thread of prison and the american justice system

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“There simply isn’t the money to keep these people incarcerated, and the alternative is to free many of them or lower cost,” said Ron Utt, a senior research fellow for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative group whose work for privatization was cited by one Arizona lawmaker.

how rad bandit (gbx), Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:23 (twelve years ago) link

private prisons freak me the fuck out

how rad bandit (gbx), Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:23 (twelve years ago) link

the alternative is to lower the cost by paying people who give $$$ to the heritage foundation obviously

harbl, Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:25 (twelve years ago) link

the sheer horrifying strangeness of prison and how and why we lock people up is probably the only thing i get morbs-y about

like i would not be at all surprised to discover that the politics that underwrite how we "do" imprisonment in the US were dominated by steeple-fingered cheneys who hate minorities and poor people.

how rad bandit (gbx), Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:28 (twelve years ago) link

they are, i have read 100 books about it. this is my fav topic though so i'm not gonna read this thread, i might get mad.

harbl, Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:30 (twelve years ago) link

please recommend books! i saw "golden gulag" in the bookstore the other day, but i wasn't sure if it was legit or crazy

also this really is one of the few 'political' issues that makes me furious in under a minute

how rad bandit (gbx), Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:32 (twelve years ago) link

i kinda want to volunteer with a prison doc, but i'm actually sort of nervous about it

how rad bandit (gbx), Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:33 (twelve years ago) link

you should do it! i'll think of a few books for you.

harbl, Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:36 (twelve years ago) link


how rad bandit (gbx), Saturday, 24 October 2009 17:38 (twelve years ago) link

thought about this for 10 min and wd recommend these 4 for your purposes. never read golden gulag myself.

  • scott christiansen - with liberty for some: very good history of prison in america, ties the end of slavery/failure of reconstruction with rise of incarceration, only the last chapter or two is about recent stuff.
  • marie gottschalk - the prison and the gallows: less narrative than the latter and has more specific things about recent history, more graphs and stuff, tons and tons of information but well-written and readable
  • marc mauer - race to incarcerate: this one is an easy summary of the current state of things and you could read it in like 2 days prob
  • paul wright & tara herivel - prison nation: anthology of articles/essays. more things about prison conditions (including medical stuff iirc) than these three ^^^ totally horrifying.

harbl, Saturday, 24 October 2009 18:00 (twelve years ago) link

wow thx harbl, I wld totally like to read some of these too.

we are normal and we want our freedom (Abbott), Saturday, 24 October 2009 18:02 (twelve years ago) link

yes, thank you!

how rad bandit (gbx), Saturday, 24 October 2009 18:02 (twelve years ago) link

ur welcome ; )

harbl, Saturday, 24 October 2009 18:05 (twelve years ago) link

eight months pass...

the prison law blog concurs with one of my recommendations:
but i bet gbx was too busy to read it! (the answer to her question is yes btw)

the girl with the butt tattoo (harbl), Sunday, 11 July 2010 19:07 (eleven years ago) link

interesting! and no, i haven't read that book yet! i will!

*inter library loan*

asking a dog for permission to throw a party (gbx), Monday, 12 July 2010 23:40 (eleven years ago) link

ten months pass...

Thirty years of civil rights litigation and advocacy have failed to slow the pace of a racially biased drug war or to prevent the emergence of a penal system of astonishing size. Yet a few short years of tight state budgets have inspired former “get tough” true believers to suddenly denounce the costs of imprisonment. “We’re wasting tax dollars on prisons,” they say. “It’s time to shift course.”

A majority of those swept into our nation’s prison system are poor people of color, but the sudden shift away from the “get tough” rhetoric that has dominated the national discourse on crime has not been inspired by a surge in concern about the devastating human toll of mass incarceration. Instead, as Professor Bell predicted, the changing tide is best explained by perceived white interests. In this economic climate, it is impossible to maintain the vast prison state without raising taxes on the (white) middle class.

really need to get around to reading her book

k3vin k., Sunday, 15 May 2011 15:35 (ten years ago) link

five months pass...

The United States has by far the world's highest incarceration rate. With 5% of the world's population, our country now houses nearly 25% of the world's reported prisoners. We currently incarcerate 756 inmates per 100,000 residents, a rate nearly five times the average worldwide of 158 for every 100,000. In addition, more than 5 million people who recently left jail remain under "correctional supervision," which includes parole, probation, and other community sanctions. All told, about one in every 31 adults in the United States is in prison, in jail, or on supervised release. This all comes at a very high price to taxpayers: Local, state, and federal spending on corrections adds up to about $68 billion a year.

dayo, Saturday, 22 October 2011 23:50 (ten years ago) link

That is an outrage imo. Absolutely unacceptable and nearing qualification as "torture" of our own citizens.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Sunday, 23 October 2011 00:26 (ten years ago) link

did you hear about the car thief who got sent to an illinois supermax

dayo, Sunday, 23 October 2011 00:42 (ten years ago) link

it's a real howler

dayo, Sunday, 23 October 2011 00:43 (ten years ago) link

primary purpose of meal reduction is to increase commissary sales, which texas makes a $30m profit off of every year. america is shit lmao

The sham nation of Israel should be destroyed. (Princess TamTam), Sunday, 23 October 2011 00:45 (ten years ago) link

well no illinois but

The ACLU has been bringing challenges to supermax prisons for over a decade, and what we’ve found is troubling. The official line is that these prisons are reserved for the “worst of the worst” — the most dangerous and incorrigibly violent — but most states have only a few such prisoners. In overcrowded prison systems, the typical response has been to fill the remaining supermax cells with "nuisance prisoners" — those who file lawsuits, violate minor prison rules, or otherwise annoy staff, but by no stretch of the imagination require the extremely high security of a supermax facility. Thus in Wisconsin's supermax, one of the "worst of the worst" was a 16-year-old car thief. Twenty-year-old David Tracy hanged himself in a Virginia supermax; he had been sent there at age 19, with a 2 ½ year sentence for selling drugs.

The mentally ill are vastly overrepresented in supermax prisons, and once subjected to the stress of isolated confinement, many of them deteriorate dramatically. Some engage in bizarre and extreme acts of self-injury and even suicide. In an Indiana supermax, a 21-year-old mentally ill prisoner set himself on fire in his cell and died from his burns; another man in the same unit choked himself to death with a washcloth. It’s not unusual to find supermax prisoners who swallow razors and other objects, smash their heads into the wall, compulsively cut their flesh, try to hang themselves, and otherwise attempt to harm or kill themselves.

dayo, Sunday, 23 October 2011 00:46 (ten years ago) link

Short story, prosecutors in -- where else!! -- Texas not only wrongly convicted a man of murdering his own wife and let him sit in prison for 25 years, the real murdererer definitely killed at least one other person in the same neighborhood in a case police let go cold all this time. And, of course,

The current district attorney, John Bradley, fought to prevent the DNA testing that led to Mr. Morton’s exoneration and opposed the release of other evidence to his defense attorneys. Mr. Bradley, in an e-mail, said “ethical rules and investigative standards” prevented him from answering questions.

We really do just absolutely fucking suck at this stuff.

Food! Trends! Men! Hate! (Phil D.), Sunday, 23 October 2011 15:32 (ten years ago) link

this is long and interesting

MODS DID 10/11 (k3vin k.), Saturday, 29 October 2011 18:39 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

Dude talkin to trevor mcdonald just there was sam rockwell, i am certain of this

b'hurt's tauntin' (darraghmac), Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:14 (eight years ago) link

"I just happened to commit this one murder"

b'hurt's tauntin' (darraghmac), Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:30 (eight years ago) link

i don't know who either of those is

veryupsetmom (harbl), Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:44 (eight years ago) link


b'hurt's tauntin' (darraghmac), Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:53 (eight years ago) link

yeah but we don't have a trevor mcdonald on our tv what does this have to do with america

veryupsetmom (harbl), Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:55 (eight years ago) link

The House I Live In is a doc from last year about prison & the american justice system with david simon and others. well-made, worth seeing, not much new except perhaps half a suggestion that the industry needs to be fed at such a rate that it's soon gonna impact poor wite ppl at the same level as poor black ppl.

beez in the katz (zvookster), Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:58 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

And so, despite the marvelous attention Dubler pays to individual characters and conversation, the greatest wonder of Graterford’s religious pluralism is how alike it all becomes. Taken together, the theses Dubler has culled all point to one disturbing fact about prison religion. (And if we see ourselves in the conversations going on behind bars, his theses point to a disturbing fact about religious trends more generally.) He concludes: “Graterford no longer produces Malcolm Xs. It produces prisoners. Not system shatterers, today’s religious prisoners are, in their own quiet and righteous way — much like the overwhelming majority of us — system sustainers.” And this revelation, like the accusations that precede it, works to transform the religious invocation from Habakkuk — “Why do you let me see these things?” — into a practical, real-world question. We may ask God why we’re allowed to see these things. But the additional questions we ask once we’ve seen it all — the inside of Graterford Prison, part of a system we built — are ours to answer, not a silent God’s. And transformative politics will require a renewal of political courage worthy of all that silence.

j., Wednesday, 23 April 2014 20:03 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

holy shit

gbx, Friday, 24 April 2015 20:41 (six years ago) link

three years pass...

Jared Ware, who is currently assisting the prisoner’s rights advocates group Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, told Splinter that prisons have been conducting massive cell phone sweeps, and shaking down entire prisons looking for contraband in response to strike action. Yet, despite these attempts to choke off communication, Ware said that there are 17 states that will be attempting to participate at some point during the strike. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they meet that goal or exceed that,” he said.

There are multiple reports of strike activity around the country, and Ware said that actions are taking place in prisons in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

This should all be very exciting for anyone who considers themselves a progressive or a proponent of criminal justice reform. Yet thus far, not a single establishment Democrat, including the party’s most high-profile members, has even offered a performative acknowledgement of what is unfolding across the country....

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 29 August 2018 14:05 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

The New York Times reports:

One 886-bed jail will tower over shops and restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn. Another will be next to a subway yard in Queens. In the Bronx, a jail will replace a Police Department tow pound. And another jail will rise in the shadow of City Hall in Manhattan.

That is at the heart of a plan for a landmark overhaul of New York City’s corrections system, which will culminate with the closing of Rikers Island, the jail complex with nearly 10,000 beds that has become notorious for chronic abuse, neglect and mismanagement.

The City Council approved the proposal on Thursday, a decision that seemed nearly impossible just a few years ago and that supporters say immediately places New York City at the forefront of a national movement to reverse decades of mass incarceration that disproportionately affected black and Hispanic people.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 17 October 2019 21:39 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

In a roundabout way I've ended up tuning into a few 'after prison' channels the last couple of months. The End Of Sentence channel by a Tampa/Boston kid who spent 3 years in Florida panhandle prisons including Lake pretty intense

Interview with Mental Health professional (she's great!)

Speaking on PTSD

anvil, Tuesday, 14 January 2020 20:05 (two years ago) link

Jake on Channel 7 news

anvil, Saturday, 25 January 2020 19:47 (one year ago) link

On a less serious note, I'm still marvelling at this kids double accent!

anvil, Monday, 27 January 2020 04:12 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

VICTORY! The New Jersey Supreme Court rejected prosecutors' discrimination against a Black potential juror by running an unauthorized background check and having him arrested.

What the Court also rejected today: systemic racism and implicit bias in our criminal legal system.

— ACLU of New Jersey (@ACLUNJ) July 13, 2021

superdeep borehole (harbl), Wednesday, 14 July 2021 16:08 (six months ago) link

prosecutors are bad

superdeep borehole (harbl), Wednesday, 14 July 2021 16:09 (six months ago) link

That last link explains it a bit better. Thanks. Fucked up!

Carlos Santana & Mahavishnu Rob Thomas (PBKR), Wednesday, 14 July 2021 16:35 (six months ago) link

six months pass...

this is the kind of court reporting we need more of (i mean this sincerely)

towards fungal computer (harbl), Friday, 14 January 2022 22:54 (five days ago) link

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