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."
Malaysia's dissident ex-deputy PM, released from prison after sodomy charge quashed. More background at the Free Anwar campaign
, Human Rights Watch.
Blowing Up Gotti.
A weekly series from
The Smoking Gun featuring prison videotapes of John Gotti behind plexiglass talking to his kids and grandkids. Check out
Episode One: Grandpa Blows a Gasket (Quicktime required). Makes you think twice about your baseball career. (Via
Write a Prisoner
Offers a unique service. It connects you with your convicted-felon potential solemate. Fun for the whole family (NSFW)
Iraqi women beg to be killed as American soldiers sodomize their children
(link is an .rm file, the bit about mothers and children starts about 1:31
), according to journalist Seymour Hersh
who reports seeing unreleased footage
from Abu Ghraib. The question remains unanswered as to why he'll talk about it in a speech, but not publish it in the New Yorker
. It's also worth asking, if these allegations are true, who else has seen this footage and why is it not being reported?
More revelations from Seymour Hersch at The New Yorker
The Wrong Morons.
(from the Army Times
) "Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war...But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons."
More Prison abuse.
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.
Tommy Chong in prison.
3 months into his 9 month prison sentence for selling bongs, the LA City Beat talks to Tommy Chong and the LA Weekly talks with his family
about the details of his case. [Via Drug WarRant
Here are some ideas
for Thanksgiving dinner, though not a circumstance I'd like to participate in.
If ever there was a time to say Grace before dining, this certainly is one of those times.
Pumpkin pie anyone?
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?
aims to find out what makes people happy.
Man Pleads Guilty to Raping his own 2 month old Daughter
But wait, that's just the beginning. This guy's daddy heads the state Corrections Department and part of his plea is to reduce the amount of time he's going to spend in jail for this most heinous act.
This guy is facing, if the judge agrees to the plea, only 6 months in jail! The standard sentence for first-degree child rape is seven to 10 years in prison.
He's admitted to molesting a 9 year old in Maine before and has also been convicted of orchestrating an armed robbery.
How in the heck he's going to get ANY leniency is beyond me.
is a fantastic, prize-winning author. His book Newjack
is, to quote Jon Krakauer, "a compelling, compassionate look at a terribly important, poorly understood aspect of American society." In it, he works undercover as a guard at Sing Sing. You can read the truncated New Yorker version
on the site. Additionally, there are many other articles
, reviews and interviews
, and a pretty interesting group of e-mails
from "officers, their families, and others affected by prison." And, just to name-drop once more, Sebastian Junger says: "Ted Conover is a first-rate reporter and more daring and imaginative than the rest of us combined." Check him out!
Prisons have become America's default mental health system.
According to a new study by Human Rights Watch
, between two and three hundred thousand men and women in U.S. prisons are seriously mentally ill, about three times more than the number of mentally ill who are in mental hospitals. [Via TalkLeft
Reflect the pain
and desolate loneliness inmates felt when serving time - time in a prison surrounded by a paradise that teased them with what was forbidden.
In 1985, before I left Brazil to live in the United States, I journeyed with some friends to surf at Ilha Grande. One day, while we relaxed on a remote beach, a group of military men suddenly appeared looking for some escaped prisoners. They advised us to stay together.
Hours later, a helicopter flew over the sea with two fugitives trapped in a net that was hanging from its belly. ...At that moment, a desire was born in me to see life within the Caldron.
David Garland's disturbing new book addresses the question why there are so many more people in jail in America and Britain than anywhere else... Its broader concern is with "cultures of control," how societies treat deviance and violence and whom they single out for what treatment. Here are some facts about skyrocketing imprisonment... There are approximately two million people in jail in America today, 2,166,260 at last count: more than four times as many people as thirty years ago. It is the largest number in our history... [and] between four and ten times the incarceration rate of any civilized country in the world... Twelve percent of African-American men between twenty and thirty-four are currently behind bars (the highest figure ever recorded by the Justice Department) compared to 1.6 percent of white men of comparable ages. And according to the same source, 28 percent of black men will be sent to jail in their lifetime... It was not until crime rates had already leveled off that incarceration rates began their steady, year-by-year climb. Between 1972 and 1992, while the population of America's prisons grew and grew, the crime rate as a whole continued at the same level, unchanged.
Jerome S. Bruner reviews The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society
for The New York Review of Books
, as does Austin Sarat
in the American Prospect
Bush signs a bill into law
that very few people will have anything bad to say about. Most of those who would oppose the new law can't vote, anyway, being members of predatory prison gangs, so I think we're pretty much good on this one
Sick on the Inside.
Published in Harper's August 2003 issue but not online, the full text of Wil S. Hylton's exposure of the medical conditions in United States prisons has been put on the web by the Wrongful Death Institute
with the author's permission. The gravity of the situation for more than 2 million people behind bars can hardly be exaggerated.
"We have almost 30 percent of our prison population in Texas infected with hepatitis. That’s not so different from the numbers you see in the Dark Ages with the plague."
"[Correctional Medical Services] is an HMO with a captive audience," says David Santacroce, the professor who is spearheading the Michigan lawsuit. "The fewer patients they treat, the more money they make."
Guantanamo is growing
... and a Halliburton subsidiary lands yet another no-bid contract. Its total bill for the U.S. government last year: 1.3 billion. Maybe more
Rap Not Music to Whitey's Ears
A group of alleged white extremists facing treason charges in South Africa has complained about being forced to listen to "black" music while on remand in prison.
We're number one! We're number one!
From a source quoted in the article: "We have the wealthiest society in human history, and we maintain the highest level of imprisonment. It's striking what that says about our approach to social problems and inequality."
(apologies for the usual US-centrism)
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.
Study Finds 2.6% Increase in U.S. Prison Population The nation's prison population grew 2.6 percent last year, the largest increase since 1999, according to a study by the Justice Department. The jump came despite a small decline in serious crime in 2002. It also came when a growing number of states facing large budget deficits have begun trying to reduce prison costs by easing tough sentencing laws passed in the 1990's, thereby decreasing the number of inmates. The key finding in the report is this growth, which is somewhat surprising in its size after several years of relative stability in the prison population, said Allen J. Beck, an author of the report. U.S. Prison Population Grew 2.6% in 2002. The country's prisons, jails and juvenile facilities held 2,166,260 persons at the end of last year, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) said in a report released today. Prisoners in 2002 Abstract
DNA frees 3 convicts after 17-year incarcerations
--Barry Scheck and The Innocence Project
have struck again. Thus far, they have used DNA to free 128 wrongly convicted people.
Read Frontline's interview
Learn about a sister organization, Northwestern's Center on Wrongful Convictions
, which has freed nine Illinois men who were once sentenced to death
For those sentenced to time in the can, prison can be a rough place
How can we prevent innocent people from being put to death? Or fates worse than death
Martha Stewart's got a new project on her hands:
redecorating her jail cell. With a little lace, some scented contraband and a lot of time, cell ML-122 will be fit for the matriarch of homemaking
in no time. Check out this gallery
of the latest Spring jail cell designs, courtesy of the photoshop pholks at Worth1000
Medical marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal sentenced to one day in prison.
Very interesting. Is Ed too high profile to be given an average sentence, unlike other non-violent drug offenders? Is this damage control for a very controversial case involving tightly-controlled information for jurors and state vs. federal rights? Regardless, Ed continues the fight and is appealing his conviction and is also asking for Judge Breyer to step down. Previous mefi discussion here.
Children are being held at Camp X-Ray
admits the US, as reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Another great French prison escape.
Two members of an international drug smuggling ring hijack a helicopter, abseil into the prison exercise yard, and resuce a third man. Also, “last month, a commando-style gang used plastic explosives and a rocket launcher to blow its way into a prison near Paris and free a convict serving a sentence for organized crime. In a separate attack, men brandishing what turned out to be a fake rocket launcher freed another crime kingpin from a prison in Borgo on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.” In August, a man secretly replaced his brother, a Basque separatist leader, in prison
Christopher Boyce (the Falcon from Falcon and the Snowman
) on spying, prison, breaking out of prison, and the cruelty of denying parole to federal inmates. (LA Times reg.)
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.
An imaginative solution
to California's school budget crisis.
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.
Michigan to Drop Minimum Sentence Rules for Drug Crimes.
Although many people have known for years
that minimum sentencing rules
for drug offenses are seriously flawed, some states seem to be finally doing something about it.
Reach In And Touch Someone, Part II.
If your experience with the dating service
isn't completely satisfactory, you may want to take matters into your own hands
. Even so, your perfect soulmate
may not be available...
(link via blort, may a thousand chain-gang virgins sing its praises...)
So, I saw an interesting film
this weekend. Here's a great site
about the experiment on which it was based. Here's another
equally disturbing experiment. Or you can just have fun
running some psychological test on yourself. But, at the end of the day, who are we? Of what are we capable?
The Plight of the Pregnant Prisoner.
Every culture has to decide what to do with their pregnant prisoners. Here in the USA, are we doing the best we can?
And then there is the whole abortion debate.
By the end of 2001, according to a government report, one in every 32 adults in the United States was in jail, on probation or on parole. That works out to 470 out of every 100,000 U.S. residents behind bars
, including disproportionate numbers of minorities
(scroll down) and over 4.7 million adults on probation or parole
leads the way.
An All-American Fugitive When Margo Freshwater escaped from prison 32 years ago, she began a happy and law-abiding life, becoming a devoted mother, grandmother and wife. Now she's back behind bars . . . And unless she's given a new trial or is granted clemency . . . she will remain behind bars until she is an old woman . . . Meanwhile, the man who confessed to the killing probably will die a free man.
today a fellow mexican will be executed in texas
, for killing a cover agent 13 years ago… besides the mexican government, e.u. & u.n. are also calling for clemency; they argue that u.s. authorities denied him legal assistance from the consulate. right now, suárez medina only wants to die. the question is: isn't it better to die than be in prison all your life? i would prefer to be killed instead of living in jail more than 20 years. the sad about suárez medina case is that he has been in jail 13 years from now and anyway he is going to be killed! the texas government should have killed him immediately he was found guilty. “i prefer to die than spend the rest of my life here inside because here there is no life.” said suárez in an interview. in punishment standards i find worst to live in jail forever than being executed. what would be worst for you?
You've got Jail
is a light hearted, easy summer reading and informative article which explodes the myth that malfeasing CEOs get sent to "Club Fed", a prison so minimum in insecurity that its really like an enforced vacation in the country rather than the more typical round
. Required reading for the Skillings, Rigas, Taubmens and every college student considering an MBA.
(So is the MeFi fascination with Prison life
an idle one
or am I keeping the wrong company?)
The catch-22 of prison therapy.
The biggest criticism of sex offender justice is that imprisonment does not mean rehabilitation. In Massachusetts because of stringent anti-sex offender laws, lawyers are advising their clients to turn down prison therapy because it will be used against them. Even used against them after they're done with their sentence. These are serious violations of double jeopardy and doctor patient privilege.
The Website of Anti-Porn Guy Welcome to my site! My name is David McNamara and I am 19 years old. I have 2 cats and I am a senior at Royal Palm Beach High School in Royal Palm Beach, Florida......I want to ban pornography with a 10-year prison term for viewing or participating in pornography, as well as oral and anal sex with a 1-5 year prison term for oral sex and a 1-10 year term for anal sex. I also want to ban the manufacture and sale of contraceptives (birth control) with a prison term of up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for violating this ban. None of these laws will be retroactive.
Wonder what he's doing now - his site was last updated 12-10-00. Discuss? Dismiss?
Smoke pot, stay out of jail.
As your lawyer, I advise you to read this cartoon by Ellen Forney
. See also
This is some scary stuff
Life in prison for malicious hacking? We can't keep rapists and murderers away from society for very long but now hackers & crackers could be jailed for life? And on top of that the FBI can monitor internet packets without a warrant?
If you enjoy your freedom from gov't surveillance, it looks like it's time to start using PGP
Prison in the Park
Central Park is a lot of things: the pastoral center of New York City, a relaxing stroll on a Saturday afternoon, a patch of grass lined with horse manure. It’s also home to a minimum-security prison...
Sex in prison, an insiders view.
There's been a couple of threads in MeTa about the inappropriateness of jokes about prison rape (#1
). I've been reluctant to challenge some of the most severe hand-wringing over the subject in question, but this article from someone in the UK pretty much covers it. No easy answers, just some thoughts from someone who's actually been an inmate (and see inside thread for more).
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