"'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 -
"The line between intentional and inadvertent exposure can be blurry in a context where inmates do not control their privacy and cells are sometimes defined as public places. What’s more, some experts on prison sex contend that anti-masturbation and anti-porn policies in prisons are counterproductive because they effectively drive inmates to engage in risky sexual behavior. According to this theory, increased access to pornography—which goes hand-in-hand with increased access to one’s doo-dads—might be just what correctional facilities need to stem prison rape. Is it time for a revolution in prisoners’ masturbatory rights
posted by Houyhnhnm
on Jan 10, 2012 -
If people who have a lot of time on their hands and inner demons to exorcise turn to art as an outlet, the results can be startling, even if they have had no prior art instruction and have to make a paint brush out of their own hair and use coffee as paint
, or weave things out of hoarded chip or Ramen bags
. Drawing elaborately on handkerchiefs became so common in the mid 20th century it's become known as panos
. Welcome to the world of prison art. [more inside]
posted by orange swan
on Nov 26, 2008 -
Gitmo in Black and White.
Some great photography with narration and chilling stories from the Gulag at Guantanamo Bay. (Has sound. Maybe NSFW, if your workplace is squeamish about our foreign policy)
posted by nevercalm
on Mar 22, 2007 -
While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.
Regarding the Torture Papers
, which detail Torture's Paper Trail
, and, then there's Hungry for Air
: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
posted by y2karl
on Mar 14, 2005 -
Cruel and Unusual - The End Of The Eighth AmendmentIt might seem at first that the rules for the treatment of Iraqi prisoners were founded on standards of political legitimacy suited to war or emergencies; based on what Carl Schmitt called the urgency of the ''exception,'' they were meant to remain secret as necessary ''war measures'' and to be exempt from traditional legal ideals and the courts associated with them. But the ominous discretionary powers used to justify this conduct are entirely familiar to those who follow the everyday treatment of prisoners in the United States—not only their treatment by prison guards but their treatment by the courts in sentencing, corrections, and prisoners' rights. The torture memoranda, as unprecedented as they appear in presenting ''legal doctrines . . . that could render specific conduct, otherwise criminal, not unlawful,'' refer to U.S. prison cases in the last 30 years that have turned on the legal meaning of the Eighth Amendment’s language prohibiting ''cruel and unusual punishment.'' What is the history of this phrase? How has it been interpreted? And how has its content been so eviscerated?
posted by y2karl
on Nov 8, 2004 -
My name is Scott Camile. I was a Sgt. attached to Charley 1/1. I was a forward observer in Vietnam. I went in right after high school and I'm a student now. My testimony involves burning of villages with civilians in them, the cutting off of ears, cutting off of heads, torturing of prisoners, calling in of artillery on villages for games, corpsmen killing wounded prisoners, napalm dropped on villages, women being raped, women and children being massacred, CS gas used on people, animals slaughtered, Chieu Hoi passes rejected and the people holding them shot, bodies shoved out of helicopters, tear-gassing people for fun and running civilian vehicles off the road.
Here is the Swift Boat related back story from The Sixties Project: Winter Soldier Investigation
- Testimony given in Detroit, Michigan, on January 31, 1971, February 1 and 2, 1971. Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. This testimony was published in the Congressional Record, "Extensions and Remarks," April 7, 1971: 2825-2900, 2903-2936.
(Much More Inside)
posted by y2karl
on Aug 30, 2004 -
Iraq's Child Prisoners It’s not certain exactly how many children are being held by coalition forces in Iraq, but a Sunday Herald investigation suggests there are up to 107. Their names are not known, nor is where they are being kept, how long they will be held or what has happened to them during their detention. Proof of the widespread arrest and detention of children in Iraq by US and UK forces is contained in an internal Unicef report written in June. The report has – surprisingly – not been made public. A key section on child protection, headed Children in Conflict with the Law or with Coalition Forces, reads: ''In July and August 2003, several meetings were conducted with CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) … and Ministry of Justice to address issues related to juvenile justice and the situation of children detained by the coalition forces … Unicef is working through a variety of channels to try and learn more about conditions for children who are imprisoned or detained, and to ensure that their rights are respected.'' Another section reads: ''Information on the number, age, gender and conditions of incarceration is limited. In Basra and Karbala children arrested for alleged activities targeting the occupying forces are reported to be routinely transferred to an internee facility in Um Qasr. The categorisation of these children as 'internees' is worrying since it implies indefinite holding without contact with family, expectation of trial or due process.''
posted by y2karl
on Aug 2, 2004 -
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 -
Save The Children calls on release of Iraqi children from jails.
This apparently in response to recent media reports
on the abuse of children in Iraqi prisons. And it's not just Save the Children who is concerned, but UNICEF, Amnesty International, and the Red Cross.
Infact, Congress has called for a special briefing tomorrow
from the Pentagon on "confidential reports" from the Red Cross on prison conditions in Iraq. The Pentagon is closing the briefing to the public, however, and apparently thinks that even Congress shouldn't know the details of how we treat prisoners.
"It's something of a stretch of policy and procedures to give them to the Congress,"
Rumsfeld spokesman Larry Di Rita said.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Jul 8, 2004 -
The other shoe drops.
The L.A. Times releases details from Major General Antonio M. Taguba's findings into prisoner abuse in Iraq, including evidence that convinced him that a U.S. soldier had sex with an Iraqi female.
(Can we all agree that she didn't ask for it...?)
posted by insomnia_lj
on May 4, 2004 -
Looking for a job? Well, one of the hot temp agencies
in the nation is FPI, Inc.
Recruting from an active base of some 80,000 people across the nation
, and enjoying exemption from competitive bidding
(although reform is on the way
), FPI produces garments and textile goods. In fact, it's the largest supplier of clothing and textiles for the U.S. government
. Net sales for fiscal year 2001 were $583.5 million and, despite an economic shortfall, they rose to $678.7 million in 2002. What accounts for such an unlikely success? Well, the secret can be found in FPI's labor base. FPI only employs prisoners, paying them between $.23 and $1.15 an hour. Of course, with so many resumes to choose from
, factory expansion
and rising sales figures and profitability
(PDF), who knows just how high PDI's lustre will soar?
posted by ed
on Nov 20, 2003 -
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.
posted by TheophileEscargot
on Nov 19, 2003 -
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 -
Remember the outrage of the US Govt. as the Iraqi's paraded POWs before television cameras - a pretty clear-cut breach of the Geneva Convention?
It appears the US Govt. isn't so concerned about what behaviour breaches the convention, anymore.
"The International Committee of the Red Cross so far has been denied access to what the organisation believes could be as many as 3,000 prisoners held in searing heat [near Baghdad airport.] All other requests to inspect conditions under which prisoners are being held have been met with silence or been turned down."
posted by Blue Stone
on May 25, 2003 -
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 -
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 -