“The Inmate Who Exposed Florida Prisons’ Culture of Cruelty”: Completely riveting

Miami Herald profile: Harold Hempstead is a man with two conflicting narratives. One is a criminal past that sent him to prison for life. The other, a courageous pursuit of justice that has shaken the corrupt and crumbling foundation of Florida’s prison system.Hempstead didn’t set out to be a hero and, perhaps to some people, he isn’t a hero at all. But it is likely that no one would have ever known about the death of a mentally ill inmate named Darren Rainey, or about the systemic culture o … [Read more...]

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Our Enemy the State: Link Roundup

"Obama's Economics Team Is Taking on One of America's Most Underrated Economic Problems": Occupational licensing rules, which require government approval (typically by a state government) before a person can practice a given profession, are one of the most under-discussed aspects of the American labor market. A new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers argues that the way licensing is applied in practice often leads to higher prices, reduced opportunity, and more … [Read more...]

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A Vindication of the Rites of Whores: Rumer Godden’s “Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy”

When I asked people to recommend books about life in religious communities, this (as well as Godden's In This House of Brede) was one of the most frequent responses. It's a story set among the Dominican Sisters of Bethany, whose charism involves prison ministry--and so many of the sisters are themselves former criminals, what we'd call "ex-offenders" or "returning citizens." These are I think the same nuns you see in Robert Bresson's terrific nun-noir The Angels of Sin. (This is the Bresson for … [Read more...]

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“Whistleblower Prison Guard Paid the Price for Reporting Abuse”

Sts Processus and Martinian, patrons of prison guards (and jailers of Sts Peter and Paul), pray for him--and for all those involved in this story: ...The brutal encounter, focal point of a civil lawsuit settled by the DOC last month, was eerily similar to another cell extraction at Charlotte in 2014, except that it ended in the death of an inmate, Matthew Walker. Last week, a Charlotte County grand jury said there wasn’t enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the officers involved in … [Read more...]

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“Living with an Ankle Bracelet”: The Marshall Project

personal essay:I cannot sleep. There is a device on my leg. It requires that I wake up an hour early so I can plug it into a charger and stand next to the outlet, like a cell phone charging up for the day. Not the day, actually, but 12 hours. After that, the device runs out of juice. Wherever I am, I have to find an outlet to plug myself into. If I don’t, I’m likely to be thrown back onto Rikers Island. The device is my ankle bracelet, which I’ve now been wearing for 63 days. I wear it afra … [Read more...]

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“The Best Way to Deal With America’s Incarceration Problem Is Hiding in Plain Sight”: Washington Post

(if by "in plain sight" you mean, in jail) The first of the convoys left Albuquerque in August 2013. A cruiser would take the lead, followed by a few buses and vans and another cruiser at the rear. For more than a year, they ferried inmates between an overcrowded jail on the city's outskirts and another facility with empty cells, more than 800 miles away.The jail in Albuquerque, like many others around the country, didn't have enough room. Authorities were spending $35,000 per day to house i … [Read more...]

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“The Problem with NYC’s Bail Reform”: The Marshall Project

posts:...Guilty or innocent, the urge to intervene in the lives of those we shovel into the criminal justice system has proven almost irresistible to politicians over the years. So despite the fact that the most effective method of ensuring that people return to court is to just release them with nothing more than a friendly reminder of their court dates via calls or text messages, the city has already made clear that it will aim to create a “pretrial-services system” at an estimated annual c … [Read more...]

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