The Sentencing Project, a non-profit advocacy group, recently released a short study on privately-owned prisons in the U.S. One of the most striking facts documented by the study, Capitalizing on Mass Incarceration: U.S. Growth in Private Prisons, was that in the first sixteen years of this century, the number of inmates held by private prison…Read More
A 17-year-old has made a startling discovery about Wisconsin: more than half of the state’s black “neighborhoods” are actually jails. The young researcher, Lew Blank, used the Weldon Cooper Center’s Racial Dot Map and Google Maps to come to this conclusion, and released the results in August 2016. Defining a black neighborhood as “a certain…Read More
Well, that didn’t last long. You’ll remember the fanfare with which the Obama administration last Aug. 18 announced its plan to phase out all use of private-run prisons by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The campaign was kicked off a week earlier with the unveiling of a study from the DOJ Inspector General, which…Read More
By Chris Zoukis For the third year in row, the number of prisoners who died in America’s prisons and jails rose. Some 4,446 prisoners died in 2013, a two percent increase over 2012, continuing an upward trend, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Suicide remains the…Read More
By Chris Zoukis The population of America’s jails at mid-year 2014 remained steady at approximately three-quarters or a million prisoners, at 744,600 men, women, and children. This number represents a 1.8 percent increase from 2013 levels, but still lower than the 2008 high of 785,500 persons, according to a June 2015 report from the U.S.…Read More
By Chris Zoukis A study released by the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy, and in conjunction with the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated, debunks commonly cited statistics concerning children with incarcerated parents, calling the statistics “unsupported by the data and potentially stigmatizing[.]” According to the study, “It has been…Read More
By Chris Zoukis Mental health disorders are common for prisoners. In fact, according to a 2012 study by the National Institutes of Health, 26 percent of prisoners identified as having a mental health disorder while only 18 percent of the general population identified as having a mental health disorder. While the numbers may not say…Read More
A North Carolina prisoner with a history of mental illness who was found dead in a transport van after being transferred to another prison died due to dehydration, according to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office.
However, the state pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Michael Anthony Kerr, 54, said records provided by the Department of Public Safety were so scanty and incomplete that she was unable to determine whether his death was accidental, a suicide or a homicide.
Prison records indicate that Kerr was held in solitary confinement for 35 days prior to his death and had spent the last five days of his life handcuffed and largely unresponsive. Prison officials repeatedly turned off the water to his cell because he had flooded it, and put him on a diet of milk and nutraloaf. The milk was later ordered withheld.
“They treated him like a dog,” said Kerr’s sister, Brenda Liles.Read More
Image courtesy witnessla.com By Prison Legal News The California Court of Appeal has held that documents in the possession of a prisoner who is providing legal assistance to another prisoner cannot be used to validate the first prisoner as an associate of a prison gang. In February 2009, California prisoner Robert Villa was placed in…Read More
The Globalization of Supermax Prisons,Edited by Jeffrey Ian Ross(Rutgers University Press, 2013).240 pages, $28.95 paperback Book review by Gary Hunter “Zero tolerance” is a phrase that has found its way into many facets of our society. But nowhere is it more prevalent than in the vocabulary used by lawmakers when waging our nation’s relentless, ongoing…Read More