“The Shame of Our Prisons”

hard but necessary reading: As recently as five years ago, American corrections officials almost uniformly denied that rape in prison was a widespread problem. When we at Just Detention International—an organization aimed at preventing the sexual abuse of inmates—recounted stories of people we knew who had been raped in prison, we were told either that these men and women were exceptional cases, or simply that they were liars. But all this has changed. What we have now that we didn’t … [Read more...]

Working-Class Trust, Monetized Mug Shots, The Bible and Other Children’s Books

What I'm reading. First off, this post from David Lapp is relevant to my review of Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty: ...One of the striking things about Brown’s portrait is how poverty co-existed with family cohesiveness and the expectation of marriage. When these poor rural individuals and families migrated North during the 40s, 50s, and 60s, they brought with them their family cohesiveness. But while Elmer and Alice grew up poor, got married, and recently … [Read more...]

“Jesus Dropped the Charges”

I realize this particular hard-workin' metaphor doesn't work for everybody, but it pretty much always works for me. Via Mockingbird. … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

“Heeding Cries for Help from Discarded, Disconnected Young Men”: LA Times

feature--and do read to the end: ...Fifteen years ago, Ruett and Rhonda Foster were grieving parents in a courtroom. Their 7-year-old son Evan had been shot and killed by a gang member at Inglewood's Darby Park. Evan was clutching his soccer trophy in the back seat of the family car when bullets aimed at someone else tore through the windshield and struck him in the head. Three young men were convicted and sent to prison. And the Fosters began performing their own sort of penance, making … [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...]


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