Massachusetts Sued for Imprisoning Addicted Women Who Haven’t Committed* Crimes

*should be "haven't been convicted of any crimes," sorry; also I fixed the link: “As Governor Deval Patrick has acknowledged, we are actually the only state that incarcerates people who are suffering from addiction to drugs and alcohol, who haven’t been convicted of a crime. And imprisoning people because they have a disease is wrong, and it’s also unconstitutional,” ACLU staff attorney Jessie Rossman told the News Service. She said the lawsuit is specifically focusing on women because they are … [Read more...]

“Ten Ways Addiction Is Different in America”: The Invaluable Maia Szalavitz

at Substance: We Americans like to think of ourselves as exceptional, the land of the free and the home of the brave, the City on the Hill and all that. When it comes to the politics and culture of drugs, we are indeed special—or at least dramatically different from the rest of the Western world. Too often, however, we are special for the wrong reasons. more … [Read more...]

“California Female Inmates Sterilized Illegally”

through at least 2010: ..."The audit shows systemic failures by the federal receiver in the sterilization of female inmates," Lieu said. "I'm also surprised that the receiver makes the argument that they had no legal duty to make sure the prison employees comply with the consent procedures. That is a ludicrous argument."The CIR investigation, published in July, found that 132 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules from 2006 to 2010 — and perhaps 100 more dating back to t … [Read more...]

Prison Resources: From My Readers

In response to this question (and you can find a couple more links in that post). Keep 'em coming, y'all.A large list of resources focusing on legal rights from Sara Mayeux. Some of these links may be outdated but there's a portion of the list which is broken up by state, which I'm guessing will be really useful to many of you.An American prison history reading list. Sara Mayeux (like other readers) also recommended The New Jim Crow, and linked to this critique for when you've read the … [Read more...]

“Criminal or Prisoner?”: I’m at Aleteia

on the differences between the two roles in Christian life: What do homicide and stealing curled hair have in common?They're both crimes for which you could get transported to Australia for life, during its days as a penal colony. I learned this at Hyde Park Barracks, a museum dedicated to Sydney's penal days. Part of what makes the museum so striking (and so worthwhile if you're ever in Sydney) is its empathy for the convicts: its willingness to view them primarily as prisoners rather than … [Read more...]

“10 Photography Projects on Prisons… Recently Added to the Web”

Via PrisonCulture: ...Mae Ryan‘s series on the Community Prisoner Mother Program in Pomona, California was one of the last assignment’s she made before moving from KPCC to The Guardian. And it is stand out.Pregnant in Prison offers a look at a select group of minimum security prisoners who may live with their young children until the child turns seven years old. Mothers live with their children in rooms shared with other prisoners. During the day, children are enrolled in the on-site prescho … [Read more...]

“The Criminalization of Poverty”: Radley Balko

writes: ...NPR found that in the vast majority of America, defendants can be charged for a public defender, for their own parole and probation, the cost of a jury trial, and their stay in a jail cell. Some jurisdictions have even found ways to charge people “booking fees” after an arrest, even if the arrest never results in a criminal charge, a policy recently upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. My favorite example of this nonsense, though it isn’t in the NPR report, is … [Read more...]


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