Families of Miss. Inmates Pay Protection Money to Gangs and Guards to Keep Their Relatives Safe: Clarion-Ledger

reports: Families have paid thousands of dollars in "protection money" to inmates, gangs and guards to keep their loved ones from being harmed or killed behind bars.Days before last Christmas, Janet Stewart got a telephone call, asking if she wanted to see her son alive again.The caller wanted $400 and identified himself as an inmate at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility — the same prison where her son was serving time.She took the threat seriously. Gang members had already b … [Read more...]

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Corrections Corporation of America Wants to Get into the Post-Prison World: ACLU

blog: ...Currently, post-prison reentry programs, such as halfway houses and day reporting centers, are largely run by local nonprofit organizations or, in some cases, smaller for-profit companies. Hininger notes the small, local nature of reentry services in his speech -- and then claims that CCA can use its size and resources to "provide consistency and common standards" in different facilities, rapidly make new arrangements with multiple agencies "on an as-needed basis," and "scale" (i.e, … [Read more...]

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“Five Awful Things I Learned as a Child Laborer in the USA”: Cracked

continues to tell hidden stories: We all love food, because it's delicious and without it we'd all die horribly. We also love the fact that we really don't have to worry where said food came from beyond "the store" or, if you think about it a little harder, "the ground." So what if we were to tell you our favorite foodstuffs are being harvested by tens of thousands of exploited children? This isn't some shady underground child labor ring run by the mafia, either -- it's 100-percent legal in … [Read more...]

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“Mass Shooting Hysteria and the Death of John Crawford”: I’ll stop linking Radley Balko’s articles

when the nation stops needing them... ...There are some obvious questions here about police training, most importantly why they fired so quickly and made no attempt at de-escalation. If they had, it seems pretty clear that Crawford would have dropped the gun and would still be alive today. It’s hard to believe that a father of two knowingly provoked police with a pellet rifle. That Crawford was black and the police officers who shot him are white (as is Ritchie) also raises the usual questions a … [Read more...]

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“The Hidden History of Black Women Criminal Legal Reformers”: PrisonCulture

posts: ...All of these accomplishments are impressive and don’t even begin to cover her contributions to women’s and civil rights. However, what has always captured my attention and garnered my deepest respect is the legacy of Ms. Terrell’s advocacy against the convict lease system. In 1907, she published an important article titled “Peonage in the United States: The Convict Lease System and the Chain Gangs” in a journal called “The Nineteeth Century.” In the essay, she suggests that leasing is … [Read more...]

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Good Cop: Radley Balko on Joseph McNamara

here: It’s a sad irony that we’ve lost Joseph McNamara just as the country has become engaged in a productive and overdue discourse about policing. McNamara, who passed away Friday at the age of 79, was an eloquent and engaging critic of the drug war, of reactionary and aggressive policing, and of the militarization of law enforcement long before those positions were popular.McNamara’s voice was particularly important for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, he had 35 years of policing … [Read more...]

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In Which I Am the Last Person to Read Radley Balko’s Epic Report on St. Louis Co. Policing as Profiting from Poverty

and I'm posting it here just in case I'm actually second-to-last. ...The officer found that Bolden had four arrest warrants in three separate jurisdictions: the towns of Florissant and Hazelwood in St. Louis County and the town of Foristell in St. Charles County. All of the warrants were for failure to appear in court for traffic violations. Bolden hadn’t appeared in court because she didn’t have the money. A couple of those fines were for speeding, one was for failure to wear her seatbelt and m … [Read more...]

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