The Deadly Consequences of Solitary With a Cellmate. "The 4'8"-by-10'8" space was originally built for one, but as Menard became increasingly overcrowded and guards sent more people to solitary, the prison bolted in a second bunk. The two men would have to eat, sleep, and defecate inches from one another for nearly 24 hours a day in a space smaller than a parking spot, if a parking spot had walls made of cement and steel on all sides. With a toilet, sink, shelf, and beds, the men were left with a sliver of space about a foot-and-a-half wide to maneuver around each other. If one stood, the other had to sit."
"I Reviewed Jail on Yelp Because I Couldn't Afford a Therapist." Why people are using sites like Yelp to vent and offer tips about prison and jail.
Norway's penal system has gathered some attention recently, as the new Halden prison just opened. The $217 million facility will house 252 prisoners, some long-term and some short. The new prison is notable for, among other things, use of armoured glass instead of bars on windows, natural lighting and single-inmate cells with private showers, TVs and access to a gym and a sound studio. There was also an art budget, and Norwegian street artist Dolk was commisioned to decorate some of the walls. The Norwegian penal system is similar to the other Scandinavian countries', with no death penalty, and a "life" sentence of 21 years. In Norway there are no privately run incarceration facilities, and the opening of the rather plush-seeming Halden prison spurred some discussion, but garnered no big controversy. [more inside]
Doing Time, Doing Vipassana is a powerful 52-minute documentary (1 2 3 4 5) in which Goenka's form of meditation is once again introduced in India's largest prison. [more inside]
"In the US, there are 2,270 prisoners [report, news release, with testimonies] who were sentenced as children to life without parole. They will die behind bars. Ed Pilkington asks five of them - from a 21-year-old to a 70-year-old - how do they cope?" [more inside]