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The Constitution goes to the brig.

The Navy's detention facility at Hanrahan has a created a secret prison-within-a-prison and, per the article, developed elaborate plans to dodge public scrutiny of its operations to detain enemy combatants. "In detaining American citizens, full constitutional rights are afforded except where curtailed by higher guidance or accepted prison practice," the report said.
posted by Malor on Feb 25, 2007 - 23 comments

We bring you pen pals looking for love -- that just happen to be incarcerated.

Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Maybe your dream mate just hasn't gotten out of prison yet? Find them now and they'll be yours when they do get paroled in five to ten years. (somewhat NSFW). The bonus early 90's flaming gif and site design is just icing!
Be sure to read the disclaimer. Here, I'll summarize, use a PO Box to correspond with the inmates, don't give your phone number unless you want to accept collect calls and don't sue the site if your dream man gets out and chops you into little pieces. Seems reasonable enough.
posted by fenriq on Feb 13, 2007 - 29 comments

Prison Rape

Human Rights Watch indepth report on male rape in US prisons. "I've been sentenced for a D.U.I. offense. My 3rd one. When I first came to prison, I had no idea what to expect. Certainly none of this. I'm a tall white male, who unfortunately has a small amount of feminine characteristics. And very shy. These characteristics have got me raped so many times I have no more feelings physically. "
posted by petsounds on Feb 11, 2007 - 149 comments

...a book fraught with the romance and colour of human lives which, if not always of the most exalted, are certainly among the most vivid.

The Newgate Calendar. "THE deeds of ancient robber outlaws and of highway-men -- what a treasure-house pierced with windows for the imagination!" Read about the lives of notorious criminals of days past, such as Sawyney Beane, murderer and cannibal; Daniel Dawson, race-horse poisoner; John Tayler and Thomas Martin, body snatchers; or the infamous Mary Frith, also known as Moll Cutpurse, a cross-dressing, pistol-wearing, tobacco-smoking rogue and the real life inspiration for Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders.
posted by papakwanz on Feb 2, 2007 - 9 comments

The liberal arts teach the techniques of freedom

The Bard Prison Initiative is one of a very few programs in the country still supplying post-secondary education to inmates. After the Congress eliminated Pell Grant eligibility for prisoners, these programs must be privately funded. Bard just gives it away. The great thing is, education reduces recidivism.
posted by anotherpanacea on Jan 17, 2007 - 38 comments

How the Shoe Bomber do.

Window Into a Terrorist’s Isolation. British citizen and convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid plays Trivial Pursuit.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Dec 4, 2006 - 22 comments

The purpose of architecture is to shelter and enhance man's life on earth and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence.

Panopticon : a type of prison, designed by a philosopher, that through a cunning scheme of probability, architecture and observation provides the 'sentiment of an invisible omniscience'.
posted by 31d1 on Nov 12, 2006 - 51 comments

Stanford Prison Experiment, The Video

Studying obedience and conformity: The Stanford Prison Experiment has been discussed many times before (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and has been made into a number of movies. Now you can watch the incredible review film made by the experimenter, with extensive documentary footage, post-experiment interviews and commentary: The Stanford Prison Experiment. [google video, 50 mins]
posted by MetaMonkey on Sep 14, 2006 - 27 comments

...from that block came the sound of screaming ...

Meet the new jailers-- Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors. Mass executions, torture again, etc. How bad is it when the inmates plead for us to come back? (Warning--this second link is graphic evidence of what we did there--NSFW)
posted by amberglow on Sep 10, 2006 - 27 comments

Prison Songs

That's the Sound of the Man Working on the Chain Gang Among all genres of American folk music, prison songs may be the most viscerally compelling. They evolved from plantation songs and field hollers of slaves in the American South before the civil war (whose origins can in turn be traced to patterns found in the music of West Africa) but their tone and content is quite different. Limitless in length, bitter and pained, offering little hope of freedom or redemption, these songs were first heard during Reconstruction. Harsh and unevenly enforced laws incarcerated legions of black American men, consigning them to long sentences of labor for minor offenses like insult, fistfighting, and shoplifting. To shore up a tanking Southern economy, prisons leased convict labor to plantation owners as a low-cost replacement for slave labor. When reform efforts brought that to an end, state governments became the contractors. Sweetheart deals awarded lucrative contracts to prisons to provide labor for rebuilding the railroads and highways of the war-destroyed South. Slavery in all but name, these work conditions gave rise to a body of music that is one of the most significant antecedents of the blues. In hundreds of variants, cadenced to axe-fall, hoe stroke, or the drop of a maul, the songs set a working pace a man could sustain from dawn to dusk, while remaining fast enough to satisfy an armed 'Captain' on horseback.
posted by Miko on Aug 27, 2006 - 33 comments

My interests are: fictions, writing, sky-diving, moshing, law, psychiatry, motor-cycle racing, golfing and sex!

HI Ladies, It’s your Knight in Shining Armor! The interweb has revolutionized the time-honored tradition of prison pen-pals. Meet a soulmate. A lover. A fighter. An artist. OMG a girl!!! Be still my heart -- someone to spoon with. Really, there's someone for everyone.
posted by turducken on Aug 18, 2006 - 37 comments

Cool Film Blog: Your Humble Viewer

Perfection and Eraserhead. Discussing Singing in the Rain and Goodfellas with prisoners. The link between Pasolini, Blind Willie Johnson and Carl Sagan. If you like hanging out at the corner of Film and Word, you might enjoy spending time in the archives at Your Humble Viewer, a wide-ranging, well-written, funny and literate film blog.
posted by mediareport on Jul 31, 2006 - 10 comments

Don Pearce

A counterfeiter and a convict. A merchant marine and a safecracker. This is Donn Pearce's story before he turned twenty. This is his story before he could grow a beard, before he wrote Cool Hand Luke, was nominated for an Academy Award, went broke, and chased bail jumpers. You'd like to think you've got stories of your own, that you've lived a full life, and then you travel up Florida's I-95 to spend the afternoon listening to Donn Pearce.
posted by thisisdrew on Jul 9, 2006 - 10 comments

Keep 'em coming boys...

Who says illegal immigrants don't boost the economy? Some are profiting right handsomely... (see the bottom of page 16 - 14 of the study) [both links are pdf docs]
posted by pwedza on Jun 18, 2006 - 11 comments

Sadeian Nation?

Mass. school punishes students with electric shocks "They can be shocked for behaviors including ’failure to maintain a neat appearance’, ‘stopping work for more than 10 seconds’, ‘interrupting others’, ‘nagging’, ‘whispering and/or moving conversation away from staff’, ‘slouch in chair’ ' I have spoke before of American Enantiodromia. Further, Thomas Moore wrote in Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism , that in any culture that does not acknowledge it's skeletons, --it's sins, if you will-- will have that imagination played out in real life.
The ways of Sade are not limited to bedroom and scenes of bondage or porno theaters or forbidden books. Any aspect of culture, from the great to the small, insofar as it is engaged in issues of power has therefore Sadean qualities. Furthermore, since life is never perfect, every aspect of culture will know the split of power into torture and suffering, dominance and submission, or sentimentality and cruelty.
I wont editorialize anymore than I have, but I can't help but wonder, When did psychological abuse become entertainment? or has it always been thus? Also see: N.Y. report denounces shock use at school. I look forward to your Parallax View.
posted by Unregistered User on Jun 17, 2006 - 33 comments

the children of Guantanamo

Newsfilter: the Children of Guantanamo The 'IoS' reveals today that more than 60 of the detainees of the US camp were under 18 at the time of their capture, some as young as 14
posted by j.p. Hung on May 28, 2006 - 38 comments

prison industrial what?

NewsFilter: 1 in every 136 US residents in jail or prison.
posted by sourbrew on May 21, 2006 - 73 comments

Babies in prison

Babies in prison. "The Prison Service provides special accommodation as the children "are not prisoners and have committed no offence"."
posted by hoverboards don't work on water on Apr 5, 2006 - 17 comments

Prisons Often Shackle Pregnant Inmates in Labor

Prisons Often Shackle Pregnant Inmates in Labor. Sometimes human rights abuses are committed right in our backyard [the U.S.]. Shackling females to beds while they give birth is a practice that has been investigated by Amnesty International. A woman in labor writhes in pain on a hospital bed, and as she does, a shackle secures one of her ankles to the bed rail. It sounds like something out of a medieval chamber of horrors. But believe it or not, that's what happens when a female prisoner in California -- and in 20 other states -- gives birth. More here, and on prisoners' rights in general.
posted by gagglezoomer on Mar 1, 2006 - 137 comments

"And I think to myself... I see my true love on a Rimmel advert."

"I see paint-cracked walls stained with shite. Long long lock-up days, cold lonely nights. And I think to myself... what a wonderful world." Pete Doherty's prison diary.
posted by creeky on Feb 11, 2006 - 29 comments

Matthew Koso Goes To Jail

Family Values. Today Matthew Koso, 23, was sentenced to 18-30 months in a Nebraska state prison for having consensual sex with his wife, Crystal, 15, notwithstanding the fact that their marriage was legally celebrated in neighboring Kansas. In the photo gallery you can view pictures of the victim of this crime as well as the state's key piece of evidence, who will be without a father for the next year and a half or so. (Previous Mefi thread here. Today's links via How Appealing.)
posted by Saucy Intruder on Feb 7, 2006 - 142 comments

Leonard Peltier, three decades of freedom denied.

Leonard Peltier...three decades of freedom denied. Thirty years ago today—February 6, 1976—the Canadian government arrested Leonard Peltier...later extraditing him to the U.S. for trial (sic). Some Peltier FAQ. Another informative site. How the other side sees it. Peltier and the American Indian Movement (AIM). Sign the online petition. As Dylan sang about Hurricane: "To see him obviously framed couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game."
posted by mickeyz on Feb 6, 2006 - 40 comments

The Last Supper

Dead Man Eating: THOMAS GRASSO, OKLAHOMA, 1995-- a dozen steamed mussels, a Burger King double cheeseburger with mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato, a can of Franco-American spaghetti with meatballs, a mango, half of a pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and a strawberry milkshake. But, there was a problem. Mr. Grasso had been served spaghetti and meatballs, but had actually requested Spaghetti-O's. He did not take this slight lightly, his last words included this complaint, "I did not get my Spaghetti-O's. I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this!"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Jan 15, 2006 - 71 comments

The UN Detention Unit

How is life for accused war criminals (see e.g. drag-down list at top) awaiting trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia? Stimulating if they enjoy chess or model ships, according to this brief Slate dispatch. How well do such alleged monsters need to be accommodated?
posted by grobstein on Jan 9, 2006 - 39 comments

I ain't seen the sunshine since--I don't know when

Throw Away The Key dot org seeks to lengthen the sentences of criminals on the premise of their mission statement: "Incarceration Works!" From their site: "If you believe a girl should be able to walk down the street in broad daylight without being abducted and murdered by a convicted felon, then it is time for you to get involved."
posted by fandango_matt on Nov 29, 2005 - 28 comments

Is Jesus a solution or an excuse?

Faith based prisons... Can Gov. Jeb Bush's new drive to introduce God to the inmates make a difference, or was Jesus 'dying for our sins' not enough already? Is Jesus a solution or an excuse?

"Night has fallen. He has died now. A fly crawls over the still flesh. Of what use is it to me that this man suffered, If I am suffering now?" - Jorge Luis Borges
posted by 0bvious on Nov 25, 2005 - 36 comments

Gov Approved Prison Tats

The Canadian government has come up with a novel approach to stemming the tide of disease in prisons. They're paying for clean needles. For those who wonder what it all means. Great photos of this subculture and the tattoo as a mark of rebellion.
posted by IronLizard on Nov 25, 2005 - 20 comments

Pictures of Failure

Pictures of Failure: Incarcerated Youth. [via happy palace]
posted by mediareport on Nov 2, 2005 - 29 comments

Gulags, American-Style

The administration's latest innovation in its effort to export democracy: Soviet-style gulags, a network of secret C.I.A. prisons known as "black sites." [From the Washington Post]. Meanwhile, SecDef Rumsfeld says no thanks to the idea of U.N. inspectors talking to detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
posted by digaman on Nov 2, 2005 - 369 comments

Custom Photos Ideal for Your "Boo"

Photos Beyond the Wall "We take you out of the visiting room and place you "inside" the romantic or exotic location of your choice!" Photographs taken in prisons can be photoshopped to magical lands far far away.
posted by keli on Sep 21, 2005 - 18 comments

Lots of lockups

The Prison Policy Initiative conducts research and advocacy on incarceration policy. Some interesting data include the proliferation of prisons in the US over the last century, disenfranchisement of potential black voters, global incarceration rates and percentage of US population under control of the criminal justice system.
posted by Gyan on Jul 27, 2005 - 42 comments

Edward Bunker, 1933-2005

"It has always been as if I carry chaos with me the way others carry typhoid. My purpose in writing is to transcend my existence by illuminating it."
Crime novelist Edward Bunker, who died last Tuesday at age 71 (LATimes obit), became at 17 the youngest inmate at San Quentin after he stabbed a prison guard at a youth detention facility. It was during his 18 years of incarceration for robbery, check forgery and other crimes that Bunker learned to write. In 1973, while still in prison, he made his literary debut with "No Beast So Fierce", a novel about a paroled thief James Ellroy called "quite simply one of the great crime novels of the past 30 years" and that was made into the movie "Straight Time" starring Dustin Hoffman. Also a screenwriter ("Runaway Train"), Bunker appeared as an actor in nearly two dozen roles, most notably as Mr. Blue in "Reservoir Dogs." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Jul 25, 2005 - 9 comments

Warning to all Montrealers!

Karla Homolka is due to be released today. For those of you who don't keep up with this story, Homolka and her husband Paul Bernardo kidnapped, raped and killed two teenaged girls in the St. Catherines (Ontario) area a few years ago, with one of the women being Homolka's own little sister. Homolka is getting away pretty lightly because of sheer stupidity on the part of the then-prosecutor. Well she's about to get out now. While the official Karla Internet Death Pool no longer exists, one does wonder how long she will last, assuming she's still planning on moving to Montreal's NDG district.
posted by clevershark on Jul 4, 2005 - 123 comments

Oriana Fallaci update

Oriana Fallaci back in the soup. She's being sued in Italy for defaming Islam in her last book, The Rage and the Pride, and faces up to two years in prison. The suit was brought by President of the Italian Muslim Union, Sig. Adel Smith, a fellow who's activism even other Muslims sometimes profess to find a bit much.) And now, as if this makes things right, he's gone to jail for defaming Catholicism. Ms Fallaci's most recent book, The Force of Reason, as radioactive as her last, is due out in America later this year. The free speech in Europe thing is interesting, if crazy making, but does it distract us from the issues that dare not speak their names? Is she right, can East and West survive together? Or are we really best advised to go our separate ways?
posted by IndigoJones on Jun 24, 2005 - 15 comments

Playing Devil's Advocate

Guantanamo Defended. DoD explaining the value of the intelligence coming out of Guantanamo using the specific case of Mohamed al Kahtani as an example. (via cryptome)
posted by forforf on Jun 20, 2005 - 71 comments

Bush meets with NK gulag survivor / author

Today, Bush met with Kang Chol Hwan, a survivor of the North Korean prison camps and author of The Aquariums of Pyongyang, a book Bush has read and given to his staffers.
posted by pandaharma on Jun 14, 2005 - 18 comments

Teenage Detainees at Gitmo

"One lawyer said that his client... has told him that he was beaten regularly in his early days at Guantánamo, hanged by his wrists for hours at a time and that an interrogator pressed a burning cigarette into his arm." The age of this "client" when he was detained? 14 years old. The reply of the camp's public affairs officer: "They don't come with birth certificates."
posted by digaman on Jun 13, 2005 - 36 comments

What's my bail for a WMD offense in California?

What's my bail for a WMD offense in California? If against a person, or water or food: $1 million. But for just $100k, you can use WMDs against animals, crops, or natural resources and be out free by dinnertime.
posted by Kickstart70 on Jun 11, 2005 - 8 comments

Imprisonment of Unlicensed English teachers in South Korea

Stories from a prison in South Korea, told by an English teacher imprisoned for teaching without a license. Punishment: deportation. But if a prisoner can't collect wages due, then the prisoner can't buy a plane ticket and stays jailed, where the prisoner can't make money, until such time as the prisoner can afford a plane ticket, ad infinitum. Part one. "The massive Mongolian sings beautifully. A sad falsetto—I imagine it to be about missing a faraway homeland of vast, green pastures, endless fertile grasslands, deserts and broad skies." Part two. "He should really go to a hospital outside of the detention center, but…he would have to pay for any medical treatment outside.…If he spends any money on medical bills he would have less money for buying his airplane ticket home. So he must go untreated."
posted by Mo Nickels on May 18, 2005 - 16 comments

Uncaptive Minds

The main business of Napanoch, N.Y., is a maximum-security prison, Eastern New York Correctional Facility, also known as Happy Nap... There is, however, a reason that inmates call the prison Happy Nap. Eastern is more relaxed than other maximum-security prisons, or 'maxes,' in upstate New York, with less hostility between staff and prisoners, and as a result fewer U.I.'s, or 'unusual incidents' -- stabbings and the like. It is said that the farther upstate you go, the harsher the prison conditions can be. Among New York's maxes, Eastern has one of the best reputations. It is one of only three maximum-security prisons in the state where you can still get an education -- not just in manual skills, but a proper college education with a degree at the end, thanks to privately financed initiatives. Uncaptive Minds
posted by y2karl on Feb 27, 2005 - 14 comments

life gives you lemons, make pruno julips.

...our Martha, always formidable, always moving forward. I'm glad I didn't have to go to prison to learn what "Wall Dog" is.
posted by bendybendy on Feb 24, 2005 - 24 comments

When your love is locked up.

When your love is locked up. An everyday story of prison, inhumanity and profiteering in “civilised” CA.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 11, 2005 - 28 comments

Judge backs Guantanamo challenge

Judge backs Guantanamo challenge A US judge has ruled that special military tribunals being used to try hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are illegal.
posted by borq on Jan 31, 2005 - 32 comments

American Christian Jailed For His Beliefs

Marine Refuses to Use Guns ... Marine Cpl. Joel D. Klimkewicz converted to the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day saints while in the Marines, and now believes that killing is against Jesus' teachings. As such, he refused to train with a gun though he says he would be willing to clear mines and work the front lines. The result is that the military has jailed him for his religious beliefs, convicting him of disobeying a direct order. Anyone think that Bill O'Reilly is going to say the military is trying to destroy Christianity?
posted by nathanrudy on Jan 1, 2005 - 71 comments

Who's Your Daddy?

Protective Pairing for Punks: a primer on sexual relationships in prison. (no images, text mildly NSFW) Also: The Lexicon of Prison Slang, and essays by condemned prisoner Michael Hunter.
posted by fandango_matt on Dec 14, 2004 - 149 comments

Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints

Prison, gangs, people, and boxing: photography by Chris Cozzone.
posted by fandango_matt on Dec 13, 2004 - 8 comments

A lost treasure from New York's attic

A long-lost treasure too toxic to touch: Construction at New York City's Harlem Community Justice Center recently revealed a room piled high with records documenting the building's former life as an early 20th century prison. They offer a peek into the street life of ca. 1900 NYC and scholars are already interested - there's only one problem: the room also contains decades worth of toxic pigeon droppings. (NY Times - registration required). Photos (click on the "records rescue" link at the bottom) of the room are available at the great correctionhistory.org which also offers histories and photos of other out-of-the-way corners of NYC like the Hart Island Potter's Field.
posted by ryanshepard on Nov 5, 2004 - 9 comments

The Road To Abu Ghraib

The Road To Abu Ghraib A generation from now, historians may look back to April 28, 2004, as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq... It was a direct—and predictable—consequence of a policy, hatched at the highest levels of the administration, by senior White House officials and lawyers, in the weeks and months after 9/11. Yet the administration has largely managed to escape responsibility for those decisions; a month from election day, almost no one in the press or the political class is talking about what is, without question, the worst scandal to emerge from President Bush's nearly four years in office... Given the particular conditions faced by the president and his deputies after 9/11—a war against terrorists, in which the need to extract intelligence via interrogations was intensely pressing, but the limits placed by international law on interrogation techniques were very constricting—did those leaders have better alternatives than the one they chose? The answer is that they did. And we will be living with the consequences of the choices they made for years to come.
posted by y2karl on Oct 27, 2004 - 33 comments

Won't Someone Think of the Poor Criminals?

Arnold Signs Prison Smoking Ban
By July 1, 2005, there will be no more cigarette smoking in California's prison system.
Makes sense, no smoking in our bars, no smoking behind our bars.
posted by fenriq on Sep 28, 2004 - 118 comments

Jon's Jail Journal

This is Jon's diary. Jon is in prison on money laundering and drugs charges. "My new co-habitants are enduring the twin evils of a broken swamp-cooler and a cockroach infestation. A neighbouring asthmatic inmate happily described how he inhaled a cockroach that had crept into his nebulizer. He could feel the insect crawling around inside him and promptly vomited his stomach contents. Unfortunately the cockroach was not ejected, as it was lodged in his lung."
posted by urban greeting on Sep 9, 2004 - 13 comments

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