Posts Tagged ‘prisoners’ rights’

BOP Draws Fire for Not Testing All Inmates from Zika-Infected Areas

Inmates arriving from Zika-infested areas are not being routinely tested for the transmissible disease. By Christopher Zoukis Federal inmates arriving at Bureau of Prisons facilities from areas affected by the Zika virus are not routinely tested for the transmissible disease before joining the general prison population, notes a recent USA Today article that examined Federal…

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Prison Book-Banning Policies Called Arbitrary And Self-Serving

By Christopher Zoukis Every year, the American Library Association declares the final week of September “Banned Books Week,” commemorated in many libraries with displays designed to highlight often-overreaching censorship of school and public libraries. This year, however, a far-flung wave of stories in many publications highlighted a different sort of book banning – that enforced…

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White House Aims to Harness Data to Curb Prisoner Numbers

By Christopher Zoukis In announcing a Data-Driven Justice (DDJ) initiative on June 30, the Obama White House said it will assemble a coalition of state and local governments, non-profit groups, corporations, universities and foundations, to use sophisticated data analysis to help reshape criminal justice practices in ways to reduce the numbers of Americans behind bars.…

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Prisoners bearing the brunt of institutional incompetence over escapes

The escapes and ultimate death and capture of inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat, respectively, were supposed to have prompted a clean-up in the Clinton Correctional Facility. There were suspensions, leaves, and retirements aplenty as myriad failures in prison protocol were revealed. The FBI also launched an investigation into the facility’s operations over accusations of…

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Can Obama set the US on the path to prison reform?

By Christopher Zoukis A few weeks ago I wrote about the passing of a landmark revision to the United Nations’ “Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.” In it, I questioned why the United States, a key player in the revision process, had remained so quiet since the announcement, positing that the silence was in…

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Dehydration Death of North Carolina Prisoner Prompts Investigations, Firings, Resignations

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.

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