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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

The Soviet POWs at Fort Dix

In 1945, the 153 Soviet POWs of Fort Dix disappeared into a void. Their ultimate fate is unknown. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Jan 13, 2014 - 63 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

Awaken Human Nature and Perceive the Value of Life

For over five years, journalist and TV presenter Ding Yu headed up a  massively popular Chinese TV talk show. Every week, She would sit down with convicted murderers and interview them about their life and crimes, before they were taken out and put to death by either firing squad or lethal injection. The show, "Interviews Before Execution", was taken off the air in March 2012. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jul 24, 2013 - 18 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

World War II’s Strangest Battle: When Americans and Germans Fought Toget

Days after Hitler’s suicide a group of American soldiers, French prisoners, and, yes, German soldiers defended an Austrian castle against an SS division—the only time Germans and Allies fought together in World War II. Andrew Roberts on a story so wild that it has to be made into a movie.
posted by cthuljew on May 13, 2013 - 26 comments

Rub ’til it bleeds

"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 - 45 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

"I could clear nearly 1 percent of my state’s organ waiting list."

Giving life after death row. Death row inmate Christian Longo continues his crusade to allow prisoners to donate their organs with an op ed in the Times. Post mortem voluntary donation supposedly avoids the same consent issues as some recent domestic and international cases. Journalist Michael Finckel--whose identity was stolen by Longo at one point--describes his own part in how Longo came to this cause (Finkel's encounter with Longo was part of his own redemption story after a fabrication scandal at the New York Times Magazine).
posted by availablelight on Mar 7, 2011 - 31 comments

Tragic birthers

Pennsylvania Outlaws Shackling of Prisoners Giving Birth. Amnesty International has tried to raise awareness of this issue in the past. [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph on Aug 30, 2010 - 42 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

Penal TDF

The first ever Penal Tour De France
posted by Confess, Fletch on Jun 4, 2009 - 30 comments

Death Row Diaries

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

Art Behind Bars

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 - 12 comments

Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

Guantanamo: Beyond the Law From the table of contents: "An eight-month McClatchy investigation of the detention system created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has found that the U.S. imprisoned innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a school for jihad." A few pieces are already up -- "We got the wrong guys", and "'I guess you can call it torture'" -- and more will be released as the week goes on. The project also includes a database of detainees and their stories of detention, documents acquired during the investigation, video and a whole lot more.
posted by cog_nate on Jun 16, 2008 - 45 comments

Evin is a Kurdish female name, meaning "love".

Evin is a Kurdish female name, meaning "love": Part [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
posted by chunking express on Dec 7, 2007 - 14 comments

Postcards from Gitmo

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 - 15 comments

Now You Can Go Where People Are One

Tuol Sleng: 114 photographs taken by the Khmer Rouge at Pol Pot's secret prison, code-named "S-21" in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. When the Vietnamese invaded in 1979, the S-21 prison staff fled, leaving behind thousands of written records and photographs.
posted by fandango_matt on Dec 24, 2006 - 26 comments

Nazi home movies

A 10 minute home movie taken by an SS officer has been discovered in an English church. It shows SS officers and secretaries relaxing in the summer of 1942 in southern Russia. The last couple of minutes shows footage from a slave labor camp in that area. The footage was taken at the height of the German success in Russia, a few months before the turning point in the Russian campaign - and probably the turning point in the Second World War.
posted by bobbyelliott on Oct 26, 2006 - 51 comments

10 Stories

Ten Stories the World Should Hear More About.
posted by ND¢ on Jun 2, 2006 - 28 comments

Force Feeding at Guantánamo

U.S. Force Feeding Prisoners at Guantánamo [NY Times]. In response to hunger strikes, U.S. military authorities have taken tougher measures to force-feed detainees. This is accomplished using the sometimes deadly restraint chair, also known as the "we care chair". Well, that's what they get for being terrorists, right?[pdf]
posted by ND¢ on Feb 9, 2006 - 169 comments

Bush administration threatens veto against Geneva Convention.

Bush administration threatens veto against Geneva Convention. After hearing about the latest torture scandal in Iraq, Republican Armed Services Committee Senators John McCain, John W. Warner, and Lindsey Graham are seeking an amendment to a defense bill which would require the military to abide by the Geneva Convention... but the Bush administration is reportedly opposed to any such legislation, and have threatened to veto it. To make matters worse, many prominent Congressional Republicans are also opposed to abiding by the Geneva Convention, to the point that overturning such a veto is far from assured.
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 26, 2005 - 63 comments

wow

Bob Parson's may have (somewhat) changed his tune when it comes to inhumane treatment of prisoners, but there are still plenty of ways to show your support for the little terrorist resort that could (toture people)
posted by delmoi on Jun 22, 2005 - 23 comments

From The Never Ending Story - The Torture Papers

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 - 97 comments

hearts and minds

Physically and sexually mistreating detainees at Abu Ghraib under orders... 10 years.
Abusing prisoners, raping a young Iraqi boy, and lying under oath(allegedly) because you're a "go-getter"... $164 million, $16 to $85 million.

Knowing the President and members of congress on both sides of the aisle have your back so long as you're not enlisted(wouldn't have covered corporate types, but what the hey, thought I'd toss it in)... Priceless!
posted by rocket_skates on Jan 15, 2005 - 76 comments

Cruel and Unusual - The End Of The Eighth Amendment

Cruel and Unusual - The End Of The Eighth Amendment
It 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 - 25 comments

On Atrocities & Vietnam: The Winter Soldier Investigation

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 - 17 comments

Iraq's Child Prisoners

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 - 30 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

Save The Children calls on release of Iraqi children from jails.

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 - 18 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 Scandal's Growing Stain

The Scandal's Growing Stain Time Magazine: "Abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq shock the world and roil the Bush Administration. the inside story of what went wrong—and who's to blame"
posted by Postroad on May 9, 2004 - 18 comments

The other shoe drops.

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 - 106 comments

Innocent: Don't pass go, but you still owe.

Blunkett charges miscarriage of justice victims ‘food and lodgings’ We locked you up in jail for 25 years and you were innocent all along? That’ll be £80,000 please.
posted by thomcatspike on Mar 17, 2004 - 38 comments

Prisoner Labor: A High-Growth Industry

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 - 11 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

ToiletPaperChess

Prisoner Inventions. The craftiness of the confined. [via boingboing.net]
posted by srboisvert on Aug 29, 2003 - 4 comments

Ollie ollie oxen free!

The last World War Two Japanese soldier surrendered in the Philippines in 1980, ending a stream of holdouts. This is their story.
posted by ewagoner on Aug 5, 2003 - 10 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

Unconventional

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 - 62 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

Accelerated sense of closure dept.

The innocence of the accused should not necessarily prevent an execution (NYT link) "The word 'innocent' has been tortured beyond recognition", say U.S. prosecutors. Question is, by who?
posted by magullo on Feb 24, 2003 - 57 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

Trafficant vows to get re-elected

Trafficant vows to get re-elected from prison. I guess if Marion Barry could be re-elected, why not Trafficant?
posted by milnak on Jul 31, 2002 - 29 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

Woman prisoner hangs self, then sues prison

Woman prisoner hangs self, then sues prison Suicide note found near body tells her lawyer to sue the prison for not preventing her suicide.
posted by Lanternjmk on Apr 4, 2002 - 16 comments

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