America's 10 Worst Prisons
May 14, 2013 9:15 AM Subscribe
"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons."
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Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates."The List
(federal supermax: "A federal isolation facility that's "pretty close" to hell."
2: Allan B. Polunsky
Unit (Texas: "'The hardest place to do time in Texas'—and then you die."
3: Tent City Jail
(Phoenix: Feds say notorious facility has a 'pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos.'
4: Orleans Parish
(Louisiana: "'A violent and dangerous institution,' says the Justice Department.")
5: LA County Jail
(Los Angeles: "And you thought the Rodney King beating was bad?"
6: Pelican Bay
(California: "Where a Christmas card might land you in the hole.
7: Julia Tutwiler
(Alabama: "Prisoners fear 'that it's not safe to take a shower, that it's not safe to go to sleep...that you can be manipulated into sexual favors, it's really horrific.'"
8: Reeves Country Detention Complex
(Texas: "An overcrowded, understaffed lockup—with health care bad enough to spark riots."
9: Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility
(Mississippi: "'A picture of such horror as should be unrealized anywhere in the civilized world.'"
10: Riker's Island
(New York City: "New York City lockup has a "deeply entrenched" pattern of violence by guards, lawsuit claims."
The piece will conclude tomorrow with a list of "Dishonorable Mentions."
Accompanying Articles (Some are older pieces covering the same topic)
* Maps: Solitary Confinement, State by State
: "An exclusive review of how state prisons use isolation to discipline inmates and weed out gang members."
* God's Own Warden
: "If you ever find yourself inside Louisiana's Angola prison, Burl Cain will make sure you find Jesus—or regret ever crossing his path."
* The Silent Treatment
: "Imagine serving decades in prison for a crime your sibling framed you for. Now imagine doing it while profoundly deaf."
* Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons
: "We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here's why." (Previously on Mefi)
* Life in the Hole: Inside a Solitary Cell
: "A guided tour of the seven-by-eleven-foot space where inmates spend 23 hours a day."