Two Very Different Links About Prison

First of all, America's prison population is finally falling. Via Jesse Walker, I think.Second, "Tenth and Greenwich (Women's House of Detention)" is pretty amazing, and you should give it a spin. Via Helen Rittelmeyer. … [Read more...]

“Will the Great US Penal Reform Tip the Balance for Addicts?”: The Fix

feature: ...Now, after decades of runaway incarceration fueled greatly by the War on Drugs, California is in the midst of what one expert calls “the biggest penal experiment in modern history,” diverting tens of thousands of inmates from state prisons to local supervision. California’s so-called realignment leads a growing pack of sentencing and legal reforms nationwide, all designed to change how the US treats low-level offenders—most of them facing drug charges, and many suffering from addicti … [Read more...]

It’s the Feast of the Jailers of Sts Peter and Paul

St Processus and St Martinian, who converted under the influence of their prisoners; they're the patron saints of wardens, jailers, and prison police. … [Read more...]

Years of Solitary Confinement. Lightless Cells with Plastic Bags Instead of Toilets.

Rats sold as pets? The grim tabloid conditions of "One of the Darkest Periods in the History of American Prisons": It has been an extraordinary three weeks in the history of the American penal system, perhaps one of the darkest periods on record. In four states, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, the systemic abuse and neglect of inmates, and especially mentally ill inmates, has been investigated, chronicled and disclosed in grim detail to the … [Read more...]

“Crime and Punishment: Juvenile Offenders Study Russian Literature”: Washington Post

via Ratty, I think: Kaufman thinks Russian literature is — unexpectedly — a particularly good fit for prisoners. The authors often asked what they called “the accursed questions,” Kaufman said: “Who am I? Why am I here? Given I’m going to die, how should I live?” more … [Read more...]

“Collateral Costs of Incarceration”: Pew Charitable Trusts

report: Incarceration reduces former inmates’ earnings by 40 percent and limits their future economic mobility, according to a new Pew report, Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility. This is a growing challenge now that 1 in every 28 children in America has a parent behind bars, up from 1 in 125 just 25 years ago.“People who break the law need to be held accountable and pay their debt to society,” said Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project of the … [Read more...]

How much of the prison population explosion in the USA is due to the war on drugs?

PrawfsBlawg (a law blog) looks at some numbers: ...Consider the following thought experiment. What would US prison populations in 2009 look like if in 1980 we released all 23,900 prisoners serving time for drug offenses (the 19,000 state prisoners plus 4,900 federal drug inmates) and proceeded to admit no prisoners for drug crimes in the subsequent years? Instead of rising 3.8-fold, it would have risen 3-fold. A difference, but not an enormous one. (I’ll show my work for these numbers shortly i … [Read more...]


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