By Karen Dolan for The Real News Netowrk – Dolan said what we’re likely to see is a charter school to prison pipeline. “Children in charter schools – Black, brown, Latino, LGBTQ, and children with disabilities – are over-disciplined in rates even significantly higher than they are in public schools,” Dolan explained. She said that children of color, even pre-schoolers, are between four and six times more likely to be expelled than white children for the same behavioral offenses – from scribbling on desks, to wearing distracting jewelry. Expulsions increase children’s chances of coming into contact with the juvenile justice system. And those who have contact with the justice system in their youth have “very high – up to 70% higher” chances of reoffending, Dolan said.
By Staff of Free Barrett – In the four years I’ve spent in federal prison for my supposedly criminal efforts to look into government misconduct in cooperation with a loose array of Anonymous-affiliated hackers, I’ve had the unique experience of investigating government misconduct from within. But although I’ve spent much of this time writing about prison life in articles for The Intercept and other outlets, I’ve generally refrained from going into the specific violations of Bureau of Prisons policy and even federal law that one witnesses on a daily basis in BOP institutions.
By Victoria Law for Truthout – As Obama’s presidency enters its final months, thousands of people imprisoned on federal drug sentences fervently hope he will grant them clemency. But family members, loved ones and those who have spent time behind bars are determined to help push as many people as possible out the prison doors before Obama leaves the Oval Office. In August, their effort got two significant boosts. On August 3, 214 people in federal prisons across the country were called into their case managers’ offices.
By John Kiriakou for Reader Supported News – I’ve written a couple of articles recently, here and here, about CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling and his battle to get adequate medical care while incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution at Englewood, Colorado. Jeffrey has a history of atrial fibrillation. He has had several medical “episodes” in prison related to his heart, and prison officials have refused to allow him to see an outside cardiologist or to go to a hospital for tests.
By Joshua Eaton for the Intercept. In February 2004, U.S. troops brought a man named Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badry to Abu Ghraib in Iraq and assigned him serial number US9IZ-157911CI. The prison was about to become international news, but the prisoner would remain largely unknown for the next decade. At the time the man was brought in, Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba was finalizing his report on allegations of abuse at Abu Ghraib’s Hard Site — a prison building used to house detainees singled out for their alleged violence or their perceived intelligence value. Just weeks later, the first pictures of detainee abuse were published on CBS News and in the New Yorker. Today, detainee US9IZ-157911CI is better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. His presence at Abu Ghraib, a fact not previously made public, provides yet another possible key to the enigmatic leader’s biography and may shed new light on the role U.S. detention facilities played in the rise of the Islamic State.
By Sonali Kolhatkar for Truthdig. Dozens of undocumented women being held with their children at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania are on a hunger strike that they say will culminate in their leaving the facility “alive or dead.” The mothers are essentially being held prisoner under an Obama administration plan to detain undocumented families while their papers for asylum are being processed. Their children range in age from 2 to 16. A Philadelphia-based grass-roots organization called Juntos has been working to shut down Berks for nearly two years. It should not be such a difficult task, given that the facility is violating policy on many fronts. In an interview, Juntos Executive Director Erika Almiron told me that Berks was licensed as a “child residential facility” rather than a “detention center,” and that there is “no license that they can get in the state of Pennsylvania to fit what they want to do.” The detention center’s license expired in February, and Juntos and its allies pressured the Department of Human Services (akin to a child welfare department) to refuse renewal. But Berks County commissioners inexplicably appealed the decision. While the appeal is in process, the facility continues to operate and keep the women and children as prisoners.
By Staff of RSF – The witchhunt launched in the wake of the 15 July coup attempt in Turkey continues to take a heavy toll on journalists. In the draconian state of emergency imposed after the abortive coup, the authorities have closed more than 100 media outlets critical of the government, placed 42 journalists in provisional detention and banned many others from travelling abroad.
By Leon Neyfakh for Slate – President Obama has used his clemency power to shorten the prison sentences of 214 federal inmates doing time for drug offenses, it was announced on Wednesday. It’s Obama’s third time this year issuing commutations, a move that reflects his administration’s belief that too many people are serving overly harsh prison sentences because of a criminal justice system that is too tough on nonviolent crime. Wednesday’s batch of commutations brings the total number of people whose sentences Obama has shortened to 562—more than the previous nine presidents combined, according to the White House.
By Victoria Law for Truthout – Wednesday, July 27, should have been the day that 27-year-old Shaylene Graves walked out of prison a free woman. After eight years in prison, Graves, known as Light Blue or simply Blue to her friends, was looking forward to her first meal out of prison and the welcome-home party her family was planning. Her family never got to throw that party. At 6:30 am on June 1, Graves’ mom Sheri was sitting in her car waiting for her oldest son Michael.
By Sue Sturgis for Facing South, Month in which Equal Justice Under Law, a civil rights group involved in the Jennings case, filed a federal class-action lawsuit alleging systemic violations of basic human and civil rights in the New Orleans legal system resulting in a modern-day debtors’ prison: 9/2015 Percent of government agencies involved in the New Orleans criminal justice system that rely on criminal convictions and high money bonds for funding:100 Under the part of the system in New Orleans that’s drawn the most public outrage, amount per felony charge a judge can assess on individual defendants to fund a judicial expense account that can pay for everything from court staff salaries to coffee: $2,000 Month in which Equal Justice Under Law and the MacArthur Justice Centerat the University of Mississippi School of Law filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Jackson, Mississippi, over a forced-labor camp and debtors’ prison used by the city: 10/2015 Amount impoverished Jackson residents are able to work off their debt per day at the Hinds County Penal Farm near Jackson: $58
By Staff of Inequality.org – No place in the world imprisons people at a higher per capita rate than the state of Louisiana. And that incarceration pays — for the profiteers who run the state’s private prisons. For the incarcerated, a totally different story. In 1998, the New York Times described one of Louisiana’s privately run facilities, the Tallulah Correctional Center for Youth, as possibly the worst such prison in the nation, a site “rife with brutality, cronyism, and neglect.”
By William N. Grigg for Mint Press News – Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a relentless self-promoter who christened himself “The World’s Toughest Sheriff,” has invited Phoenix-area parents to send their grade school and teenage kids to jail for the summer. “Summer Stars” is a two-day program supposedly intended to teach impressionable youngsters about the rigors of life behind bars, thereby deterring them from bad behavior. The program will be held in two sessions – June 23-24, and July 21-22 – and will be open for students from ages 8 to 18.
By Margaret Kimberley for Black Agenda Report – Prison inmates around the country have organized to resist the world’s largest and most profitable system of human bondage. Mass Black incarceration marks the U.S. as a racist police state. “When we stand up to these authorities,” say the prisoners, “they come down on us, and the only protection we have is solidarity from the outside.” All decent men and women must answer the call to action from the belly of the gulag in September.
By Kit O’Connell for Mint Press News – RALEIGH, North Carolina — Half as many prisoners in North Carolina face solitary confinement, thanks to dedicated efforts to cut back on the controversial practice often equated with torture. “Last spring, roughly 5,330 of the state’s 38,000 prisoners – 1 in 7 – were segregated from other inmates on any given day,” wrote Taylor Knopf on May 26 in the News & Observer. “By this month, that number had been reduced to 2,540.”
By Staff of The Associated Press – After almost 42 years at Louisiana’s maximum security prison, Gary Tyler is a free man. Tyler had been jailed at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola since he was 16, convicted of first-degree murder for the 1974 slaying of a fellow Destrehan High School student amid rising racial tensions surrounding school integration. Now 57, he was released Friday. Norris Henderson, a counselor working with Tyler to help ease his re-entry into society, said Tyler’s first reaction after walking out of Angola was relief.