No-Fly Zone Around Ferguson Was Totally Just to Keep Out the Press

I'm sure you're shocked: The U.S. government agreed to a police request to restrict more than 37 square miles of airspace surrounding Ferguson, Missouri, for 12 days in August for safety, but audio recordings show that local authorities privately acknowledged the purpose was to keep away news helicopters during violent street protests. more … [Read more...]

Do They Know It’s Halloween?: Cracked Feels My Pain

about the decline of trick-or-treating:#1. Traditional Trick-or-Treating Is Dying The first year I lived in California, we had a huge Halloween turnout at our house. So many costumed children showed up that we actually ran out of candy, and I had to run out to the store still dressed as Princess Buttercup and fight a sailor for the last bag of Laffy Taffy. The next year, thinking we'd be prepared, we stocked up on candy early and ... maybe one-third of the kids showed up. See, the … [Read more...]

“The Gift Shop of the Dead”: I Visit the Museum of Crime and Punishment

for AmSpec: For the past twelve years I’ve volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center serving mainly low-income women in the District of Columbia, and I’ve noticed something about how our clients talk: Nobody ever says “prison.” Boyfriends, husbands, fathers, sons were never “locked up,” “in jail,” or “serving time”; they were always “incarcerated.” There is an unexpected poignancy to the bureaucratic term—a lacy Latinate word suffused with so much pain, as if standardization and abstraction coul … [Read more...]

A Powerful Story of Friendship, Marriage, And Mental Struggles After Wrongful Imprisonment

by Liliana Segura: On a snowy evening in late March, just over a year after walking out of prison, where he had spent 23 years for a crime he didn’t commit, William Lopez entered a CVS in the Bronx and did something inexplicable. After paying for a prescription at the pharmacy counter, he paused to grab some other things—two sticks of Old Spice deodorant and some allergy medicine. Then, without paying, and in full view of a security guard, he walked out. Police were called and Lopez was arr … [Read more...]

Families of Miss. Inmates Pay Protection Money to Gangs and Guards to Keep Their Relatives Safe: Clarion-Ledger

reports: Families have paid thousands of dollars in "protection money" to inmates, gangs and guards to keep their loved ones from being harmed or killed behind bars.Days before last Christmas, Janet Stewart got a telephone call, asking if she wanted to see her son alive again.The caller wanted $400 and identified himself as an inmate at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility — the same prison where her son was serving time.She took the threat seriously. Gang members had already b … [Read more...]

Corrections Corporation of America Wants to Get into the Post-Prison World: ACLU

blog: ...Currently, post-prison reentry programs, such as halfway houses and day reporting centers, are largely run by local nonprofit organizations or, in some cases, smaller for-profit companies. Hininger notes the small, local nature of reentry services in his speech -- and then claims that CCA can use its size and resources to "provide consistency and common standards" in different facilities, rapidly make new arrangements with multiple agencies "on an as-needed basis," and "scale" (i.e, … [Read more...]

“Why I Want to Live Long and Burden My Children”: Cheryl Magness

writes: Last week The Atlantic published the article “Why I Hope to Die by 75” by Ezekiel Emanuel, a former adviser to President Obama on health care and one of the primary designers of the Affordable Care Act. In it, Emanuel outlines his reasons for deciding he will no longer accept most kinds of medical treatment when he reaches age 75. Chief among those reasons is his conclusion that once someone starts to slow down in his mind and body the value of his life begins to decrease, along with the … [Read more...]


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