  via:reddit 
january 2018 by mcherm
How to prepare financially for time in prison
Prisons do not permit inmates to handle their financial affairs, so prison typically destroys a person's finances.
via:reddit  prison  banking 
december 2017 by mcherm
Behind bars, a brutal and unexplained death | Miami Herald
Prisoner murdered by guards using a scalding hot shower. Guards never prosecuted.
prison  personal_net  via:reddit  policeimmunity 
november 2017 by mcherm
HMP - A Survival Guide
One person's illustrated survival guide to prison in Britain.
personal_net  prison  via:HackerNews 
october 2017 by mcherm
How We Misunderstand Mass Incarceration | The New Yorker
This article makes the claim that the true source of mass incarceration in the US is overprosecution.
prison  overprosecution  via:reddit 
september 2017 by mcherm
Bail Out | Slate Star Codex
Scott Alexander looks at why so many people are imprisoned in the US. One block that CAN be addressed is the 1/5 who haven't been convicted yet -- mostly too poor to make bail. Just gifting them bail money seems to work; reforming the bail system would be good too.
prison  law  ScottAlexander  via:SlateStarCodex 
june 2017 by mcherm
70 Million Jobs (Jobs for Ex-Cons)
A startup job board for people with a criminal record.
via:reddit  personal_net  prison 
may 2017 by mcherm
Alabama Sheriff In Court For Starving Inmates, Paying Critic's Grandson To Install Keylogger On Her Computer | Techdirt
Any money not spend on food for prisoners goes to the Sheriff's personal bank account. Under a series of sheriffs, despite court intervention, the prisoners are starving.
law  prison  techdirt  via:Techdirt 
april 2017 by mcherm
How One Inmate Changed The Prison System From The Inside : Code Switch : NPR
The story of an early pioneer in the field of US prisoner's rights.
npr  history  via:reddit  prison 
april 2017 by mcherm
US Death Penalty Wrongful Convictions Executions |
Secondhand report on research claiming about 4% of people on death row are innocent.
prison  law  ethics  via:PaulGraham  science  statistics 
march 2017 by mcherm
Women Visiting Loved Ones Jailed at Rikers Describe Years of Invasive Searches by Guards
Apparently sexual assault was rare but did happen to numerous women who attempted to visit prisoners.
via:boingboing  police  prison 
january 2017 by mcherm
This cruel new policy makes it near impossible for kids to see their incarcerated parents - Vox
New prison policy says only "immediate family" can visit inmates. That means unmarried partners (very common in some subcultures) cannot come, and children who have no one to bring them cannot visit their incarcerated parents.
prison  via:vox  vox 
december 2016 by mcherm
If Prisoners Ran Prisons | The Marshall Project
These are some really good ideas, proposed by the inmates themselves.
prison  via:HackerNews 
november 2016 by mcherm
Wait A Second!: How far does New York's anti-felony retaliation statute reach?
A case involving NY's law against firing someone for having a felony record.
via:WaitASecond  law  hiring  prison 
october 2016 by mcherm
37 Years in Solitary Confinement and Even the State Can’t Explain Why - The Daily Beast
Found guilty for no reason but a "confession" he has always repudiated; attempted to escape once (maybe twice), and now in SEVERE solitary confinement for 37 years with no other reason. I wish this case could go to the supreme court to assess the constitutionality of solitary confinement abuse.
law  prison  justice  via:reddit 
september 2016 by mcherm
Why prisons continue to grow, even when crime declines | News Room - The Ohio State University
This article claims that prisons are growing because more of the offenders are repeat offenders.
law  prison  sociology  via:HackerNews 
august 2016 by mcherm
“Deadly Heat” in U.S. Prisons Is Killing Inmates and Spawning Lawsuits
There are no limits on the heat and they don't allow enough water for the inmates. Some of them die.
prison  via:boingboing 
august 2016 by mcherm
Everything Wrong With How Our Justice System Treats Poor People, In One Awful Case — ThinkProgress
Court rules that if you sell your house and declare bankruptcy that's enough and the state should quit hounding you to pay for the cost of your son's prison stay.
BlackLivesMatter  Ferguson  via:boingboing  law  prison  overprosecution 
august 2016 by mcherm
Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons - The Washington Post
US Feds say stats show private prisons are not as effective (by various measures) and they will stop using them.
prison  via:HackerNews 
august 2016 by mcherm
"Torture and Plea Bargaining" by John H. Langbein
An equivalence between the medieval practice of torture and the modern practice of plea bargaining. They're pretty close to the same and for the same reason.
law  torture  prison 
august 2016 by mcherm
I'm a Judge and I Think Criminal Court Is Horrifying | The Marshall Project
A judge comments on the blatant racism and unreasonable lack of bail in Bronx Criminal Court (not his court).
law  prison  via:HackerNews 
august 2016 by mcherm
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