27 posts tagged with prison and prisoners.
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The Guantánamo Failure

Connie Bruck in The New Yorker: Why Obama Has Failed to Close Guantánamo
Congress is blamed for preventing the President from fulfilling his pledge. But that’s not the whole story.
posted by Joe in Australia on Jul 31, 2016 - 47 comments

Life doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints

I work with a group of men who aren’t used to seeing themselves in the narrative, unless it’s as the villain, maybe not in your history book, but in a few newspaper articles a few years back and in the hearts of their victim’s families. These men understand that much of America thinks they are monsters, they deserve to be locked in cages. They are the bastard, orphan sons of … every kind of women you can imagine; they are also beloved sons and husbands in close families who come to see them in the visiting room at the prison every week. Maybe they’ve been “livin’ without a family since I was a child. My father left, my mother died, I grew up buckwild.” Many of them know all about impoverished, in squalor, and fathers who split.
Kate Powers, on watching (parts of) Hamilton with prisoners and the power of theatre.
posted by jeather on Apr 2, 2016 - 30 comments

Contemplating a future from a prison cell

"From a certain angle, the premise seems almost cruel: invite prisoners on death row to design their own memorials — ways for them to be remembered after they’ve been executed. This means asking them to confront not just their own mortality, but the state’s hand in ensuring it; to imagine not only the reality of their deaths, but a time beyond it. Yet, if Life After Death and Elsewhere suggests anything, it’s that this process may offer a release. These men are already thinking about death, after all — two paintings that feature the grim reaper assure us of that. Now at least they have somewhere to channel their thoughts."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 19, 2015 - 5 comments

Exonerated prisoners after serving decades for crimes they didn’t commit

stories.. that expose both the depths of what was taken from them and the challenges of rebuilding the lives they once had
posted by pos on Sep 11, 2015 - 14 comments

This story is about the guards.

My Fellow Prisoners by Mikhail Khodorkovsky [New York Review of Books]
I’m writing these notes because I want people who care about these things to know what I have personally experienced in prison. Over time I’ve turned from an ordinary victim into an interested observer, and I’ve discovered that for many people the prison world remains terra incognita. And yet in our country one in every hundred people is currently in prison; one in ten (maybe by now one in seven) of the male population passes through prison at some point in their lives. Moreover, prison has a terrible effect on the majority of both prisoners and guards. It’s not yet clear, in fact, which group is affected more. Society has to do something about this human tragedy. And for a start people need to know about it.
posted by Fizz on Mar 2, 2015 - 6 comments

linking those behind bars to the outside world

The act of pen-palling mirrors the mindset shift that will be necessary to rethink how our society "does justice" on a much larger scale. My conversations, correspondences, and relationships with prison-torn families have taught me that separation breeds more separation, that the coldness and isolation of prison breed the coldness and isolation of violence. And I think about how the one-on-one relationship, in which the prisoner emerges as a person (with thoughts, a personality, a history, hopes, dreams, nightmares), might serve as a model for the beginnings of a person-based, connection-based justice system.
The Radical Power of a Prison Pen Pal, a longform essay by Maya Schenwar, Editor-in-Chief of Truthout and author of Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Dec 12, 2014 - 4 comments

a Pulaski, a tool that is half axe, half adze

About half of the people fighting wildland fires on the ground for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) are incarcerated: over 4,400 prisoners, housed at 42 inmate fire camps, including three for women. Together, says Capt. Jorge Santana, the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) liaison who supervises the camps, they save the state over $1 billion a year. This year, California has had over 5,300 wildfires, which is about 700 more than had occurred by this time in 2013, and a thousand more than the five-year average. Now, as the West is coming to the end of one of the driest, hottest years in recorded history, the work of inmate firefighters has become essential to California’s financial and environmental health. (SLBuzzfeedNews)
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Nov 1, 2014 - 28 comments

There’s lots of brutality...Horrible brutality.

Rikers: Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality in Jail [more inside]
posted by jammy on Jul 14, 2014 - 11 comments

The Great American Chain Gang

If our criminal-justice system had to pay a fair wage for labor that inmates provide, it would collapse
posted by MoonOrb on May 29, 2014 - 43 comments

Prison Architect flash mob

Everyone's favorite prison simulator Prison Architect wins Halloween with an awesome Easter egg.
posted by Artw on Oct 31, 2013 - 44 comments

Solitary Lives

Solitary Lives - old and recent photos of inmates, plus a short snippet about each. California Prisons' Photo ban Leaves Legacy of Blurred Identities
posted by Greg Nog on Jul 31, 2013 - 7 comments

America's 10 Worst Prisons

"'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." Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 14, 2013 - 88 comments

The Menace Within

The participants in the Stanford Prison Experiment are revisited 40 years after their experience.
posted by reenum on Jul 11, 2011 - 57 comments

From over here on this side of the wall, you all have made many of us feel human once again. Thank you so much for that.

"There are general feelings of hostility and hopelessness in prisons today and it is getting worse with overcrowding. . . Art workshops and similar programs help take us out of this atmosphere and we become like any other free person expressing our talents. Being in prison is the final ride downhill unless one can resist the things around him and learn to function in a society which he no longer has any contact with. Arts programs for many of us may be the final salvation of our minds from prison insanity. It's contact with the best of the human race. It is something that says that we, too, are still valuable." [more inside]
posted by Dojie on Jan 22, 2010 - 23 comments

Tools made in German Prisons

Escape and other tools made by inmates in German prisons, from the photographer Marc Steinmetz. My favorite is the functional battery-powered shotgun, although the hand-made toaster is a testament to the love of a decent breakfast. via.
posted by Rumple on Jun 27, 2009 - 21 comments

Death Row Diaries

Watercolors of people on death row. Part I, Part II.
posted by sveskemus on Mar 14, 2009 - 19 comments

Looking for Love

Write a Prisoner Offers a unique service. It connects you with your convicted-felon potential solemate. Fun for the whole family (NSFW)
posted by cjoh on Jul 16, 2004 - 24 comments

More prison abuse

More Prison abuse. How un-American! Inmates were raped, starved and beaten. Some beaten to death, forced to perform oral sex on other prisioners... The list goes on and on. But this didn't happen in Iraq; it happens in America every day. How un-American, indeed.
posted by eperker on May 10, 2004 - 44 comments

The Guardian on therapy

Anger management therapy in prison. Does it work? Is it ethical? Prisoners who state "If I had had a better education, I would have a good job, and wouldn't need to commit crime" have "distorted thinking"; and one prisoner claims therapy helped him premeditate an attack on an informer. Should prison therapy be effectively compulsory? Meanwhile, the positive psychology movement aims to find out what makes people happy.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Nov 19, 2003 - 18 comments

Dead Man Eating

Dead Man Eating is a weblog listing last meals of American prisoners put to death. Often humanizing the prisoners without belittling their crimes, it's a macabre, fascinating read no matter which side of the death penalty debate you're on.
posted by kickerofelves on Aug 2, 2003 - 36 comments

Veganism is for life - and for lifers!

Those crazy PETA kids, well, now they've gone and done it. They've admitted that being a vegan is punishment, by sending a letter to the NY Prison Commissioner telling him that "Feeding inmates exclusively vegan food sends a message to inmates and the public that our society isn't molly-coddling them..." Funny, funny PETA people, hoisted by their own celery stick, as it were. I'm guessing that being that anemic makes them a little short on irony.
posted by dejah420 on Feb 24, 2003 - 32 comments

Go to Jail - Learn Equities

Beat the Pros - From Behind Bars A group of New Jersey prison inmates recently participated in a statewide contest, where they placed first against other prison teams, and third overall, beating investment clubs, students, and UBS Paine Webber employees. I've often wondered what one does behind bars, because HBO's Oz just isn't giving me the whole story, methinks. Now I know.
posted by djspicerack on Jan 23, 2003 - 5 comments

Moving women, not going anywhere.

Moving women, not going anywhere.
1."I keep a hard body as a treat and not an obsession."
2. "I am in very touch with my sexuality."
3.Heartbreaking.

posted by The Jesse Helms on Nov 3, 2002 - 35 comments

the BBC recreates the stanford prison experiment.

the BBC recreates the stanford prison experiment. First episode is being aired now, (slightly late post, sorry 'bout that). The original experiment was discussed on mefi here.
posted by fvw on May 14, 2002 - 10 comments

Convict Heart Transplant

Convict Heart Transplant A 31 year old 2 time felon just got a heart transplant, costing tax payers close to $1 million dollars. With an annual additional cost of $15,000. Right? Wrong? I'm not so sure.
posted by SuzySmith on Jan 30, 2002 - 15 comments

AIDS cases in US Prisons

AIDS cases in US Prisons are being diagnosed at 5 times the rate of the rest of the population. Prisoners with AIDS face discrimination, abuse and are denied access to health care and medication, on top of all the other abuses prisoners in the US face every day.

From HIV+ Magazine:
"African-American women, incarcerated faster than any other group, also have the highest HIV infection rate among women, both in and out of prison. Women make up a greater percentage of the HIV-positive prison population than men do, an overlooked issue. Yet prisons continue to be built at an alarming rate, although not fast enough to alleviate the miserable conditions of prison overcrowding. In California all federal prisons operate at more than 200 percent capacity."

Thanks California Prison Focus and Act UP NY's for links and info.
posted by djacobs on Dec 1, 2001 - 1 comment

Just in case you're in Britain and happen to commit a felony, don't be caught unprepared. Visit the site of HM Prison Service and get up to date with your British prisoner slang.
posted by tdecius on Sep 15, 1999 - 0 comments

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