"These probationers aren’t just paying a court-ordered fine; they’re typically paying an ever-growing share of the court’s administrative expenses, as well as a separate fee to the for-profit company that supervises their probation and enforces a payment schedule—a consolidated weekly or monthly set of charges divided between the court and the company. The system is known as 'offender-funded' justice. But legal challenges to it are mounting, amid concerns about abuse, corruption, and the use of state penalties to collect private profits. In a wide range of cases, offender-funded justice may not result in justice at all."
Get Out of Jail, Inc.
posted by supermassive
on Aug 7, 2014 -
When the Bough Breaks.
"Children often can’t tell detectives what happened to them. But their injuries always tell a story. The essence of a child abuse investigation is determining the plausibility of an adult’s story, given the child’s condition. Could the child have sustained the injuries by falling off a bed, tumbling down stairs, or any number of accidents that parents routinely describe? Or does the story fail to account for the injuries?" A profile of Sergeant Brenda Nichols, the head of the Dallas Police Department’s Child Abuse Squad, and one of her cases. (SFW, but the article contains graphic descriptions of child abuse that some readers may find disturbing.)
posted by zarq
on Aug 2, 2014 -
Sarah’s abuser gained access to every password she had. He monitored her bank accounts and used her phone to track her location and read her conversations. She endured four years of regular physical and emotional trauma enabled by meticulous digital surveillance and the existing support services, from shelters to police, were almost powerless to help her. “We wish we could just stop the clock because we need to catch up,” said Risa Mednick, director of the Cambridge domestic violence prevention organization Transition House. To fight back, Transition House and others turn to the same methods used by intelligence agencies in order to keep their clients safe.
posted by ChuraChura
on May 9, 2014 -
Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus
' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls
, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report
just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University
as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone.
But first, we're going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 28, 2014 -
From January 1, 1900, to June 30, 2011
, Florida School for Boys
(aka Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys) was operated by the State of Florida as a reform school for boys ranging in the age from 8 to 21, in the panhandle town of Marianna. With a notorious reputation for inflicting severe abuses
(pdf) on its minor inmates, including beatings, rape, torture and even murder, going back a century, Florida authorized archaeologists and anthropologists from the University of South Florida to conduct an investigation of the school's graveyard.
Last month, after a several month long excavation, researchers and forensic anthropologists have announced the discovery of remains adding up to 55 people on school grounds
, five more than previously known, and 24 more than listed in school records
. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222
on Feb 20, 2014 -
Words, Words, Words: On Toxicity and Abuse in Online Activism:
"There was a time in my life where I took pride in being a 'social justice warrior' on Reddit, ticking the boxes of others' mistakes, missteps, and misspoken words, cruelly scolding people, looking for those who were 'doing it wrong' as a means of validating my own sense of integrity as an activist, as if each person I roasted would be a talisman against the same thing happening to me ever again. It was only when I discovered that I had made someone cry for hours that I took a long step back and asked myself if I was really making the world a better place by doing this." [more inside]
posted by Anyamatopoeia
on Jan 6, 2014 -
From the Dallas Morning News, an 8-part profile of Lauren Kavanaugh
, who was kept in a closet for six years before being rescued at age 8 weighing 26 lbs, and of the remarkable people and recovery that has followed. [Warning:
this story and the accompanying photos and videos are immensely hard to read, watch and listen to, and this piece is a trigger for every possible kind of abuse.]
posted by DarlingBri
on Oct 31, 2013 -
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper published a special project recently: The Stolen Ones
investigates the local child sex trafficking industry, and documents stories from survivors and their families. (SFW, but some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 25, 2013 -
The first postcard on today's Postsecret is disturbing. (TW: murder, abuse)
The text reads "I told everyone that she dumped me, but I dumped her (body)", along with a picture taken from Google Maps. It was determined that the location was likely Wooded Island in Chicago, IL. A search was made, though nothing was found
. However, as a commenter on Dianna E. Anderson's blog posting about this
points out, the postmark reads 2008
Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret has said he didn't go to the police, and instead sees this as a free-speech issue. [more inside]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me
on Sep 1, 2013 -
Raised by two drug addicts with virtually unlimited wealth,
Georgia and Patterson survived a gilded childhood that was also a horror story of Dickensian neglect and abuse. They were globe-trotting trust-fund babies who snorkeled in Fiji, owned a pet lion cub and considered it normal to bring loose diamonds to elementary school for show and tell. And yet they also spent their childhoods inhaling freebase fumes, locked in cellars and deadbolted into their bedrooms at night in the secluded Wyoming mountains and on their ancestral South Carolina plantation. While their father spent millions on drug binges and extravagances, the children lived like terrified prisoners, kept at bay by a revolving door of some four dozen nannies and caregivers, underfed, undereducated, scarcely noticed except as objects of wrath.
posted by showbiz_liz
on Aug 15, 2013 -
The Janoskians are a group of five YouTube comedians from Melbourne, Australia renowned for their cringeworthy pranks
members of the public. Formed in 2010, the group now attracts rock-star welcomes
from hordes of screaming fans when it tours across the world and has signed deals with Sony and MTV.
posted by dontjumplarry
on Aug 11, 2013 -
Phil Fish, the volatile and sometimes controversial developer of indie game Fez
, has abruptly announced its cancellation
: "this is as much as i can stomach. this is isn’t the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign. you win." Though this follows in the wake of a popular podcast's host
calling him a "tosspot", a "wanker", and a "fucking asshole", Fish has been the subject of massive Internet antagonism ever since his appearance in Indie Game: The Movie
; he's been hounded for saying that Japanese games suck
, though he claimed the comment was taken out of context
, for Tweeting that "PCs are for spreadsheets
" prior to Fez's PC release, and for not patching a save-corrupting bug
that he claims Microsoft was charging him "tens of thousands of dollars
". Fish has often responded poorly
to critics in public, but Jonathan Blow
) and C418
) each claim that Fish has been at the receiving end of far worse, and far more frequent, vitriol.
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jul 28, 2013 -
"In reality, it's surprisingly hard to stop someone who really wants to murder you, especially if he has easy access to a gun. Restraining orders don't create a magic force field around the victim. Shelters help, but they are underfunded and depend on the victim giving up substantial rights to hold a job (which gives the abuser the ability to find you), have a social life, or even speak to family members," writes Amanda Marcotte
, before summarising a Domestic Violence High Risk Team model
of monitoring and escalating controls on the abuser, not the abused. Plus, the approach appears to be making a difference
. [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel
on Jul 15, 2013 -
Mau Mau to Midnapore: Confronting the brutality of empire There are certainly some Britons, including academics, journalists and human rights lawyers, who are aware of the realities of colonialism. However, in the society as a whole and in the media in the UK there are still far too many who seem strangely reluctant, even after so many decades after the end of the British empire, to come to terms with the true nature of colonialism or learn from the perspective of former subjects who had rebelled against it.
posted by infini
on May 6, 2013 -
Sexual Assault In The U.S. Military
is the focus of a serious contender for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Awards. The Invisible War
is a groundbreaking investigative doc that sheds light on the under-reported epidemic of sexual abuse against female members of the military
, as well as the lack of punitive action in these crimes: of the 8 percent of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted in the military, only 2 percent result in convictions. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.
By official estimates
from The Department of Defense, 19,000 violent sexual crimes occurred in the military in 2011 alone
. Sexual assault is grossly under-reported
in the military. In 2011, 3,191 assaults were reported when its likely that somewhere between 19,000 and 22,000 assaults occurred.
The women in the film speak about the physical and mental abuse they underwent while serving in the military - and about the the lawsuit they joined and the verdict in which their experiences were labeled "occupational hazards".
The film is already garnering much attention, especially as front-running Oscar Nominee - and lawmakers are taking notice. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic
on Feb 19, 2013 -
What really concerns librarians; what do they discuss
when they self-organise and decide for themselves? After the inaugural UK event
, the second
UK Librarycamp, with around 200 attendees, was recently held; reflections by Frank Norman
, Carolin Schneider  
, Sarah Wolfenden
, Amy Faye Finnegan
, Shambrarian Knights
, Jennifer Yellin
, Jenni Hughes
, Bookshelf Guardian
, Amy Cross-Menzies
and Simon Barron
, and by one of the organisers
. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Nov 1, 2012 -
Saving Aesha She came to America after the Taliban hacked off her nose and ears, a symbol of the oppression of women in Afghanistan. Since then, she's been passed around by well-meaning strangers, showcased like a star and shielded like a fragile child. The fairy-tale ending everyone hoped for has remained elusive.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies
on Oct 13, 2012 -
"The Justice Department estimates that more than 209,400 people are sexually abused in US detention every year
… A great deal has been learned about this over the past few years. The [Prison Rape Elimination Act] legislation, which charged the [Bureau of Justice Statistics] with undertaking annual statistical analyses of the problem that have proved indispensable, also created a body called the Review Panel on Prison Rape.… A commission charged with issuing recommendations didn’t do so until six years after the bill’s passage; then Attorney General Eric Holder missed by nearly two years the statutory deadline for promulgating them. But the standards that Holder’s Department of Justice finally did issue are very strong."
posted by the mad poster!
on Sep 25, 2012 -
'In 2002, five years before journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered
by members of Your Black Muslim Bakery
a woman identified only as Jane Doe No. 1 stepped forward to report decades of sexual abuse, welfare fraud and violence by the bakery's leader, Yusuf Bey Sr. She was prepared to hand over to Oakland police DNA from her three children -- evidence that Bey had impregnated her, the first time when she was 12. This was a risky move, but the woman had powerful motivation: her daughter, then 18, had alerted her that Bey was trying to abuse her -- his own child. Now, Jane Doe No. 1 has decided she no longer wants to be nameless. Her name is Kowana Banks and she is the first of Bey's victims to speak publicly
.' Video interview
. Transcript. (Via) This post recounts experiences of rape and sexual abuse. Topics may be disturbing to some readers. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 9, 2012 -