“Muppets Take Siberia”: I’m in AmSpec

reviewing an actual movie which exists: The new Muppet movie, Muppets Most Wanted, is basically 1981's Great Muppet Caper if you make Kermit self-pitying, Piggy helpless, and Russia the villain. Also, there are several gulag dance scenes. more (plus my advice for enjoying the movie!) … [Read more...]

“Parenting from Prison: The Collateral Damage of Harsh Mandatory Sentences”

from the Deseret News: ...Stephanie and her kids were on the edge of an incarceration wave that pulled in thousands of parents and hundreds of thousands of children at the end of the last century. In 1991 there were 936,500 minor children with a parent in state or federal prison. By the end of 1999, there were 1,498,800, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics — more than a 50 percent leap in less than a decade. ...But even if Stephanie was guilty as charged, her sentence would by a … [Read more...]

“He Turned 16 in Solitary Confinement”

No words: ...In 2009, I and my colleagues at Juvenile Law Center were asked to take on the case of 15-year-old T. D., who was placed in solitary confinement for 178 days while committed to the New Jersey juvenile justice system. He was initially placed in solitary out of concern for his mental health. Yes -- ironic, using solitary confinement to "help" a child with mental health and emotional issues. Troy spent the majority of this seven month period locked alone in a 7x7-foot cell that is … [Read more...]

If Addiction Is Continuing a Behavior Which Hurts You and Others Because You Can’t Imagine Any Alternative…

what's the Drug War? Radley Balko has a must-read roundup of the knee-jerk and the damage done: ...To the extent that conservatives still defend the drug war (and there are fewer and fewer willing to do so), this is usually the way they go about it. Their argument is that drug use enslaves drug users with addiction, and that were drugs to be made legal, we’d all be robbed of the benefits of living in a populace of responsible citizens. Use and addiction would be common, thus shredding the moral … [Read more...]

Scenes from a Police State (Florida)

from the Miami Herald: Earl Sampson has been stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years.He’s been searched more than 100 times. And arrested and jailed 56 times.Despite his long rap sheet, Sampson, 28, has never been convicted of anything more serious than possession of marijuana.Miami Gardens police have arrested Sampson 62 times for one offense: trespassing.Almost every citation was issued at the same place: the 207 Quickstop, a convenience store on … [Read more...]

A Story of Peacemaking in Prison

It's framed as a post about John Howard Yoder, his work and his abuse of women, but I'm posting it because of the exceptionally compelling personal story: ...I did not become peaceable by reading Yoder. That happened to me long before when I became Christian in prison.I was convicted of arson in 1994 and served four years in a state prison as a result. I was an angry and very violent young man when I entered.My hatred and resentment toward others eventually crushed me, when I realized I … [Read more...]

“Why Should Thousands of Prisoners Die Behind Bars for Nonviolent Crimes?”: Liliana Segura

at The Nation: This past August, the Lafayette-based IND Monthly published a story about a 54-year-old man named Bill Winters, incarcerated at a medium-security prison in Epps, Louisiana. Winters, who is black, was arrested in June 2009, after he drunkenly entered an unlocked oncologist’s office on a Sunday morning, setting off a security alarm. When police arrived, he had rummaged through a desk drawer, and was in possession of a box of Gobstoppers candy. Winters was convicted of simple b … [Read more...]


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